Undocumented OS/2 Warp v4: Tricks and Tips

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Tip 1: Change WarpCenter Clock

  • 10/1/96: If you are using the WarpCenter, you can change the look of the WarpCenter Clock by adding the following line of text to your CONFIG.SYS, and rebooting.

Tip 2: WarpCenter Enhanced Kill

  • 10/1/96: Also for the WarpCenter, if you want Enhanced Kill features available in some add-in products (like WatchCat, Ctrl-Alt-Delete Commander), add the following line of text to your CONFIG.SYS (Note: This does NOT necessarily negate the need for these excellent add-in products).

Once you have added this, shutdown and rebooted, you can access the feature simply by holding down your CTRL key and clicking your LEFT MOUSE BUTTON on the Window List icon of the Warp Center. You will be presented with a list of all running processes. Click on one with your LEFT MOUSE BUTTON and you will be asked if you wish to KILL the task. Answering YES will terminate the task.

  • 10/22/96: To drop the need for the confirmation box, add SET SCKILLCONFIRMDISABLED=ON to your CONFIG.SYS
  • 2/3/97: Can you help me?

This line is typed in my config.sys, exactly as it appears above (I compared the two side by side), and I still get the confirm dialog pop-up when I execute a "kill."

While this is not a major (or minor even) problem, I am curious to know if a reason for it can be found, as it might lead to a revelation regarding some of the more troublesome, though less reproduceable, glitches I am having with my system.

I felt you would want the info that this doesn't seem to work on at least one system.

I am running OS/2 Warp 4 on a "Winbook FX" notebook:

  • Intel pentium 120mhz (Mobile Triton chipset),
  • Pheonix NoteBIOS v. 4.0,
  • Cirrus Logic CL-7543,PCI interfaced, graphics controller,
  • Creative Tech. CT-2505 sound card,
  • 1G IDE HD, 32MB RAM, PCI Bus

If any info regarding this problem should come to your attention, I would be indebted for a note, pointing to the details, sent to my E-Mail.

Submitted by: John Griffin (jgriffin@sfsu.edu)

Tip 3: Warp 4 Cache parameters

  • 10/22/96: Try out CACHE /DSTG:ON. Open up an OS/2 command prompt and issue the command.
[D:\]cache /Dstg:on
             DiskIdle:     1000 milliseconds
               MaxAge:    65000 milliseconds
           BufferIdle:      950 milliseconds
           Cache size:     2048 kbytes
             DirtyMax:      819 buffers
           WriteCache:    65536 bytes
   3 Lazy write worker(s) are enabled.
   1 Read ahead worker(s) are enabled.

You will find new features and options like /DirtyMax, /Writecache, etc.

Submitted by haller@zebra.fh-weingarten.de (Pat)

Tip 4: HPFS Undocumented

  • 10/24/96: Undocumented HPFS info from the ColoradOS2 conference:

Extracted from Tim Sipples' conference notes, available at http://www.secant.com/sipples/daily.htm

"By the way, several undocumented HPFS features were mentioned, including one which can help you temporarily avoid running CHKDSK at boot up. (You should still run it as soon as possible.) Suppose you have HPFS drives C, D, and E. If you have the following line in your CONFIG.SYS file:


then even if Drive E was improperly stopped (you did not shutdown OS/2 Warp properly) CHKDSK will not run on Drive E at boot up, and you can get access to the drive immediately. /QUIET, which cannot be the last parameter in the line, disables any error message (and should be used with extreme caution). In fact, it's probably not a good idea to use /FORCE either, but it is available if you absolutely must have immediate access to an HPFS drive that was improperly stopped. You should run CHKDSK on that drive just as soon as possible. ".

Tip 5: Easter Eggs!

  • 10/24/96: Hidden feature in OS/2 (also known as an EasterEgg). This feature has been in OS/2 since v2.0.

Make the Desktop the focus (click the LMB on it), Hit CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+O and wait. Press ENTER to exit. If you wish to get rid of this to reclaim disk space, delete the AAAAA.EXE and AAAAA.BMP files from the \OS2\BITMAP directory.

Submitted by multiple people

Tip 6: More WarpCenter tricks

  • 10/24/96: Place SET SCCANBENUKED=ON in your CONFIG.SYS and reboot.

