Author Topic: Blinking Cursor Problem  (Read 7730 times)

ofey

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Blinking Cursor Problem
« on: 2009.11.26, 06:45:16 »
Hello world,

I've inherited an ancient X-Ray Photoelectron Spectrometer which uses a DELL PC running OS/2 Warp as a controller.  I used to have problems booting the operating system but once I sorted the hardware and replaced the CMOS battery I had a while where I was running OS/2 day in day out.  However in recent days, the OS refuses to start.

I get through the bios screens no problem and the OS/2 Warp Ver 3.0 splash screen comes up before the whole system stops at a blinking white cursor in position 1,1 in the top left corner of the screen.  I am  using a basic 1280X800 LCD monitor in tandem with the Dell system.

I'm not au fait with OS/2 and would appreciate any help anyone can provide... .
« Last Edit: 2009.11.26, 07:00:40 by ofey »

RobertM

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Re: Blinking Cursor Problem
« Reply #1 on: 2009.11.26, 06:49:40 »
Hi ofey,

Assuming nothing has changed on the machine, I would check for a failing hard drive or a changed CMOS setting pertinent to the hard drive.

You can check virtually any IDE hard drive, and most SCSI drives on non-RAID controllers using IBM/Hitachi Drive Fitness Test. Do an "Advanced Test" - it will not overwrite any data.

You can alternatively try hitting "Alt-F1" when the OS/2 boot blob appears on the screen (before the logo screen) and selecting "F2" from the list of options presented to see if it boots to command prompt.

Let us know what you find.

Best,
Robert
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ofey

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Re: Blinking Cursor Problem
« Reply #2 on: 2009.11.26, 07:10:06 »
Thanks for the quick reply Rob.  Correction it's OS/2 Ver 3.

Nothing has changed in the machine.  It was just left disconnected and off for a long time.

I did the Alt-F1 keystroke and it went to "Recovery Choices Screen"

The choices there were:
Esc -> Continue boot
Result was the same blinking cursor  >:(

C -> Command Line
Took me to a command line prompt could do DIR and all!  ::)

V-> Video reset
Did this and the OS/2 screen came up, displayed the start up of my software interface to my spectrometer then it goes back to the blinking cursor again!  >:(

M-> Restart system to Maintainence Desktop.
Didn't dare try this

X-> will replace config.sys with some back up.
Didn't dare do this  :-\

After I had replaced the CMOS clock battery in the past, I left this computer running for a week without any problems! It's never left the room and it's sealed air conditioned room.
So if its a case of HDD crash, surely, the OS/2 Warp start screen shouldn't have come up at all!?

Saijin_Naib

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Re: Blinking Cursor Problem
« Reply #3 on: 2009.11.26, 07:12:23 »
Can you do a chkdsk on the C: drive?
AFAIK, Maintenance desktop is non-destructive. Think of it as Safe Mode. You have a minimal GUI boot that allows you to do some work you may need to do to fix up the system or back up your data.

RobertM

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Re: Blinking Cursor Problem
« Reply #4 on: 2009.11.26, 07:14:26 »
Can you do a chkdsk on the C: drive?
AFAIK, Maintenance desktop is non-destructive. Think of it as Safe Mode. You have a minimal GUI boot that allows you to do some work you may need to do to fix up the system or back up your data.

No, do NOT go to Maintenance Desktop!

It will revert your desktop to the default one and you will lose settings and such.
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Saijin_Naib

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Re: Blinking Cursor Problem
« Reply #5 on: 2009.11.26, 07:18:01 »
.. I thought that after you reboot it will return you to your full desktop?

ofey

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Re: Blinking Cursor Problem
« Reply #6 on: 2009.11.26, 07:21:36 »
@Sajin_Naib: Beat me to it.  :P

I did run a chkdsk *memories of an old school DOS user came flooding back*

Besides the blurb of
... current HDD is C:
... File System is HPFS
SYS0552 : System found FS errors on the disk
CHKDSK removed the corrupted file \OS2\OS2SYS.INI
CHKDSK corrected a disk space allocation error
CHKDSK removed the corrupted file \VGS7000\SYS\INSTLOG.DAT
SYS0562: System detected lost data
...
blurb of all HDD stats

No cigar, I chanced a reboot. Still have a blinking cursor... .
« Last Edit: 2009.11.26, 07:25:12 by ofey »

Saijin_Naib

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Re: Blinking Cursor Problem
« Reply #7 on: 2009.11.26, 07:24:04 »
That is very, very not good.

