VOGONS


Proposed OS/2 Build

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First post, by canthearu

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I was reading a thread by appiah4 (The Budget 1997 OS/2 Warp PC) where he was creating an OS/2 based system.

I was always a bit unimpressed by OS/2 whenever I tried it when I was younger. However, I also freely admit that I have never really gave OS/2 a good chance to shine on the hardware I had as the time.

So to that end, I propose to assemble a pretty butt kicking OS/2 system, outfitted with hardware suiting it. Then install OS/2 Warp 4 on it and really give it a good workout.

Hardware I intend to use:
Asus P2B-D2 Dual Socket Slot 1 Motherboard
2 x Pentium 2 - 450mhz
512meg RAM
250GB WD IDE Hard drive
Matrox G400 AGP Video card
ESS1689 ISA Sound Card.
Generic Realtek 8139 network card.
IDE DVD-ROM drive (i'll just grab a random one from the pile)
3.5inch Floppy Drive (again, pile of, grab one that works)

I'll try and post some photos once made. Anyone have any suggestions for my hardware choices before I start assembly in the next day or two!

This is all hardware I have in storage. Easy to assem

Reply 1 of 26, by RacoonRider

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Just yesterday I toyed with OS/2 Warp 3 on a 486. I needed to reconfigure AWE32 since I introduced the GUS to the system. First I tried to edit the settings through GUI, expecting the OS/2 to do its dark magic and edit config.sys for me. No go. The rest of the dialogue between system and user was the following:

- Okay, I'll edit config.sys manually. Here are the resources that work in DOS, please, give me some sound?
- Nope.
- Okay, I'll just uninstall the driver, right?
- Wrong, I'll still have it on next boot.
- Okay, let's ditch multimedia support altogether!
- TRAP 003. Please contact youre service representative.
- Are you kidding me?!

The system is sure fun to mess with, yet often unpredictable and a pain to run. Compared to contemporary Windows it often feels so thought-through, beautiful, advanced and professionally designed. But Windows just works.

Go on, you'll have lots of fun with OS/2, I'm sure. Just don't give up too quickly, OK?

Reply 2 of 26, by canthearu

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Time for parts photos:

motherboard.JPG
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First of all, the P2B-DS motherboard. Capacitors look perfect still, so not going to mess with it at this time.

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Two 400mhz Pentium II processors (with ECC support). Thought they were 450's, but nope, just the 400mhz.

memory.JPG
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The memory I was going to originally use, 3 x 128meg, but a 256meg single sided DIMM snuck in there. I swapped the third memory chip for a 256meg double sided DIMM, so total memory is now 640meg.

Matrox G400.JPG
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The 32meg matrox G400, what I consider the pinnacle of Matrox Graphics card development. Combining virtually perfect VGA output quality with an extremely fast 2D graphics engine, I can't imagine a better card for a retro OS/2 system.

ess1869.JPG
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From what I understand, sound card manufacturers never did anything special for OS/2 in regards for sound drivers. So might as well go with something basic, that would be reasonably well supported, that produces OK quality sound as long as you don't enable the onboard amplifier.

More photos next post.

Reply 3 of 26, by canthearu

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More photos:

netgear fx310.JPG
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Netgear FX310 100/10 Network card. No idea if this will work in OS/2, but will give it a shot. If it doesn't I'll have to raid one of my other builds and get something a bit less esoteric.

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Everyone needs a Floppy drive. Will probably be instrumental to getting OS/2 to install. Panasonic drive, pretty modern. Hopefully I don't have to tear it down to get it to work.

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Ricoh MP5125A DVD+RW drive. Tray opens easy, reads disks. Perfect given it's age.

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These are great IDE drives. Large, fast and quiet with their fluid bearings. I could use a quantum fireball instead, but my ears would bleed too much.

Truepower 2.0.JPG
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To power it all, an Antec Truepower 2.0. Completely recapped, so running as it's original design intended, before the beancounters got to it and populated it with the worst Capacitors to ever grace a PSU.

Part way through the build, will show a couple photos now I have the basic system installed and running a memtest.

Reply 4 of 26, by canthearu

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Starting assembly

mb in case.JPG
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Motherboard/memory and RAM in case

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Make sure it works before I stuff too much stuff in the case and it becomes to difficult to work in the case.

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Memory test running!

Reply 6 of 26, by canthearu

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Ok, Insides were fully built

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Everything fits, just!

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Testing with a Windows 98 install that was already on the hard disk. Everything worked including sound.

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OS/2 Install went ok for the base install.

Reply 7 of 26, by canthearu

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And I almost immediately break it!

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Tried to install the ESS1869 driver, crashes on startup.

Also just tried the built-in ESS1868 driver, no dice. At least the system doesn't hardlock now 😀.

Going to have a little think about which card I use instead.

