Author Topic: New to ArcaOS, need some help.  (Read 851 times)

L.S.S.

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New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« on: September 13, 2018, 03:08:04 am »
I just bought ArcaOS a while ago and while trying to install it on a PC that I intend to run it along with some other operating system, I'm having issues installing it, especially when partitioning disks as I'm dealing with numerous partitioning incompatibilities.

1. Is there a convenient, OS/2 complaint partitioning tool for other operating systems? I mainly use GParted live media to partition disks, but it turned out that ArcaOS would be unable to properly see them if I made the partitions there. (I also tried using DFSee/DFSANOS2 that was shipped with the ArcaOS install media, but I'm still new to it and couldn't figure out how to do it correctly, besides, if I'm just viewing partitions with DFSee, it's seeing my disks and partitions correctly)

2. For existing partitions above 512GB, is there a way to add the extended geometry to the partition table so I could use and access the whole disk on ArcaOS as well as on any other operating system? When I partition the disk myself with GParted, ArcaOS would only see 512GB and reports a "corrupt partition table", while ArcaOS could see the entire disk if I leave it unpartitioned.

3. As due to the issues above (plus the fact that I've been partitioning disks with MiB alignment which ArcaOS don't support it yet), I backed up the data on that system and wiped all the disks except the ones that I don't intend to use with ArcaOS (those are NTFS partitions and I don't know if NTFS works with ArcaOS yet), in order to rebuild a compatible partition table. I then converted the disks I don't intend to use with ArcaOS into GPT in hope it would prevent the OS from doing anything to them, but it turned out converting them to GPT (with gdisk) would prevent Logical Volume Manager from starting up at all, showing LVM ERROR 4100 (with the help screen, which appeared behind the error window and needs effort to move it to a visible area, pointing to "unsupported partition table error" suggesting removing non-MBR drives), and the text mode one saying "Couldn't start LVM engine". It seems I simply cannot have any GPT partitions (while converting them back to MBR is possible, again, I need to deal with the 512GB and MiB alignment issue).

4. Is there an easy way to change driver configuration post installation? That is, if I want to switch to another driver than the one I chose during install at a later time. At one time I wanted to switch to another sound card driver because Uniaud didn't work with my configuration, but I couldn't find a convenient way to do so anywhere.

Plus, from the looks of it ArcaOS is still developing, so maybe the issues I'm facing might as well as being feature requests.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2018, 03:15:58 am by L.S.S. »

Dave Yeo

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2018, 04:51:47 am »
I just bought ArcaOS a while ago and while trying to install it on a PC that I intend to run it along with some other operating system, I'm having issues installing it, especially when partitioning disks as I'm dealing with numerous partitioning incompatibilities.

1. Is there a convenient, OS/2 complaint partitioning tool for other operating systems? I mainly use GParted live media to partition disks, but it turned out that ArcaOS would be unable to properly see them if I made the partitions there. (I also tried using DFSee/DFSANOS2 that was shipped with the ArcaOS install media, but I'm still new to it and couldn't figure out how to do it correctly, besides, if I'm just viewing partitions with DFSee, it's seeing my disks and partitions correctly)

DFSee is the best choice, the cut down version that ships with ArcaOS is probably good enough for you considering what you say later. The full one is available at www.dfsee.com. It's shareware (and you get good support) but you can use it in evaluation mode with everything working.

Quote
2. For existing partitions above 512GB, is there a way to add the extended geometry to the partition table so I could use and access the whole disk on ArcaOS as well as on any other operating system? When I partition the disk myself with GParted, ArcaOS would only see 512GB and reports a "corrupt partition table", while ArcaOS could see the entire disk if I leave it unpartitioned.

Don't use GParted, as you found, it doesn't do it right. OS/2 needs partitions ending on cylinder boundaries. As you have it unpartitioned, you can create the partitions during the ArcaOS install.
If you ever want other OSes on the same disk, do the partitioning with an OS/2 tool such as DFSee and then do an advanced install to use already created partitions.

Quote
3. As due to the issues above (plus the fact that I've been partitioning disks with MiB alignment which ArcaOS don't support it yet), I backed up the data on that system and wiped all the disks except the ones that I don't intend to use with ArcaOS (those are NTFS partitions and I don't know if NTFS works with ArcaOS yet), in order to rebuild a compatible partition table. I then converted the disks I don't intend to use with ArcaOS into GPT in hope it would prevent the OS from doing anything to them, but it turned out converting them to GPT (with gdisk) would prevent Logical Volume Manager from starting up at all, showing LVM ERROR 4100 (with the help screen, which appeared behind the error window and needs effort to move it to a visible area, pointing to "unsupported partition table error" suggesting removing non-MBR drives), and the text mode one saying "Couldn't start LVM engine". It seems I simply cannot have any GPT partitions (while converting them back to MBR is possible, again, I need to deal with the 512GB and MiB alignment issue).

