There has been an apparent resurgence in experimenting with older OS/2 operating systems. The proliferation of virtual machines on powerful hardware is just one of the reasons for people to bring into their modern computing environments older but cool systems like OS/2 2.X and OS/2 Warp 3.
Evidently, there are those persons who also have acquired an older machine --either laptop, desktop, and or server-- and desire to install OS/2 into that hardware. Perhaps that OS/2 based legacy system has just ended its life and you need to continue to support that OS/2 specific application in your enterprise --as we at Metztli Information Technology sometimes get summoned to do.
Whatever the reason, after you successfully install your OS/2 Warp 3 into your virtual or physical system, you will want to install a video driver for an appropriate resolution in your OS/2 environment.
IMPORTANT PREREQUISITES FOR OS/2 WARP 3.
Your OS/2 Warp 3 should have at least the publicly available FixPack 35 appied before the heterogeneous video controller driver is applied.
The second most important requirement is to have selected the VGA video option during your OS/2 installation. That will make it easier for the application of your video driver that we will download from the Hobbes OS/2 repository. Your specific video card is likely to function at higher resolutions with either of these two Gradd video device drivers: GRADD97.ZIP or IBMSDD704.ZIP. Please read the files README.TXT that you can locate under the directory representing your language. As an example, if your language is English, the directory for the instructions will be EN; if you language is Spanish, the directory will be ES. Below is an example of the relevant installation intructions for the IBMSDD704 and GRADD97 --in that order:
By referencing the above snapshot of my OS/2 Elvis editor showing relevant sections of each of the README.TXT files referenced, please note that IBMSDD704 has only three(3) possible arguments (GEN, SDD, VGA) to provide the SETUP.CMD installation routine; whereas GRADD97 SETUP.CMD has considerably more.
SO WE PREPARE FOR THE VIDEO DRIVER INSTALLATION.
Open and OS/2 window command prompt --if you have not already done that. Again, we will be using the file PKZIP.EXE that you can download from the Hobbes OS/2 repository. As explained elsewhere in another entry, create a temporary directory, and download PKOS2250.EXE into it. At your command prompt enter the name of the self-extracting file:
From the ensuing expanded files, please select PKZIP.EXE and move it into your <boot drive>:\OS2 directory (where, of course, you replace <boot drive> for the drive letter of your OS/2 installation drive). For the following illustration, the boot drive letter representing my OS/2 virtual image installation is E.
MOVE PKZIP.EXE E:\OS2
Unless the user is sure that his/her OS/2 video is set to VGA, a quick way to verify the fact is by opening the OS/2 CONFIG.SYS in your system editor (E.EXE) as follows:
As can be seen in the highlighted CONFIG.SYS entry (which references the immediately entry above), the video driver for OS/2 is VGA. You may want to make a note of the above lines before you apply your video driver. Or better yet, make a back up copy of your most important CONFIG.SYS file:
COPY CONFIG.SYS CONFIG.BK1
Of course, I am assuming that you are located at the boot drive of your OS/2.
Proceed to create a temporary directory where you will download either (or both) of the heterogeneous video controller driver compressed files.
In the following instructions, I will assume that the GRADD97.ZIP has been downloaded into your TMPGRADD temporary directory. Accordingly, proceed to expand the compresse file:
PKZIP.EXE /EXTR /DIR GRADD97.ZIP
Please do no forget to include the /EXTR and /DIR options --they are needed to decompress (/EXTRact) and subsequently create appropriate directories (/DIRectories).
The video support files being decompressed will display across your OS/2 window. After a few seconds, you will be ready to apply your video driver to your specific brand of video controller.
VIDEO INSTALLATION SETUP.CMD ARGUMENTS
Once the video support files have been appropriately expanded, the user has to provide the installation routine an argument to let it know the brand of controller the physical or virtual machine has. If the user simply enters
the routine will echo to the user's screen a summary of what it expects as additional arguments from the user.
As a specific example, an user with a supported Trident video controller in her physical or virtual machine, would minimally type:
In your case you may even need to set an additional environment variable --as for your native language-- before invoking the SETUP.CMD routine. For instance, assuming that your languge is Spanish, following the terse instructions, you would type:
Entering the following line will verify that in effect your languge has been set to Español:
INSTALLATION ISSUES THAT MAY BE ENCOUNTERED
Assuming that an proper argument has been provided to SETUP.CMD, the video driver installation will start and a progress indicator will appear to inform the user of what is being done:
The user might experience dialog interruption afterwards. If the user has been diligent in researching her machine video controller and the appropriateness of the selected video driver to install, s/he should simply select the OK button to proceed with the installation. Otherwise, please cancel the installation routine:
As in my specific instance I had done my homework and knew about the appropriate video driver to install for the VirtualPC emulated video card, I selected the OK button to proceed with the installation routine:
Once the video installation routine finishes, the utility prompts the user to reboot the system in order for changes to take effect. However, out of curiosity and philosophical insight into the changes effectuated, an user might be termpted to change directory to the boot drive and open the CONFIG.SYS file with the OS/2 system editor (or Elvis but you need the EMX runtime):
Compare the highlighted changed entry with the VGA original that was noted priorly and also note the relevant entry immediately above the highlight.
Additionally, open the OS/2 SYSTEM object and observe that before rebooting the machine the 640x400 resolution is the only one listed:
On the other hand, once I reboot the virtual machine and open the System Object once again, there appear the enabled extra resolutions (note the red lettering above them simply for information about an extra page 2 added):
Notwithstanding, upon highlighting the 800x600 entry, the red coloring changes to inform that the the changes are not done on the fly and that another reboot is required (here is where an more integrated X windowing environment might benefit the future OS/2 incarnations):
Upon a subsequent reboot of the OS/2, we can see that the higher resolution change has been successful. Opening the priorly referenced page 2 in the System Object, and selecting the "View Current configuration" button it can be seen reiterated that no monitor has been selected. Often laptops will operate appropriately with this default:
Well, hope the information provided has been useful for those who appreciate the robust design of OS/2 and are interested in alternative operating systems. The only thing that I should add, perhaps, is what to do if OS/2 Warp 3 is not in VGA mode --one of the two requirements before begining the procedure.
In that case reboot your machine and when the white box appears in the upper left hand corner of the screen,
Subsequently, press (and hold down) the ALT keyboard button and proceed to press F1 --quickly! An user should see an menu of options against a blue screen (not of death! ). Since in our case we want to revert back to VGA video mode, the option selected should be: V - Reset primary video display to VGA and reboot.
Once that is done, OS/2 will boot as usual but in the last stage of the booting routine, you will see the video display drivers reverting back to VGA:
Now go back to the begining of this post and install your higher resolution video driver!
Please do not hold me or Metztli Information Technology responsible if the information provided here does not achieve the desired result. The information is provided "AS IS" and with the hope that it may be useful to the Internet community --especially current and potential OS/2 users.
There is no implicit or explicit guarantee that the the information presented here is accurate. Nor should there be the implict or explicit guarantee that the procedure will not leave your machine in an unforseen unusable state. If an user(s) decide to implement the procedure described here she, he, or them, do so at her, his, or their own risk.
Comment from: Alen [Visitor]
What can be problem that monitor doesn’t show screen properly when i use larger resolutions than 640x480, per example 1024x768? On higher resolutions monitor shows only a part, not whole screen.