Reply 8 of 26, by RacoonRider

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... and so the fun begins 😁

I have had good experience with Terratec 16/96 Gold, it's a 1868F-based sound card, you could try Terratec drivers. It might work.
http://vogonsdrivers.com/getfile.php?fileid=661&menustate=0

Alternatively, you could try this driver:
http://vogonsdrivers.com/getfile.php?fileid=6 … menustate=46,36

P.S. Gratz on the beautiful hardware!

Reply 9 of 26, by canthearu

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My progress has stalled yet again.

Regarding the sound card, I decided that I probably won't be getting the ESS card working properly, and it would be easiest just to use something with builtin drivers:

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A Pretty decent sound blaster 16 PNP. Huge shame about CQM rather than OPL3, but otherwise pretty clean output for a SB16 card and built in OS/2 drivers.

This sound card worked perfectly fine after a reinstall of OS/2.

Next was the network card, I used nicpak to work out my card is close enough to a Linksys LNE100TX Fast Ethernet Adapter to use that driver. Driver worked fine!

Regarding video card, this is where my progress has gotten stuck again. I've tried to install the Matrox G400 a few times now, with different driver versions and ways. All have resulted in a locked computer with a flashing text cursor on bootup. So far, I've only been successful using a S3 Trio3d V2 card, but it's performance under OS/2 is fairly woeful.

Anyone got any suggestions for the Matrox G400. Tempted to just put a G200 card in and use the builtin drivers.

Reply 10 of 26, by appiah4

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Have you tried the SciTech SNAP video drivers? And if you have, have you patched OS/2 Warp 3 to Fixpak 35 before you did that, because that is a prequisite? (Fixpak 5 for Warp 4).

As for sound, the best sound driver support for OS/2 came from Crystal. Those CS4232/36/37 cards are pretty good for OS/2.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 12 of 26, by canthearu

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soviet conscript wrote on 2020-01-27, 23:20:

Does OS/2 support SMP processing (two CPU's)? I thought it did not except for some obscure server version of OS/2.

It should be as standard feature IMO, but it would totally not surprise me if it didn't. Would be completely in IBM's capability to make OS/2 even less appealing by locking off features unless you threw copious amounts of money at them.

I'll test once I install the fixpacks and try to get the G400 driver working again.

Edit: I should clarify that many people look at OS/2 as being the operating system from the "good" guys and that somehow makes it's shortcomings less important. I disagree, IBM are not the good guys, never were. Just because Microsoft was a kind nasty, ruthless and manipulative company, doesn't mean IBM were any better. If OS/2 was the OS that won the war, then IBM would have jacked the price, and tried to use it to leverage their own proprietary computers, like PS/2 systems and later the PowerPC line.

Reply 15 of 26, by appiah4

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It can be added to all Warp 4 installs.

https://www.os2world.com/wiki/index.php/How_t … pport_to_Warp_4

Because I don't have a SMP system I didn't test the following myself. […]
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Because I don't have a SMP system I didn't test the following myself.

Install a Warp 4 system with fixpak 15 (build 14.062).
Get the following files from WSeB fixpak 2: OS2LDR, OS2KRNL, DOSCALL1.DLL (unpack the files LDRSMP.___, DCALLSMP.___ and KRNLSMP.___ from FIX\OS2.3 using unpack2.exe)
Get OS2APIC.PSD from WSeb Fixpak 2 (unpack FIX\OS2.1\OS2APIC.PS_)
Get the following file from WSeB (eCS, MCP, ACP?): PMDD.SYS download
Replace the original OS2KRNL, OS2LDR, and DOSCALL1.DLL with the SMP version of these files
Copy OS2APIC.PSD to \OS2\BOOT of the Warp 4 system
Replace \OS2\BOOT\PMDD.SYS with the WSeB version of the file
Append PSD=OS2APIC.PSD as first line to the Warp 4 CONFIG.SYS
Reboot the system and enjoy!

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 18 of 26, by FluffyBunnyFeet

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appiah4 wrote on 2020-01-28, 09:24:

It can be added to all Warp 4 installs.

https://www.os2world.com/wiki/index.php/How_t … pport_to_Warp_4

it does work. i have os/2 warp 4.52 running on a dual pentium 233 and os/2 sees both processors. also, this site has good info on os/2 hardware compatibility.

Reply 19 of 26, by NJRoadfan

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OS/2 supports SMP with an add-on. Personally if you can find it, OS/2 Warp MCP2 (4.52) or eComStation have better hardware support. SciTech SNAP is included for video as well. Things are wonky with circa 1998 hardware despite Warp 4 being from 1996. The whole OS is kinda stuck in that same viva la 1993 like NT4 was in terms of hardware and underpinnings (maybe worse as 2.x era stuff is still around!).