You can tell the disk driver, whether danis506.add or os2ahci.add to ignore your GPT disk. You have to do it at the beginning of the install using the text installer accessible at the first prompt. Something like
Code: [Select]
DaniS506.ADD /I 0
to ignore the first controller. Once we know your actual hardware, we can tell you better.

Quote
4. Is there an easy way to change driver configuration post installation? That is, if I want to switch to another driver than the one I chose during install at a later time. At one time I wanted to switch to another sound card driver because Uniaud didn't work with my configuration, but I couldn't find a convenient way to do so anywhere.

Generally you can change drivers just by editing config.sys. The audio driver is a bit more complex but can be done using mininstall. When you're ready to change it, ask here.

Quote
Plus, from the looks of it ArcaOS is still developing, so maybe the issues I'm facing might as well as being feature requests.

You can always open an issue at arcanoae.com for this stuff. Some things like the trick of disabling a hard drive were only lately realized as a workaround. Most of the problems you talk about are well known problems which you seem to have a pretty good handle on already.
You might want to post your hardware here so we can be of more help or if needed, open an issue and then create a testlog which will show all your hardware etc.

L.S.S.

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2018, 08:32:14 am »
DFSee is the best choice, the cut down version that ships with ArcaOS is probably good enough for you considering what you say later. The full one is available at www.dfsee.com. It's shareware (and you get good support) but you can use it in evaluation mode with everything working.

I'll give the full DFSee a look (in hope it provides some easier to use modes), though I'll need to find ways to create a bootable floppy or CD image with it as the PC I intend to run to is relatively older and doesn't have proper USB boot support.

Quote
Don't use GParted, as you found, it doesn't do it right. OS/2 needs partitions ending on cylinder boundaries. As you have it unpartitioned, you can create the partitions during the ArcaOS install.
If you ever want other OSes on the same disk, do the partitioning with an OS/2 tool such as DFSee and then do an advanced install to use already created partitions.

GParted could create partitions using cylinder alignments, but that alone is not enough to let ArcaOS pick my partition as I might also need to define drive letters and LVM names (different from the usual partition label, but visible to AIR-BOOT). Also, ArcaOS handles disks above 512GB in its own way, according to the manual, which GParted couldn't comply and result in ArcaOS seeing the whole disk as 512GB and could not be used (corrupt partition table).

Quote
Since the OS/2 Logical Volume Manager requires CHS-aligned partitions, and, in the case of hard disks larger than 512GB, requires this CHS alignment to use the extended geometry, such partitions cannot (easily) be created with non-OS/2-aware partitioning tools.

Is the full version of DFSee (regardless of platform) capable of creating partitions this way?

Quote
You can tell the disk driver, whether danis506.add or os2ahci.add to ignore your GPT disk. You have to do it at the beginning of the install using the text installer accessible at the first prompt. Something like
Code: [Select]
DaniS506.ADD /I 0
to ignore the first controller. Once we know your actual hardware, we can tell you better.

Apparently, the GPT disks are connected to a PCI SATA expansion card separate from the rest of the drives (which are connected to onboard IDE and SATA controllers and are the ones I intend to use with ArcaOS), so I'll need a way to find out the number of the PCI controller to disable it. For now I prefer avoiding having to physically remove the card.

Quote
Generally you can change drivers just by editing config.sys. The audio driver is a bit more complex but can be done using mininstall. When you're ready to change it, ask here.

I'll look at mininstall once I get the system up and running.

Quote
You can always open an issue at arcanoae.com for this stuff. Some things like the trick of disabling a hard drive were only lately realized as a workaround. Most of the problems you talk about are well known problems which you seem to have a pretty good handle on already.
You might want to post your hardware here so we can be of more help or if needed, open an issue and then create a testlog which will show all your hardware etc.

I'll file an issue if needed. I've read this presentation and it does appear some of the features (such as GPT and UEFI) are being worked on, and I'm looking forward to it.

Dave Yeo

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2018, 04:54:10 pm »
DFSee is the best choice, the cut down version that ships with ArcaOS is probably good enough for you considering what you say later. The full one is available at www.dfsee.com. It's shareware (and you get good support) but you can use it in evaluation mode with everything working.

