Installing Win32s in Win-OS/2

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Article Info
Author Darryl Sperber
OS Version OS/2 Warp 4.0
Companion File
Source Judy's Warped World

I've had several requests to add step-by-step instructions for installing Win32s in Win-OS/2. Personally, I use no applications that require Win32s, but I installed it so that I could create this page. I am using Warp 4.0 so I can't be of any help for those using Warp 3.0 except to direct you to the needed files.

Using the instructions below, Win32s installed without any problems and I was immediately able to run Freecell in order to verify that Win32s installed correctly. If you get any error messages during install, I won't be able to assist you. You might want to do a search for "win32s os2" at This would search all of the newsgroups and offer you all postings related to the search query.

OS/2 Warp 4.0

OS/2 Warp 4.0 supports Win32s up to version 1.25. This is *support*, the actual program is not included in Warp.

Download from hobbes, You may want to use an ftp client as this file is 2270907 bytes.

Put into a temporary directory and unzip. You will have the unarchived files:


Open an OS/2 window and go into the directory containing the win32s files and execute WIN32SPACK.EXE -d This is a self-executing file and will create the following subdirectories:

  • DISK1
  • DISK2

Open a Full Screen Window session.

From the "File" menu, select "Run" and browse to x:\tempdir\disk1\setup.exe and select "OK"

The "Run" window should now be displayed. Select "OK" and the Win32s install program will begin.

The installation program will ask you if you want to install FreeCell. This is a program that can be ran to confirm that Win32s installed correctly. Warp 4.0 contains a file on the root named README. This file contains some information and troubleshooting tips for Win32s.

OS/2 Warp 3.0

In addition to the above file, the following file is also required for Warp 3.0 users: This files is 549448 bytes. If you run into problems, I won't be able to assist with this. I'm using Warp 4.0. Please see the suggestion above for the dejanews search.

Tips from IBM

The following information is taken from the README file included in Warp 4.0. It may be of some assistance to the users of Warp 3.0.

Using WIN32s Applications

WIN-OS/2 supports the following levels of Win32s:

  • 1.15
  • 1.20
  • 1.25
  • 1.25a

Of the WIN32s applications IBM has tested, the following are not supported.

  • Adobe PhotoShop
  • EndNote2 Plus

Other Considerations:

  • If the installation of a WIN32s application fails and you receive the following error message:

Bindtime error: cannot load library "krnl386.exe"

Doing the following might correct the problem:

1. Close the current WIN-OS/2 session.

2. If you have a partition with native DOS and Windows on it, you will need to take out references in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file to the Windows directories on other drives. For example:


3. Open the WIN-OS/2 session and install the application again.

4. After you successfully installed the application, edit the AUTOEXEC.BAT file to return the path statement as it was before you made the changes.

  • On WIN-OS/2 sessions that you use to run WIN32s applications, change the DOS settings for DOS_FILES to 255.
  • If while you are using a WIN32s application, you receive a message indicating that the application has run out of memory, change the DOS setting for DPMI_MEMORY_LIMIT to decrease the amount of DPMI memory. This change allows more room for WIN32s memory.
  • To run Visual FoxPro, change the DOS setting for DPMI_MEMORY_LIMIT to 16.

Win32s 1.30 and OS/2 Warp. It's not supported, BUT...........

This is just some information that I've taken from newsgroup postings. I don't have any idea if they work or not, but thought that some might want to give them a try.

OK Here's the drill for getting Photoshop v4.0 LE to work.

(I assume that you've got v4.0 LE)

Open a FULL screen WinOS/2 session and install Photoshop. It'll install Win32s 1.30 as well. This is a TOTAL dud if you run OS/2. After it's done its stuff blow away x:\OS2\MDOS\WINOS2\SYSTEM\WIN32S.INI and re-install Win32s 1.25. Works like a beauty here with a Nikon LS20.

Good luck.

Mark F...

From: (Steffen Siebert)
Newsgroups: comp.os.os2.apps
Subject: Photoshop 3.04 *DOES* work under Warp 4 (really!)


I know, it's hard to believe, but IBM finally managed to support Photoshop 3.04 in Warp 4. I don't know if they did it "by accident", but their statement in the readme and the closed APAR on Photoshop as "permanent restriction" makes me believe it.

Anyway, it can be done now, and if you run into trouble, here is the way I did it:

1. The main problem seems to be any "real" Windows 3.x previously installed, which Warp 4 can't use (it comes with it's own WinOS2). But nevertheless Warp 4 insists to use some files from the "real" Windows and adds the path to it to the path-statement in the autoexec.bat.