This makes the WarpCenter object "nukeable" i.e. you can right click and choose "Delete" which is not possible normally. Why would you want to do this? Who knows :) Maybe you just want to kill the object for some reason....

Submitted by paul@i1.net (Paul Hartman)

Tip 7: Specifying your FIND Utility

  • 10/24/96: Place SET SCFINDUTILITY=whatever you want in your CONFIG.SYS and reboot.

This allows you to define an external find utility and bypass the built-in one. Click the little flashlight icon (Warpcenter) and you get whatever you specified!

Submitted by paul@i1.net (Paul Hartman)

Tip 8: DIR undocumented

  • 11/5/96: A new undocumented switch for the DIR command. /V will format the file sizes and attributes.

Submitted by ormson@gt-online.com (Benny Ormson)

Tip 9: Webexplorer problems

  • 10/25/96: After Warp 4 Installation over Warp 3, you still have WebExplorer 1.1x instead of 1.2.

The following is from clloyd@one.net (Chris Lloyd):

After I initially installed Warp 4. I was having several annoying problems with WebExplorer V1.2. They were:

  • Wrong version displaying at startup (v1.1e instead of v1.2).
  • Incorrect message boxes appearing. An example: I got the message "You are entering a secure document" whenever I would exit the program.
  • WebEx would crash every time I tried the print option to print a web page.

With the help of Kevin Royalty, I looked around and found an older version of a file called "explore.cat". If you have the same symptoms as those mentioned above, do the following:


The directory structure will look something like this:

[E:\tcpip\msg]dir explore* /s

The volume label in drive E is OS2 DATA.
The Volume Serial Number is A6EC:AC15.

Directory of E:\tcpip\msg

.-..-..  ..:...     .....           0  explore.cat
        1 file(s)          4 bytes used

Directory of E:\tcpip\msg\enus850

 7-22-96   9:29a     28454           0  explore.cat
 8-27-96   2:42p     48640           0  explore.dll
         2 file(s)      77094 bytes used
Total files listed:
         2 file(s)      77094 bytes used
                    596738048 bytes free

Note the occurrence of explore.cat in the E:\tcpip\msg directory. I put dots in place of the date, time, and size since I have deleted the file and I don't know what the actual values are. However, I do remember for a fact that this file was a few days older than the explore.cat file in the E:\tcpip\msg\enus850 directory. After comparing this with Kevin's machine, it turned out the version in the E:\tcpip\msg directory was bogus, hence the reason why I have since deleted it. :)

Bottom line: If you use WebExplorer V1.2 that comes with OS/2 Warp V4 (gold code), the explore.cat file should only reside in d:\tcpip\msg\enus850. If it resides in any other location, rename or delete it. Once I deleted it from this directory, my WebEx problems went away.

Chris Lloyd Cincinnati (CPCUG) OS/2 SIG and Team OS/2 User Group

Tip 10: Run Win32s, WinNT/95 (some) under Warp

  • 11/11/96: A Tip to get Win32s working... Windows NT and Some Win95 Programs.

In the os/2 autoexec.bat remove refrences to the d:\windows and d:\windows\system.

  • Install the windows win32 1.25 program, you must run this in enhanced mode. (I got a copy from a game on a CD).
  • Done. Run your win32s, NT or 95 Programs in enhanced mode (some need to run in a full win-os/2 session).

Submitted by: Jack Nichols (jnichols@voyager.net)

Tip 11: Warp 4 Registration

  • 11/13/96: If you install Warp 4 and don't want to have it keep asking you to register, then rename the \os2\art directory (or so I'm told...).

Submitted by: Kent Rebman (krebman@vnet.ibm.com)

  • 1/23/97: There is a much cleaner way of removing the register program from your system. navigate *through the Drives ICON* to /OS2/install/Installed Objects and double click on "Install Object - Inventory". Then check the box next to "art" and then click on "uninstall" and then select "art" in the next box that opens and then "uninstall" again...this will totally uninstall the "art" directory and all components relating to registration.

Submitted by: Seth McFarland (ptackbar@vnet.net>

Tip 12: OS/2 for the PowerPC?

  • 11/13/96: There were several new DOS settings written for "OS/2 for the PowerPC" version. These were never added to the Intel version of OS/2 (and probably never will be). Even though you can see the information in the online documentation, you won't find the settings in the settings notebook. A slight oversight I would guess....