I'll give the full DFSee a look (in hope it provides some easier to use modes), though I'll need to find ways to create a bootable floppy or CD image with it as the PC I intend to run to is relatively older and doesn't have proper USB boot support.

I believe you can create a bootable FreeDos CD.

Quote
Quote
Don't use GParted, as you found, it doesn't do it right. OS/2 needs partitions ending on cylinder boundaries. As you have it unpartitioned, you can create the partitions during the ArcaOS install.
If you ever want other OSes on the same disk, do the partitioning with an OS/2 tool such as DFSee and then do an advanced install to use already created partitions.

GParted could create partitions using cylinder alignments, but that alone is not enough to let ArcaOS pick my partition as I might also need to define drive letters and LVM names (different from the usual partition label, but visible to AIR-BOOT). Also, ArcaOS handles disks above 512GB in its own way, according to the manual, which GParted couldn't comply and result in ArcaOS seeing the whole disk as 512GB and could not be used (corrupt partition table).

Quote
Since the OS/2 Logical Volume Manager requires CHS-aligned partitions, and, in the case of hard disks larger than 512GB, requires this CHS alignment to use the extended geometry, such partitions cannot (easily) be created with non-OS/2-aware partitioning tools.

Is the full version of DFSee (regardless of platform) capable of creating partitions this way?

I believe so, though it is best to use OS/2 to add the LVM info.

Quote
Quote
You can tell the disk driver, whether danis506.add or os2ahci.add to ignore your GPT disk. You have to do it at the beginning of the install using the text installer accessible at the first prompt. Something like
Code: [Select]
DaniS506.ADD /I 0
to ignore the first controller. Once we know your actual hardware, we can tell you better.

Apparently, the GPT disks are connected to a PCI SATA expansion card separate from the rest of the drives (which are connected to onboard IDE and SATA controllers and are the ones I intend to use with ArcaOS), so I'll need a way to find out the number of the PCI controller to disable it. For now I prefer avoiding having to physically remove the card.

Booting to the system management on the bootable ArcaOS media, going to a cmd prompt and something like
Code: [Select]
COPY IBMS506$ con:
will show how the driver sees things. IIRC, there's a similar command for AHCI.
You can also run "testlog generic" there, which will gather all kinds of info on your system including the disks

Quote
Quote
Generally you can change drivers just by editing config.sys. The audio driver is a bit more complex but can be done using mininstall. When you're ready to change it, ask here.

I'll look at mininstall once I get the system up and running.

Quote
You can always open an issue at arcanoae.com for this stuff. Some things like the trick of disabling a hard drive were only lately realized as a workaround. Most of the problems you talk about are well known problems which you seem to have a pretty good handle on already.
You might want to post your hardware here so we can be of more help or if needed, open an issue and then create a testlog which will show all your hardware etc.

I'll file an issue if needed. I've read this presentation and it does appear some of the features (such as GPT and UEFI) are being worked on, and I'm looking forward to it.

Unluckily they're down the list after USB3 and perhaps WiFi support. The USB3 is most important as too many systems now don't have USB2.

L.S.S.

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2018, 05:32:42 pm »
Finally I was able to get past the disk partitioning part thanks to DFSee, as it's able to create partitions in an OS/2 complaint way, and enables me to modify LVM information so the partitions can appear in ArcaOS as desired, which I can then continue the installation.

Guess for now one really needs to use DFSee instead of GParted to manage existing partitions when preparing to install ArcaOS.

Dave Yeo

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2018, 05:58:03 pm »
Good to hear. You could get away with using the LVM manager to do the partitioning but DFSee is much nicer. In the old days, it was the OS/2 fdisk that had to be used.

L.S.S.

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2018, 07:09:15 pm »
It seems I still need to hide the GPT partitions in order to continue the installation, as the LVM ERROR 4100 (due to the presence of a GPT disk) would cause the installer to fail (stuck on installing base system files 2%, the error screen is, again, hidden behind the installer).

I tried "testlog generic" and confirmed the GPT disks are on controllers 4 and 5 respectively (it seems for SATA drives, each port is an independent controller). Also, on my system, it seems DANIS506 driver is the one actually active, but I don't know the correct syntax to disable those two controllers, as when I do it this way (based on the DANIS506 performance mode setting, and referring to the driver's documentations),

Code: [Select]
/A:4 /I /A:5 /I /!BIOS
Although it stopped the LVM error, the installer ended up unable to see the rest of the volumes except the first hard drive, while before this, all volumes that I've defined drive letters to in the LVM would be visible with correct size and space. Is there a guide on how to input the parameters?
« Last Edit: September 13, 2018, 07:13:38 pm by L.S.S. »

Andi B.