The readme of Warp 4 suggests to remove the path-statement prior the installation of w32s programs. But in my case, even after the successfull installation, Photoshop only runs if i keep the paths removed.

Please note that WinOS2 might be unable to find some required files without the path-statement. I had to copy the printer drivers for my laserjet to the WinOS2 directory!

2. Use the following Settings for your WinOS/2 sessions:


3. Be sure the line


is included in your config.sys

4. Start WinOS/2 Fullscreen (a seamless session might work, too, but i didn't test it for installation)

5. Install win32s. I used the following archive: 31.01.95 19.06 1.269.759 (I have no idea, where i've got it)

6. Try to run the freecell application, which comes with win32s.

7. Install Photoshop 3.04

8. Run it (easy, isn't it? ;)

it might be possible to skip step 5 and 6, since Photoshop seems to install its own copy of win32s.
it seems to be impossible to use a plugin twice with Photoshop under OS/2, it either crashes or hangs upon the second use of the same plugin.



Steffen Siebert

Please note that it seems to be impossible to use a plugin twice with Photoshop under OS/2, it either crashes or hangs upon the second use of the same plugin.

From: (duncan munro)
Newsgroups: comp.os.os2.apps,comp.os.os2.misc
Subject: Re: Photoshop 3.0 DOES RUN in Merlin
Date: Sat, 11 Jan 1997 10:46:56 GMT

Hi all !

Good news for Photoshop and OS/2 users.

There's been a lot of contradictory postings about the famous Photoshop 3.0 problem under Win-OS/2. Under Warp 3 the APAR had been closed by IBM as a permanent restriction and no hope was apparent; however, some users recently said that under Merlin it may run, but I didn't see any clear details. From what I knew, it seemed unlikely but I decided to try anyway. The answer is YES, Photoshop 3 can run in a regular winos2 session under Merlin.

So, here's how I made Photoshop 3 run:

  1. Install Photoshop 3; this will automatically install/upgrade your win32s to level 1.30 without asking
  2. Remove \os2\mdos\winos2\system\win32 subdirectory; remove any references in the path line from autoexec.bat (the one for DOS sessions under OS/2) to a \windows\system directory if you have also a MS Windows 3.x on your system); install win32s 1.25 (the one from hobbes) and undo the changes to autoexec.bat (if you did change the path)
  3. Run Photoshop in any win-os2 session (seamless or fullscreen); just need to set win mode enhanced, dpmi enabled, and dpmi limit 64 or more; of course, you should have winos2 settings optimized, but nothing else is critical.

What I run:

Merlin 4.0 GA with no relevant fixes/additions Photoshop 3.0.5 GA

I DO NOT KNOW whether the fact that this is running is due to changes in Merlin (I haven't tried it on my Warp 3 system at home, but I will soon) or to changes in Photoshop 3.0.5 (I did not try 3.0.4 or earlier subversions of Photoshop 3 and I will never try since I do not own any).

With regards to other versions of Phostoshop that I have:

Photoshop 2.5 runs on any Warp without problems and does not need any win32s. Photoshop 4.0 does not run on my Merlin system; the error I get suggests that it does need win32s 1.30 (which is not supported by vw32.sys that comes with Merlin and may never be supported under winos2); I will check if this is the case whenever I'll get to boot a real Win3.x.



From: (Darryl Sperber)
Newsgroups: comp.os.os2.apps,comp.os.os2.misc
Subject: Re: Photoshop 3.0 DOES RUN in Merlin
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 1997 05:43:09 GMT (duncan munro) wrote:

Using your hints I got PS305 to run with warp 3/FP26. I had to copy two of the win32s 1.3 dlls into the win32s 1.25 subdirectory and turn DDE off. I wonder if doing the same will enable PS4 to run?

Keep us posted of the PS4 experiment. I just installed it on my WFWG 3.11 partition.

As much as I'd love to be able to run it under WIN-OS/2 (Warp 3 for now), my Microtek Scanmaker III ScanWizard ACQUIRE software is not usable under WIN-OS/2. So I've got Colorworks 2.0 and CFM Twain for OS/2, but I'm not as comfortable with that as I am with Photoshop.

Plus, the Microtek software along with the Kodak Color Management System really brings out the best in my scanner, right off the flatbed. There's frequently little to do in PS.

In contrast, CFM Twain/2 is still "ragged"... with relatively modest scan quality and no documentation. Plus I must admit I prefer the PS user-interface hands down over Colorworks.

Nevertheless... let us know about PS 4 if you get it to run, and what steps you had to go through.

Darryl Sperber (