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Topics - Jim Hughes

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Setup & Installation / my journey back to a functional os/2 system
« on: June 05, 2017, 04:26:07 am »
Hello Everyone

Firstly, being Canadian I must apologize; to the purists out there, if I get the jargon/terminology wrong; too many past lives and I can't necessarily be bothered to to keep everything straight. A shovel is still a shovel, whether called a scuttle, a
spade or a goon-spoon; unless the word has been used as the basis for an acronym where it becomes anyone's guess.

I started using os/2 with Warp 3 (red?) add your own Windows and several fists-full of floppies (they formatted nicely and were re-purposed)), and then on through Warp 3 (blue?) on CD, Warp Connect, Warp 4, and eCS 1.0 -> eCS 2.2b. Most installations were
on salvaged/castoff used hardware. I'm a HOME user/hobbyist, late 60s, and only know enough about programming etc. to be extremely dangerous.The same with Networking.  I had eCS 2.1 & 2.2b on another, holding, machine but they were beyond unstable and virtually unusable, I did manage to update them to the ArcaNoae drivers and package manager.

I am an unrepentant "lurker" on some of the various sites and forums, from back, at least, to Dr. Terrel's OS/2 Site.
Generally, joining in only when I think I mght have something to possibly add to the knowledge of the Collective. There are many wiser and more knowledgeable than me; whose, over the years, unknowing Mentor-ship I've valued and appreciated beyond words, thank you all! When possible I've tried to support the os/2 Community eve though I've been mostly stuck in a windows world.

Now on to ArcaNoae's ARCAOS5.

The Victim:

- Asus M5A97_LE_R20 (2013 vintage) w/ AMD FX-8350 (8 core) 4g CPU, 8g RAM;
   BIOS is as purchased (not updated); with EUFI changed to CSM (Legacy) and all disk controllers switched to AHCI (see BIOS screen shots)
  • - Asus EAH-3450(ATI/AMD HD_3450) video;
  • - Realtek on-board audio (currently turned off) and replaced by SB-Audigy-Z2;
  • - on-board Realtek LAN;
  • - 6 x on-board SATA connectors, attached are CD/DVD drive, a 4 bay 2.5" drive cage, plus 1 as eSATA; and
  • - Startech (PEXMSATA3431) SATA controller card w/ mSATA SSD slot (empty) and 3 AHCI SATA III (6Gbps) ports through PCI Expressx2  [in  the 2nd PCIEXx16 slot], and running as JBOD not RAID with a 2x2.5" front opening drive tray connected;
  • - PS/2 and USB keyboard/mouse connectors;
  • - on-board USB is mostly USB 3, but with USB 2 pass-through ?xUHCD & ?xEHCD ; allowing the attachment of a USB floppy drive and an external USB CD/DVD drive via the KVM USB connection; and
  • -  4 port KVM carrying both DVI & VGA, USB keyboard/mouse, 2 switched USB other stuff ports.
  • - displays 2 x 4k monitors,
This is all in a full height desktop (home theatre type) case, with front access to up to six 2.5" drive trays and 4 USB-2
ports. I've built this system up over time, as resources became available, as a general test-bed, and to be my os/2 machine and
anticipating it to probably be my last desktop machine.

1. As write this I don't have the computer in front of me so I'm relying on "old timers" memory so things may be out of order
or not be worded correctly;

2. was onto a os/2 dedicated 64g ssd, Partitioned with DFSee (geo 64 hds 32 sec) with DFSees's IBM Boot Manager installed first
on the front of the drive. [note: with any empty drive I'm partitioning, I always install DFSees's IBM Boot Manager active or
not as the first partition, it keeps the subsequent partitions aligned, if for no other reason.
3.CD start-up, I chose:
-"Boot with own values" and from the pre-installer boot accepted all defaults (ACHI, etc.), except I reserved drv W, enabled the disk integrity check, changed the USB devices to 6 and made sure the USB floppy & CD (bootable) were enabled.