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2018, 09:22:25 pm »
I'm glad to hear you master DFSee :). A lot of people complain about it's complexity.

I guess you've read the information which comes with ArcaOS. I'm pretty sure there are places where it deals with different scenarios and how to prepare partitions for multi OS environment. This all should be manageable within the ArcaOS installer. Remember it includes a stripped down version of DFSee with a graphic GUI to hide the complexity. That said I guess it should not be necessary to use the standard DFSee boot USB-Stick, CD or floppy. Although there is nothing wrong in using the full version of DFSee (I personally prefer doing so) the makers of ArcaOS tries to handle such things with their installer in a user friendly way (sort of ;) ).

To get to the point - if you follow the AcraOS documentation and still can not install then open a ticket with AN. I'm pretty sure they are interested in improving the installer and partitioning GUI. Most of the testers are long time OS/2 users and they know the workarounds and tricks to get it installed. It seems to me you're a perfect candidate for a good usability tester. Not with the straitened vision we long time users have.

Dave Yeo

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2018, 12:58:42 am »
Can you post the part of the testlog output referring to the drives? Here with SATA disks, I get
Code: [Select]
----- Contents of file: ibms506$ -----------------------------------
R1.08.15     /!BIOS
            Daniela's Bus Master IDE Driver for OS/2 Version 1.08.15
Controller:0  Port:F0E0 IRQ:13  Status:OK BusMaster Scatter/Gather
  Intel ICH7 SATA host (8086:27C0 rev:01) on PCI 0:31.2#0
 Unit:0 Status:OK SMS:16 LBA NL:126 BusMaster UltraDMA6/PIO4 BPB
  Model:ST3500418AS                             CC38
   OS2:log   phys   BPB/BIOS   IDE:log   phys     Total Sectors
  C  60801  65535                65535  16383   Avail  976773168
  H    255     16        255        16     16   OS2    976768065
  S     63     63         63        63     63   % Used     99.99
 Unit:1 Status:OK SMS:16 LBA BusMaster UltraDMA6/PIO4 BPB
  Model:WDC WD10EZEX-75M2NA0                    01.01A01
   OS2:log   phys   BPB/BIOS   IDE:log   phys     Total Sectors
  C  60321  65535                65535  16383   Avail 1953525168
  H    255     16        255        16     16   OS2   1953495585
  S    127     63        127        63     63   % Used     99.99
Controller:1  Port:F0C0 IRQ:13  Status:OK BusMaster Scatter/Gather
  Intel ICH7 SATA host (8086:27C0 rev:01) on PCI 0:31.2#1
 Unit:0 Status:OK SMS:16 LBA BusMaster UltraDMA6/PIO4 BPB
  Model:ST3500414CS                             CA12
   OS2:log   phys   BPB/BIOS   IDE:log   phys     Total Sectors
  C  60801  65535                65535  16383   Avail  976773168
  H    255     16        255        16     16   OS2    976768065
  S     63     63         63        63     63   % Used     99.99
 Unit:1 Status:OK ATAPI BusMaster UltraDMA5/PIO4
  Model:TSSTcorp CDDVDW SH-S243D                SB00

As you can see, even though each drive is plugged into a SATA controller, it comes across as 2 units per controller.
You might want to quickly look at https://mantis.arcanoae.com/view.php?id=1607 where this was discussed.
Log in with your Arca Noae credentials. For user, you might need just the part of your email address to the left of the @, so no domain.

L.S.S.

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2018, 02:30:00 am »
I can confirm that my drives are handled by the DANIS506 driver. Maybe I'll try the workaround in the issue #0002120 (the one you provided doesn't appear to be accessible to me).

It seems the LVM engine has been made not to write any data to systems with GPT disks to avoid corrupting them. The reason I converted them to GPT from MBR was that they were large NTFS disks (2TB each) that I currently don't intend to use with ArcaOS for the time being, as I'm not confident about NTFS support with the OS (though at least a safe, read-only IFS driver would be nice), and they're also affected by the 512GB and MiB boundary issues. I'm yet to find out how to resolve the 512GB boundary issue on existing partitions with DFSee, though I can always use GParted to resize the partition using cylinder alignment to fix the MiB boundary issue.

I can always attempt to restore the drives back to MBR so I don't have to hide anything, if NTFS partitions can be safely mounted and accessible within ArcaOS. Still, the fact that LVM engine would refuse to start when a GPT disk is present would certainly cause problems with users trying to install it alongside with existing UEFI Windows/Linux installations (as UEFI utilizes GPT).