The Os2.ini holds all the configuration info and what not. If I recall, there is a way to make a new default one but I haven't the foggiest how to do it.

Try rebooting... See if it will boot. If not, try to restore an earlier backup. If that doesn't work, I'd suggest Maintenance desktop.

But, listen to Rob over me, he knows more.

ofey

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Re: Blinking Cursor Problem
« Reply #8 on: 2009.11.26, 07:31:05 »
Nope rebooted into a blinking cursor... . So still jammed... .
No backup obviously

Options?
1. Maintenance Desktop *chance it?*
2. Making a new OS2.ini !?

RobertM

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Re: Blinking Cursor Problem
« Reply #9 on: 2009.11.26, 07:32:48 »
Hmmm... in this case, use IBM/Hitachi Drive Fitness Test to scan the drive for problems. It is likely the following that caused it:

(1) Serious crash while updating the INI files.

(2) The hard drive is failing (most likely media errors)


Use the method I outlined below to boot to the command prompt. You can recreate the INI files in the following manner once you do that:

CD OS2 (ENTER)
MAKEINI os2.ini  ini.rc (ENTER)
MAKEINI os2sys.ini  inisys.rc (ENTER)

Reboot
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Saijin_Naib

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Re: Blinking Cursor Problem
« Reply #10 on: 2009.11.26, 07:33:44 »
Well, I think any damage the Maintenance Desktop could have caused is overshadowed by the fact that you no longer have an OS2.ini.

I'd say try it.

Or do Rob's thing. Either way, you've lost your config data. However, provided the harddrive is not on the way out, your program data should still be intact. You'll just lack shortcuts, etc to them.

RobertM

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Re: Blinking Cursor Problem
« Reply #11 on: 2009.11.26, 07:34:43 »
But, listen to Rob over me, he knows more.

No, I just fake it better.  ;D
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RobertM

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Re: Blinking Cursor Problem
« Reply #12 on: 2009.11.26, 07:35:20 »
Well, I think any damage the Maintenance Desktop could have caused is overshadowed by the fact that you no longer have an OS2.ini.

I'd say try it.

Or do Rob's thing. Either way, you've lost your config data. However, provided the harddrive is not on the way out, your program data should still be intact. You'll just lack shortcuts, etc to them.

Saijin is correct. Booting to the Maintenance Desktop will not hurt and may also resolve the issue. But definitely scan the drive for errors/problems.
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ofey

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Re: Blinking Cursor Problem
« Reply #13 on: 2009.11.26, 07:35:42 »
Hmmm... in this case, use IBM/Hitachi Drive Fitness Test to scan the drive for problems. It is likely the following that caused it:

Sorry but what is this IBM/Hitachi Drive Fitness Test?  Never heard of it... .
Is it on the drive?

Saijin_Naib

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Re: Blinking Cursor Problem
« Reply #14 on: 2009.11.26, 07:37:39 »
Boot floppy of the utility.
http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/support/downloads/dft32_v416_b00_install.IMG

ReadMe of how to make it (under linux)
http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/support/dft-linux-readme.htm

If you are more comfortable using Windows, you can write the image with RawWrite
http://www.chrysocome.net/rawwrite

For OS/2, I'm not sure what util you need to write .IMG to a floppy.
This program MAY work, but you need a working OS/2 GUI environment:
http://www.ecomstation.it/ecsoft2/prog.php?progid=1481&name=EMT4PM&sys=os2+ecomstation
« Last Edit: 2009.11.26, 07:41:04 by Saijin_Naib »