4. Actual Installer
  • -time zone west coast N America
  • -single partition
  • -Advanced/Custom install;
  • -Hardware page(s) accepted the default driver selections (ACHI, Uniaudio, etc.), video i've used both Panorama and Snap, added Comm port;
  • -Software page(s) accepted the defaults, added Seamonkey as default browser; and
  • -Network page(s) chose DCHP, accepted the defaults (MMRE driver), TCP\IP, added NET BIOS.
Once I figured out the what, where, and why of the installer and myself, the installs went relatively quickly and smoothly. I ended up with what seems to be a solid base for the system:
  • - displays work currently 1920x1440 with some random artifacts on the DVI connected screen;
  • - internet works (at least FF connects to Google which find OS2world and takes me there);
  • - I can connect to my NAS through the ArcaMappermanager;
  • - all six drive bays are usable; and
  • - USB flash drives are readable and so are external USB drive enclosures (within the limitations of os/2) using USB2 or 3 cables as dictated by the enclosure's female port (e.g. the Transend(m3)ssd is in an external enclosure with a USB3 connection).
5. Gotchas (maybe from operator error/stupidity), or that nothing has been tweaked, the contents of "config.sys", etc. are as
  • - In my case, the installer "reboot" button is non-functional and has to be allowed to count down, hastening the process with a C-A-D push results in a faulty installation with a bunch of stuff left out (e.g. screen objects with nothing in them);
  • - In my case, the installer doesn't clear the "installable" flag on the partition. I believe one result of this was messages from the BIOS along the lines of "Unable to find(boot?) disk 1" a couple of "enters" may put things back on track and the system boots directly through to the installation partition and the install continues (had one time where the BIOS picked the wrong partition from IBM bt mgr and confused the hell out of me). I suggest DFsee is your friend and from another instance check and edit the LVM information as needed, including, maybe, temporarily removing other partitions from the "Boot Menu"(which I didn't do). I've also found that, on a re-boot, the ASUS Bios does the same "Unable to find(boot?) disk 1" thingif I've forgotten to remove a USB flash drive.
  • - under Panorama video it takes minutes to build and populate the desktop, while under Snap it is seconds;
  • - no sound yet
  • - USB keyboard/mouse don't work through the KVM or front USB ports, I suspect that is because the front ports are through a hub and the KVM definitely is a hub. I have yet to try a direct connection to the dedicated USB keyboard/mouse ports on back, installation was through the PS/2 connections;
If Life in general allows me computing time, I should soon be back in the os/2 world with what seems to be stablity and a base that I can build a fully functioning system on.

Thank you ArcaNoae, your Associates, Collaborators, Developers, Testors, and the others handling the minutia of other tasks involved in putting a project like this together.

Regards and best wishes to ALL
Jim Hughes

ps: because of posting size limitations the BIOS screen shots will be in a subsequent post or 2 as zip files

Hardware / Intel's USB3 (xchi) gotcha [w/ OT a bit of a Lenovo rant]
« on: March 12, 2017, 05:35:55 pm »
Hi to All

I recently purchased a Lenovo P310-SFF ThinkStation (with Win7 through w10 downgrade);
to use as my replacement Windows desktop and with the hope that I would also be able to eventually load some
version of os/2 on it (the hope came from Lenovo's propaganda indicating being able to use Linux, which I don't use, with

I'm still playing/tinkering with the computer, I've installed a couple of front 2.5" drive trays. Lenovo's
Rescue/re-install media (w7 or w10) disregards any current partitioning\sizing and completely wipes the
system HDD/SSD, creating a single (full disk size) GPT system partition and the associated hidden
partitions. Apparently, Lenovo's licensing won't allow their OEM w7 and w10 to coexist on the same machine.
nor, could I figure out how to change the w7 "product key" to one of my spare licenses, its not available in
the control panel system object.   

OK, as I currently use win7 and have had only a passing brush with w10, I thought why not install W7 from
scratch and then later with dfSee, to the rescue, re-size and clone/copy the Lenovo w10 installation from a
2nd drive to free space on my "working" drive.

This led to the Intel USB3 (xchi) gotcha;

Intel, in it's wisdom, on the Skylake(others?) architecture, has removed the EHCI component from their XCHI
controller which may be an initial "show stopper" for os/2 installations on mother boards with similar chip
sets, until we have USB3 support.

As an aside, the P310 does have 2 USB2 rear keyboard/mouse ports, plus I purchased a fall back of ps/2
ports. When I have time I'll cobble together a "plumber's('s) nightmare" of cables/hub(s)/devices
and try that. Oh yea, ps/2 bits where were they last seen and in what box?


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