Submitted by: George Fulk (fulkgl@austin.ibm.com)

Tip 13: Two misc WPS tips

  • 11/13/96: These two features have been in OS/2 since 2.0

If you want to be able to position your Desktop - e.g. during a presentation you need to have a titlebar. This is how you can get a titlebar on your Desktop:

  • call the Window list (Control Escape)
  • while pressing the Control key, double click with the LMB on the Desktop entry.

Now you will have a titlebar that will not go away until you restart the Desktop.

If you want to minimise your Desktop you need to use the same procedure, but now press the SHIFT key while double clicking. You can get your Desktop back by choosing the Desktop entry from the Window List again without pressing any keys.

Submitted by: Harold Horsman (Harold_Horsman@ibm.net)

  • 1/2/97: With Warp 4, or at least the WarpCenter, you can get the Desktop back to fullsize without rebooting. Simply open the WarpCenter properties and switch "Show only when mouse is over Center's position".

Submitted by: Peter Franken (peter@pool.informatik.rwth-aachen.de)

Tip 14: Warp 4 & RODENT.SYS

  • 1/2/97: Warp 4 and RODENT.SYS

The tablet/enhanced mouse driver by M. Finney was broken by the GA code of Merlin but i found a work-around. The symptoms i got was an error free driver load (including vmouse.sys), a mouse cursor on the first graphic mode screen but the mouse pointer was static ie it would not move. All that was required was to put a "basedev=reserve.sys /IO:3f8,8 /IRQ:4" as the first line of my config.sys. You will note that the values correspond to normal com1 as this is were my tablet is connected. By modifying the values to /IO:2f8,8 and /IRQ:3 this should work for com2. I dont know if the problem was present in the BETA code as i did not get a copy but it is present in the DEVCON version. I hope this will help someone because it had me looking very distainfully at a mechnical mouse for a few hours. This driver (called RODENT.SYS) supports all mice and quite a number of tablets and has better/faster/more flexable mouse support and support for more buttons.

Submitted by: Paul F. Grobler (relborg@ibm.net)

Tip 15: Scrolling text in non-active windows

  • 1/2/97: Text scrolling in a non-active window

I have found, working on the Australian Help Desk, that it is possible to scroll text in the window behind the foreground one (entering call text in retain window eg.) that by holding down the LEFT ctrl key the data can be scrolled without sending the active front window to the rear and having to pull it back to the front. This is very handy here and may be of use to others.

Submitted by: Kenneth Laurie IBM Australia (lenac0032@?????????)

Ctrl-Button and window-manipulation with non-active windows:

A double-click with LMB in the title bar of a window in the background maximizes that window (and vice versa) and puts it in the foreground. When you press the Ctrl-Button while double-clicking, the window stays in the background. In the same way, You can drag windows around with RMB without moving them in the foreground.

Submitted by: Sundermann-Michelsen (sundermann-michelsen@uni-tuebingen.de)

Tip 16: PCMCIA Support on NEC 2400, others

  • 2/3/97: Tip for pcmcia support on NEC 2400 Notebooks and others

If you are trying to get PCMCIA support on a notebook and all your pc cards are seen as memory, try the following: (put as the first line in the config.sys)

Basedev=reserve.sys /mem:ca00,2000

There is a problem in the algorithim used by resource manager and this allows pcmcia.sys to put itself in rom space. Use Rmview /mem to locate the area that pcmcia is in and force it to a different location. You may need to adjust the second value for machines other than the NEC Versa 2400. Thanks to Ed Tupple from the OS/2 DDK support team for helping to solve this..

Submitted by: Clark R. Tompsett (ctompset@MASTER.7cities.net)

Tip 17: Mouse Tricks

  • 2/3/97:Mousebutton Tap to copy/paste to/from clipboard.

The following appears to be system wide, from any text/graphic window so long as the application itself doesn't trap the mousebuttons for itself (Netscape, EPM etc but fair enough I guess!).

With left mousebutton, swipe text to highlight then tap right mousebutton. This copies selected text to the clipboard.

Position cursor with right mousebutton and tap left button. This pastes clipboard at cursor point.