Roderick Klein

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2018, 08:14:01 am »
eCS came with an NTFS driver. When I still worked at Mensys I tested it. But by default the installation is turned off and its kind of buggy driver. For example it can freeze the system when you run the IBM application installer. Lotus Smartsuite uses it, no TRAP screen, nothing.

One option you could consider using is:
https://www.arcanoae.com/shop/netdrive-for-os2/
With the NTFS plugin read and write support.

If you want to use a hard disc its size beyond the 512 GB boundary you need to wipe the drive and create all partitions with OS/2/Dfsee. You can format them with Windows. Otherwhise any partitions on the +512GB drive can be made visiable by using DFsee to assign a drive letter. The partition can then be accessed if the partition is at the beginning of the hand *and* its not beyond the 512 GB disc boundary.

You can BTW use switches with the danis506.add driver to disable from accessing the drives.
The documentation should be on the ArcaOS DVD but you can also read the documentation here:
http://trac.netlabs.org/xata/export/122/ATA/trunk/doc/DaniS506.DOC

Roderick Klein
President OS/2 VOICE

Pete

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2018, 04:19:55 pm »
Hi

To make a >512Gb disk work with OS/2 based systems you need to use DFSee to "wipe front of disk to 0" - or similar wording - then reboot. The disk should now show as the correct size in LVM.


Regards

Pete

L.S.S.

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2018, 07:49:07 pm »
It seems the installer is not showing all the configured partitions as valid "target volume". Although I've configured the drive letters and partitions in LVM using DFSee, only the partitions of the first drive is on the list.

I don't know the details but is there an exact list of conditions needed for a partition to be visible to the installer as a valid target? I intend to install it on the second drive (which was visible when I was dealing with the GPT issue, maybe all the disks would be visible, if the LVM engine was not working, which is why I could see the partitions).

EDIT: And as for the 512GB issue... yeah, it seems I'll need to get all the drives repartitioned with DFSee in order to make them OS/2 complaint, and the feature to adjust disk geometry happens to be in Expert mode.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2018, 08:03:45 pm by L.S.S. »

Dave Yeo

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2018, 01:48:59 am »
It seems the installer is not showing all the configured partitions as valid "target volume". Although I've configured the drive letters and partitions in LVM using DFSee, only the partitions of the first drive is on the list.

I don't know the details but is there an exact list of conditions needed for a partition to be visible to the installer as a valid target? I intend to install it on the second drive (which was visible when I was dealing with the GPT issue, maybe all the disks would be visible, if the LVM engine was not working, which is why I could see the partitions).

They should show up, I've installed to all 3 of my drives without problems. I'd suggest opening an issue at Arca Noae.

L.S.S.

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Re: New to ArcaOS, need some help.
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2018, 03:10:51 am »
They should show up, I've installed to all 3 of my drives without problems. I'd suggest opening an issue at Arca Noae.

I'm still investigating. Apparently, the only times when all my partitions showed up were ironically when there were still GPT disks present. It's very likely because the LVM engine wasn't active at that time and for that reason the installer was able to see all partitions with valid LVM regardless of geometry issues and such (the 2TB disk that I intended to use with ArcaOS also showed up correctly at that time even though the partition table was still the default 63-SPT/512GB one as I didn't know where to change the drive geometry until recently).

I've reverted those disks back to MBR now, so I don't need to hide any drive anymore, but it seemed that the parameters I previously passed to the DANIS506 driver to hide them were correct all along.

It seems it eventually came down to the point that I need to back up the rest of the drives (including the ones that I don't intend to use with ArcaOS) and start the whole system over with only ArcaOS installation disc, not even official DFSee, as I also found out that even after changing disk geometry with official DFSee, ArcaOS' DFSee engine sometimes don't agree with the official DFSee regarding the partition created at the end of the disk, reporting corrupt partition table, which could be solved by deleting the offending partition from DFSee and recreating it from ArcaOS.

It's definitely going to be a lot of effort to prepare disks for ArcaOS installation if one intends to install it alongside existing OSes, as most partitioning utilities on other operating systems are not OS/2 aware (notably in regards of LVM configurations) and can cause issues.

And a side question: When using DFSee, which geometry layout should I use with hard disks using 4K physical sectors but 512 byte logical sectors, the Big SSD/4Kb-sectors, or Huge rotating disk? Although for my 2TB drives (roughly 1863 GiB), neither option is below the physical capacity, but the performance might differ (which was why 4K alignment existed).