OS/2 ver 2.0 Installation

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May 10 1992

By Aaron Roll 416-395-0085

A week ago I purchased from a retailer, a copy of OS/2 Ver. 2.0 Upgrade. First of all I was reading the documentation ( which is very dull and confused) specifically the "installation guide". I was reading the manual a few times more and realized that no help is coming from this stuff ( my profession is Computer Systems Analyst and serves as consultant for companies at Toronto area) and decided to install the OS on my computer in the way of trial and error. In the Prefix I would like to say that I do not familiar with the full version of IBM OS/2 Ver 2.0 and may be things are different there, but our issue her is the upgrade version (DOS to OS/2).

I would like to add that I was and I am a true believer of the full 32 Bit OS for IBM and compatible computers as a definite replacement for DOS OS. I do not like to tell you about the frustration I had trying to figure out how to make the job done ( it takes long long evenings to decide which is the right way to install OS/2 2.0 Upgrade) and instead to jump right away to the process itself.

 My computer is IBM comp. 386/33, 5 Mb basic and extended memory, 124 Mb

Hard drive, 1- 1.44 Mb 3.5 A: Floppy, 1-1.2 Mb 5.25 B: Floppy, UVGA card and monitor, Running DOS 5.0. I decided to choose this configuration for my OS/2 - DOS environment: C: drive as OS/2 partition, D: drive as primary DOS partition E: drive as extended DOS partition. the reason for that will be clearer in the following paragraphs, it is extremely important to have this three main partitions installed. Before proceeding, Make 3.5 1.44 Mb diskette bootable with DOS 5.0 ( FORMAT A: /S) and copy to this diskette all the important DOS commands (like FDISK, FORMAT, SYS and so on.

I am assuming that the reader familiar with DOS operations and particularly the usage of FDISK , FORMAT and SYS commands. Just to mention: A) by FDISK delete any partition (after backing up every peace of important program and data ) on the hard drive. B) create the desired partitions. C) reboot ( from A: drive with bootable diskette, that you prepared ahead of time ) . D) format the partitions (C: with FORMAT c: /s and D:, E: with FORMAT d: /s, FORMAT e:).

I partitioned the hard drive and formatted it as follow: C: drive 50 Mb primary DOS partition and DOS OS installed. D: drive 14 Mb extended DOS partition and (yes,yes !!) DOS OS installed. E: drive 60 Mb extended DOS partition.

OS/2 installation Page 2

The reason for another DOS OS on drive D: is that the OS/2 Upgrade must have DOS OS installed when it start the installation process and that fine to have it on C: drive. Unfortunately the process of OS/2 installation needs to partition the hard drive again if you want OS/2 Boot Manager and HPFS (High Performance OS/2 partition) to be installed. Assuming you did that, you have to reboot the computer and start the process again, but OOPS !! the DOS OS deleted by the OS/2 partition and therefor can not come up again unless you have another DOS OS on D: drive, installed by you ahead of time, as I mention above.

After all these preparations, now comes ( at last) the time for installing OS/2 2.0 Upgrade on your machine.

With OS/2 installation diskette in drive A: (it must be A:- another preparation that you might do prior to install OS/2 Upgrade), reboot the computer (you might get a note on your screen during that process that the program's trial to write to drive A: failed, if that the case choose "return error to program" and proceed. The program will prompt you for disk # 1 and after short time and a few welcome screens you will get to the choice screen where you choose option # 2 "format the hard drive" . ( You can choose "proceed installation on drive C:" but then you do not have the choice of booting OS/2 or DOS, you have only on choice  : OS/2 boot and that it, period). I choose the options as follow:(it is important to follow precisely)


startable primary boot manager 1

OS/2 bootable C: primary FAT 48 DOS bootable D: primary FAT 14

none E: logical FAT 60

the above represent logical order (my logic) and can be changed. You can put DOS on C: and OS/2 on D: if you prefer. You can choose the default OS that will come up first at regular bootup although it is not so important, Boot Manager gives you the option to choose which operating system will come first at the initial screen during regular bootup process.

After choosing the configuration, SAVE and reboot.( remember  ?? "Install disk " in A:). after inserting disk # 1 you are coming to the same point you left 5 minutes ago. This time during disk # 2's reading, you come to a screen gives you the option to proceed or to format the disk ( for HPFS or regular FAT). I prefer naturally the HPFS and choose that option. the program preparing the disk accordingly and proceed afterwards with the installation process, namely: up to disk # 5 the OS OS/2, rebooting again and proceeding with choices for file system and disk # 6 to # 15 plus printers device driver at the end of the installation.

OS/2 installation page 3

as soon as the OS/2 system comes up at the end of the installation process I recommends to clear the screen off by clicking on the small icon/sign at the upper left hand side of the windows ( do not use the tutorial as recommended by IBM you can come to that later on ). Push the right hand mouse's button and choose Shut down line form the pop up menu, choose O.K. wait for verification and reboot your computer, this time no disk in drive A:. After POST ended Boot manager will come up with its menu, highlight " OS/2 " choice and >ENTER<. Now you can get the tutorial/documentation/help etc.