System wide from editors to filename input fields to command line windows and command line prompts and, I've heard, to and from WinOS2 sessions (so sayeth a Usenet User who runs WinOS2).

Essentially a neat text copy/paste operation. Great for grabbing URLS, filenames, directories, paragraphs etc.

(You can use the left mousebutton to position the cursor and tap with the right mouse as you did for the copy, but input fields will, with the slightest movement from you, enter into 'overwrite' mode which will result in you copying to the clipboard again.)

So, left swipe right tap to copy... right point and left tap to paste.


Submitted by: Clive W. Humble (chumble@artin.glassnet.com)

Tip 18: WinOS2 Print Manager

  • 2/13/97: WINOS2 PrintMan fix

In Warp 3, WINOS2 Printman was easy to set for non-use, but in Warp4 he just keeps coming back up each time a WINOS2 session is opened. To fix his wagon good, just add the following line to the first section of System.ini in the WINOS2 subdirectory: MAVDMAPPS= By adding this line, Printman will be dormant.

Submitted by: Tom Nadeau (os2headquarters@greenheart.com)

Tip 19: SC-200 SCSI & AWE32 issue

  • 2/18/97: Problems with SC-200 SCSI Setup with an AWE32 Sound Card (PCI/PnP) Installed on ASUS P55TP4XEG MB (BIOS 2.02) With IBM OS/2 Warp 4.0

The Creative Labs PnP AWE32 demands IRQ 5, DMA1 & 5 at boot

The SC-200 SCSI Adapter also wants IRQ5. This results in sounds and MIDI files in OS/2 and WinOS2 being clipped, i.e., only the first part of the file(s) play.

Experimentation revealed that by setting the BIOS ROM to dedicate IRQ5, DMA 1 & DMA 5 as being used by ISA cures the problem.

The SC-200 then boots at IRQ 9, DMA 0.

Following this (or before) make sure you follow the AWE32 WinOS2 instructions provided in the OS/2 Information file...found as follows:

  • From WarpCenter click on the Information Icon
  • Open the Information
  • Open the Help Index
  • Open the SECOND Multimedia line
  • Double Click on the Book Icon in the right window
  • Double Click on the Using Multimedia line
  • Double Click on the Installing Multimedia line
  • Double Click on the Add Windows Audio Support? line
  • Go to the bottom of the page and Double Click on the Sound Blaster Awe 32 line
  • Follow the directions...Note: You do not need to edit the path to OS/2 if the SBWIN.INI is in the N:OS2\Drivers\SBAWED2 Folder (N: = the Drive Letter)...Just Open the SBWIN.INI file using the OS/2 Editor and select the SaveAs Function. Save the file to the OS2\MDOS\WinOS2 Folder.

Submitted by: Bill Easley (forensic@internorth.com)

Tip 20: WarpCenter, Drives and Icons

  • 2/18/97: Warp Center, Drives and Icons.....Oh My!

Here's another nifty trick I found. If you drag the individual Drive Icons from the Icon Window to the WarpCenter System tray (or make another) you can instantly open a tree view of any drive. I have set up numerous trays and its the best organization I have ever had. One click and Voila...the app or whatever is up and running.

You can also change the icons by editing them, saving them to a folder and then dragging the new icon to the app's folder.

Submitted by: Bill Easley (forensic@internorth.com)

Tip 21: Warp 4 Cache expert advice

  • 3/20/97: Warp 4 Cache info direct from "Mr HPFS" Doug Azzarito of IBM - Austin

Doug: CACHE.EXE shouldn't be used in CONFIG.SYS, it should be put in STARTUP.CMD. If you type CACHE ? you will see:

The specified option, ?, is incorrect.
Correct usage: cache [OPTIONS]
where OPTIONS is one or more of:
-DISKIDLE:n         Sets disk-idle time before write to n milliseconds.
-MAXAGE:n           Sets maximum age of cache buffer to n milliseconds.
-BUFFERIDLE:n       Sets buffer idle time to n milliseconds.
-Lazy:ON|OFF|n      Turns lazy writing on, off or set to 'n' lazy writers.
-READAHEAD:ON|OFF|n Turns read ahead on, off or set to 'n' read ahead workers.

