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Welcome back to "Answers from e-Zine!, your source for answers to all your OS/2 questions! Each month we bring you tips, tricks, questions and answers from our readers and contributors. If you've got a question or tip you would like to share with us, send it in!

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Q -- I have an Aptiva running Warp 4 in which I have installed two hard drives running HPFS. I am seeking a method whereby critical data can be automatically backed up on the other hard drive to reduce the frequency of making offline backups.

1. Is it possible to instruct the OS/2 file I/O routines directly to do this so that a second copy can be stored in "real time"?

2. If not, is there a way to intercept Shutdown to run an executable that can automatically copy important files from disk to disk before Shutdown completes?

A -- While it isn't possible to do the first (without going with a true RAID setup), the second option is simple to do even without any special software. The simplest solution is to create a SHUTDOWN.CMD file which performs whatever tasks you'd like it to and then shuts down the machine. The following is an example:

COPY C:\MYDIR\MYFILE.ext D:\SAVEFILE
COPY C:\MYDIR\MYFILE1.ext D:\SAVEFILE1
C:\OS2\INSTALL\SHUTDOWN.exe
EXIT

Make a program object for this .CMD file and use it to shut down your machine.


- Richard Jacox

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Q -- It seems that since OS/2 Warp 3 there has been a "Locked Files" device driver which can be used to replace files which are normally in use while OS/2 is running (DLLs etc).

How do you use this "Locked Files" device driver and cause a file to be replaced? Ideally I would like to be able to use it via a Rexx program.

A -- The "Locked Files" device driver is a driver called IBMCSFLK.SYS and it works in conjunction with a program called IBMCSFLK.EXE. The lines in the config.sys should look something like this:

DEVICE=x:\OS2\INSTALL\IBMCSFLK.SYS x:\OS2\INSTALL\IBMCSFLK.LST
CALL=x:\OS2\INSTALL\IBMCSFLK.EXE x:\OS2\INSTALL\IBMCSFLK.LST

IBMCSFLK.LST is a file that contains the files to be replaced, and of course can have a different name. Within the file you would use a list of commands such as (samples from a FixPak install):

OS2 Corrective Service XR_M003
8-24-1997 15:24:18
MOVE I:\IBMCSFLK\FIX\OS2KRNL.___ E:\OS2KRNL
RESET
RMTREE I:\IBMCSFLK
It's a simple format. The first two lines identify the update, the rest are commands: COPY, MOVE, REN, DEL, RESET, MKDIR, RMDIR, RMTREE.

- OS/2 e-Zine! Answer Crew

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Q -- I have a NEC 6x4 CD-ROM drive, with 4 drive slots. I want to assign them letters W,X,Y,Z so that they do not interfere with any additional hard drives I may install. How can I do this?

A -- In Warp 4 you can reserve drive letters in the Properties notebook of the Drives object. In Warp 3 (if you have one of the later FixPaks installed), in CONFIG.SYS enter:

RESERVEDRIVELETTER=V
By reserving the letter V you cause the first CD-ROM to become drive W:

- Richard Jacox

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Q -- After upgrading from OS/2 Warp 3.0 (FixPak 26) to Warp 4, EPM 6.03 no longer works as desired. I get an error message stating that EPM.EX is no longer valid. I have applied Warp 4 FixPak 1 and reinstalled EPM6 with no luck. Any ideas on what could be causing this?

A -- Assuming this is the downloadable updated version of EPM, make sure that:

EPMPATH is a path-like environment variable; if OpenDoc is enabled, it should list the EPM directory first, then the OpenDoc bin directory. Remove ?:\OS2\APPS from it and replace with the new directory.

If this doesn't work, open an OS/2 Window, change to the EPM directory and run "ETPM EPM.E".


- Brandon S. Allbery

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This question gets the award for being repeated by the most readers.

Q -- Is there any way to make the Precision LS-120 Internal drive work with Warp 4?

A -- IBM actually wrote up a tech note to say that no, they don't support it:

http://service2.boulder.ibm.com/pspsdocs/7846_30e.html
- Brandon S. Allbery

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Tip -- If you receive a gratuitous amount of unsolicited e-mail (AKA: SPAM), you may consider setting up a SPAM filter. Most SPAM doesn't have your e-mail address in the "To:" address, so you can trash most e-mail that comes in not addressed to you and eliminate a significant number of these annoying e-mails. In PMMail you can set up an "Advanced Filter" for incoming e-mail that looks like this:

!((h.to="yourid@")|(h.cc="yourid@"))
and sends all unwanted messages to your trash folder. You may or may not want to mark these messages as "read" in the filter.

Take care, however. Most mailing lists (like the WarpCast News Service) don't contain your e-mail address in the "To:" address either. In order to avoid trashing all of your mailing list messages, set up another filter for each them and make sure that the SPAM filter is the last one in the list.


- OS/2 e-Zine! Staff

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Correction? -- After last month's mention that ATAPI Zip drives wouldn't work in OS/2, we got a flood of e-mail from people who were successfully using their Zip drives under OS/2 using the NEWDASD drivers. Some have said to not set up the BIOS to recognize the ATAPI Zip drive and others have said to do so.

We also have an e-mail from IBM support saying:

We don't have any driver support for ATAPI disk devices. Only ATAPI CD-ROM is supported so far.

We know about this, and may have a solution by end of year.

Your mileage may vary. It probably isn't advisable to purchase a new ATAPI Zip drive with the intention of using it under OS/2. If you've already purchased one, experimenting with the NEWDASD drivers may be worth your time though.


- OS/2 e-Zine! Staff

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That's it for this month. If you have a tip or question that you don't see covered here, don't forget to send it in!


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