But wait a little bit more, before going documentation, activate PMFDISK command ( open the OS/2 icon double click on setup icon double click on Migrate icon and perform migration for OS/2 programs ( particularly PMFDISK) as of the documentation and on line help. After finishing that double click on Additional OS/2 program and activate PMFDISK program. The hard drive setup appears on the screen as the follow:


startable primary boot manager 1

OS/2 bootable c: primary HPFS 48 DOS bootable primary FAT 14

none d: logical FAT 60

Pay to your attention that this new arrangement ( of c:; d: drives) have been done automatically by OS/2 and the reason is : OS/2 and DOS are using both the same name for the first drive e.g. C: drive !!!

Now Shut Down OS/2 again at the proper way, reboot the computer with the bootable DOS diskette, activate FDISK and first: FORMAT c: /s ( yes c: drive, this time under DOS is deferent drive than c: drive under OS/2. after making c: drive DOS bootable , FORMAT d: and reboot the computer again, this time Boot Manager menu comes up giving you the choice DOS or OS/2 , highlight the DOS option and boot by DOS just to make sure that every thing work properly. Install DOS sub directory on c: drive and windows on d: drive together with all windows application.

The reason for small ( DOS ) C: drive and large D: drive comes from the fact that OS/2 as well as DOS are using primary drive C: therefor OS/2 is not able to "see" DOS C:, it is reading its own C: drive and DOS D: drive only, so concern OS/2 , DOS C: drive is just a "waist". On the other hand DOS does not " care " where Windows resided.

OS/2 installation page 4

Some prefix and conclusions Intentionally I installed OS/2 2.0 side by side with DOS/WINDOWS 3.1 on the same computer and the same hard drive that was partitioned accordingly, I wanted to compare the two operating systems by myself and not to get second hand impression. When I purchased OS/2, my initial intention was to replace Windows-DOS base with something that destined to replace DOS and UNIX (which I definitely dislike) in the near future, well , to tell the truth I was disappointed !!!

OS/2 is UNSTABLE environment, a short time ( 5 to 15 minutes ) after you are trying to adjust something , anything , with the operating system, everything friezes up without any apparent reason and you have to boot up again. It seems that IBM programmers learn nothing from the educational experience of Windows 3.0 and its UAE (Unrecoverable Application Error ) , how comes ?? Windows 3.0 launched 2 years ago !! in our terms it is almost a computer generation that passed by.

Maybe the program runs well on IBM native computers, I must presume so, otherwise it does not make any sense to throw this program to the market ( and consider the development and advertisement campaign's costs ! ) But lets talk serious, how many of us are using IBM native computers  ?? ( except government departments that there resources seems to be surprisingly endless) , the answer is obvious, Just a few. From a lot of sources I hear about the same problem, namely  : the computer (IBM compatible) hangs up frequently.

 I  suspect the device drivers supplied by IBM to be the reason for  all

that and specifically the drivers that managing the relations between the operating system and the computer's BIOSs/ hard drive controllers( of all variety and types). You would expect IBM company to address that problem prior to marketing the program right ? well, wrong as mention before.

The guys there just did not check up the right types and amounts of IBM CLONES ( it seems that the IBM guys do not like to think about such androgynous) and did not developed bullet proof program.

The documentation for the OS/2 2.0 Upgrade is POOR , confused and lake of basic items to explain and direct the user of the installation steps aside of totally misleading of installation's directions ( at the other hand the on line's context sensitive and the general help is excellent !).

OS/2 installation page 5

The boot up process is painfully slow , just imagine 10 hang ups a day ( YES !! that the reality ) and you have got about an hour a day dealing up with boot ups processes. The program is not intuitive to my taste. for example I was up and running with Windows 3.0 in no time without any need at all for documentation or on line help, not to mention Windows 3.1, OS/2 2.0 is a concept's relative of Windows Namely : Object oriented OS, but the case is not the case when its come to ease of use and being intuitive, you must use the documentation frequently ( sometime a very frustrated process ).

Who Said : " DOS better then DOS and WINDOWS better then WINDOWS "?? you know who !! . Sorry guys I am not convinced !! Try WINDOWS 3.1 and see , you just can not compare the two programs, WINDOWS 3.1 toping OS/2 2.0 by two to three levels ( that not the right article to count the precise differences ).

All in all I think Microsoft guys were and are listening to our (customers) problems and desires much better then IBM guys and more important : implementing most of them. IBM company on the other hand improved a lot , its not enough but in the right direction ( after all it is very difficult for that giant to change direction after so many years they ignored us completely).

OS/2 ver. 2.0 is very Powerful OS , I do not have any doubt about it , may be we have to wait for ver 2.1 to get things done properly like we had it with Windows 3.1. OS/2 is not for novices, you have to know what you are doing when installing and operating it.

I am supporting some opinions saying that the combination of OS/2 for file server and Windows for end user, might be a good combination in the future provided WINDOWS NT is not going to top OS/2 like WINDOWS 3.1 is doing to OS/2 in the present.

This document belong to the FREEWARE concept you can use it in any forum and form you like provided you did not change any thing in its content. Although I believe the above installation process is bullet proof for every body ( about 20 time of repeatedly installations and tenth of hours I spent learning the program, are backing up this statement) I cannot assure success for every body, do it on your own risk( nothing much of it here any way).

Aaron Roll 6091 Bathurst St. # 308 Willowdale, Ontario M2R-1Z3 Tel : 416-395-0085