The new parameters are LAZY:n (in Warp 3 it only allowed ON & OFF) and -READAHEAD. The -n in READAHEAD isn't used, but will accept 0 or 1, and turn that into an ON or OFF.

Ron: Do you know of the /DirtyMax and /WriteCache switches?

Doug: They're not very useful - I use them in testing only. The DIRTYMAX switch sets a maximum number of dirty buffers - if this limit is reached, the lazy-writer wakes up and cleans up the cache. It is set at 80% of the cache. WRITECACHE is a parameter that sets the maximum size of a WRITE that will be put in cache. It is set to the maximum size of a write operation (64K).

Submitted by: Ron Micklin (Ron_Micklin_at_CorpSoftDallasHD@stream.com)

Tip 22: WarpCenter and Bootup Wierdness

  • 3/25/97: WarpCenter and bootup weirdness

If you find your system hanging while the Desktop is being built after a restart/boot, try removing ",WARPCENTER" from the AUTOSTART= line in your config.sys. Instead, drag and drop a shadow of the WarpCenter icon (located in the OS/2 System folder) into the Startup folder. The effect of this is to cause the WarpCenter to be built after the Desktop is built and not before.

I start several "background" tasks from the Startup folder each time I boot the system, and found the system was frequently hanging on a blank screen. Finally I did a little research and found that the WarpCenter was being built at the same time the Desktop (and background programs) were started and that it takes a quite awhile to finish. The simple change described above completely eliminated my problem.

Submitted by: Walter F Metcalf (wfmetcalf@golden.net)

Tip 23: JPEG background images

  • 5/6/97: JPEG background images

I have these tips for you, I found out they worked on OS/2 Warp 4.0, but haven't test them on earlier version (3.0, 2.x)

If you want to change the background you can drag and drop an image file on the preview on the background page in the properties notebook.

You can use JPEG files as background image instead of BMP files. I think you can use every format OS/2 Warp 4.0 knows (can show), but I haven't test it with other formats than JPEG.

Submitted by: David J. van Enckevort (enckevor@dds.nl)

Tip 24: Adobe Photoshop v3 under Warp (with Win32s v1.25)

  • 5/7/97: Adobe Photoshop v3 under Warp (with Win32s v1.25)

I have not met anyone that uses OS/2 Warp that could get PhotoShop3.0 to run under a winos/2 session. Also I read on some site (IBM's I think) that PhotoShop3.0 was one of two tested programs that would NOT work under WinOS/2's Win32s system. But while trying to beat the system I noticed that Photoshop installed a newer (and unsupported) version of win32s. I reinstalled win32s v1.25a (the setup program won't let you do this... you must first edit your win32.ini to read "setup=0") and created a separate windowed winos/2 session of PhotoShop3.0 and it worked. All filters and saving options work correctly, I haven't run into any problems. I hope this can help all 15million OS/2 users out there.

NOTE: OS/2 Does NOT come with Win32s v1.25 support, you will need to get the installer (make sure it is for 1.25 also, newer versions don't work).

NOTE 2: The installer is available here.

Submitted by: Michael Langston (malisp@ibm.net)

Warp 4 Beta Tips

Tip 1: Rolling PM windows to a titlebar

  • 10/6/96: Roll up your PM windows to just a titlebar. Add the following line of text to your CONFIG.SYS.

Once you have added this, shutdown and rebooted, you can "minimize" the window by hitting the new "rollup button". Note: Most window-within-window applications seems to dislike this feature. Try it and see what works for you!

  • 10/8/96: We've been told that this doesn't work with the final release of OS/2 Warp v4 (it worked in the beta). So, it may not work for you. If you get it working, let us know!
  • 11/5/96: (from Mike Bennett mbenet@ibm.net) "It works for me!"

Tip 2: Default Numlock setting

  • 10/21/96: Turn the Numlock ON or OFF by default (your choice). Edit CONFIG.SYS as below.

Turns the NUM LOCK on (/NUMOFF turns it off).

Submitted by: muchsel@acm.org (Robert)

  • 11/5/96: Although IBMKBD.SYS will take the parameters /NUMON and /NUMOFF the supporting code to implement the functionality is not in the GA release of Warp V4. My source for this is Sam Detweiler, one of the device driver gurus from IBM.

Submitted by: Trevor-Hemsley@dial.pipex.com (Trevor Hemsley)