OS/2 eZine

16 May 2000

Richard R. Klemmer has been using OS/2 since 1995. He currently works as a programmer for the Department of Agriculture. In his spare time he works for WebTrek L.L.C, an internet consulting company.

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Putting OS/2 on an IBM Aptiva E Series 245

Recently, my main OS/2 system started falling apart. The CPU fan stopped for an indeterminate amount of time and semi-fried the motherboard and some of the components in my system. Since I needed to upgrade the "family" system to a more powerful machine, I decided to take the current "family" system and stick the drive with OS/2 on it into that box.

This wasn't as easy as it sounded. First, for a little background, my previous OS/2 system had a Cyrix MII 300 CPU, two 2.7G hard drives, an eight speed CD-ROM, SoundBlaster 16 sound card, S3 Trio64 display adapter and a few other peripherals. The sound card worked some of the time and at other times just issued loud static. The video card only worked under the Generic GRADD drivers for some reason. I couldn't use the floppy drive at all. And these were just a few of the problems that I had. The drives were configured to have Windows 95 on the first primary partition of the master drive and OS/2 on the first primary partition on the slave drive. This made Windows 95 C: and OS/2 D:. I also have a Canon BJC-2000 bubblejet printer/scanner. The printer works under OS/2, but the scanner does not

The new system is an Aptiva E 245. It has an AMD K6-2 450 processor, SiS 530 onboard display adapter, ESS Solo-1 onboard sound, and one 8G hard drive that had Windows 98 installed on one large partition.

The first thing I had to do was install Boot Manager. I considered wiping out the Windows 98 partition, but there were a number of applications installed on it that would be nice to keep.

In order to free up room on the 8G drive for Boot Manager, I needed to use Partition Magic (PM) to shrink the Windows 98 partition. I already owned a copy of PM 3.0, however it would not properly read the drive. The Powerquest site states that PM 3.0 does not work on any drive larger than 8G. Mine was 8.4G. I purchased the upgrade to version 5.0, shrunk the Windows 98 partition down to 3G and installed Boot Manager. Up until now I hadn't upgraded PM because Powerquest no longer provides a native OS/2 executable. Since there aren't really any alternatives, I didn't have much choice but to upgrade. In any event, the DOS executable worked fine.

Next, I physically removed my OS/2 drive from my old computer and installed it in the new one. I then tried booting into OS/2. It didn't work. It stopped soon after the boot with a message stating something like "OS/2 was unable to read your hard drive, please fix the preceding error and try again." I expected something like this. Since OS/2 cannot read a Windows 98 FAT32 partition, the boot process assigned C to the OS/2 drive. Since OS/2 was installed on D, it wouldn't boot. The solution was to get Henk Kelder's FAT32 IFS driver.

Assigning a FAT32 partition logically before an OS/2 partition is a little trickier than just installing the FAT32 driver. This is where PARTFILT.FLT gets involved. PARTFILT.FLT is a BASEDEV filter device that is able to present partition types that are normally unsupported in OS/2 in such a way that IFS's can be loaded on these partitions. This driver is distributed with the FAT32.IFS driver. Since OS/2 scans the partitions twice during the boot process and the FAT32 PARTFILT drivers only affect the second scan, I needed to "trick" OS/2 into thinking there is a partition before my main OS/2 partition on the first scan. To do this, I created a small HPFS partition on the first physical drive right after the Windows 98 partition.

On the first scan, this partition is assigned C and my OS/2 partition is assigned D. Next, I used PARTFILT to hide the small HPFS partition and assign C to the Windows 98 partition. The documentation that came with the FAT32 driver was very helpful. I won't go into all the details here, but by following the instructions I was able to get my OS/2 system to boot and read the Windows 98 partition.

The next task I needed to accomplish was to install the proper drivers for my new system. Since I was currently using the IBM GRADD video drivers, these worked on the new system without a problem. I decided to try the Scitech Display Doctor drivers. The Special Edition released by IBM worked without a hitch, but I have not yet been able to get the Beta of the commercial version to work.

I then installed the drivers for my network card. This is a D-Link DE 220 ISA card. D-Link had OS/2 drivers on their Web Site, so this was another easy task. I'm using the same IP address, so I didn't even have to mess with the TCP/IP configuration.

Then came the sound card. As I said, this system came with an onboard ESS Solo-1 chip. Some time in the past ESS must have developed OS/2 drivers for this card. On Hobbes I found version 1.4. On Leo (ftp.leo.org) I found version 1.7 which I grabbed. After running the setup program, I removed all references to my old SoundBlaster 16 from the CONFIG.SYS file. The system booted up without any errors, but there was no sound. After a quick search of the comp.os.os2.multimedia newsgroup on Deja.com, I found that I needed to manually edit the MMPM2.INI file and remove all references to the SoundBlaster card there as well. This was a little tricky, but after a few tries I was able to get sound properly working under my OS/2 system for the first time in over a year and a half. The program MM Check that is part of Theta Band Software's MMPACK was instrumental in getting my MMPM2.INI file in order.

The only other driver I installed were the Danis506 replacement drivers for the IBM1S506 IDE driver which provide busmastering support for the SiS EIDE chipset.

The one problem that remains is that I am unable to create any additional partitions on the first hard drive. I've got almost 5G of free space, but whenever I try to create an extended/logical partition, OS/2 refuses to boot, even though I make the appropriate adjustments to the PARTFILT filter driver. I hope to have this worked out eventually.

Provided below is a list of resources for the drivers, etc. that I used to get this system up and running.

Partition Magic 5.0: http://www.powerquest.com

Henk Kelder's FAT32 IFS drivers: http://www.os2ss.com/information/kelder/

ESS Solo-1 drivers:

Leo - ftp://ftp.leo.org/pub/comp/os/os2/leo/drivers/sound/o2ensl17.zip

Hobbes - ftp://hobbes.nmsu.edu/pub/os2/system/drivers/sound/o2ensl14.zip

SDD/2: SciTech Web Site - http://www.scitechsoft.com/

IBM Special Edition ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/ps/products/os2/os2ddpak/sddse701.zip

Daniela Engert's IDE driver:

D-Link DE-220 drivers: ftp://ftp.dlink.com/adapters/de220/info.htm

MM Pack - http://www.thetaband.com