Machine down. - OS2

This is a discussion on Machine down. - OS2 ; Marc Lewis wrote: > > Is there a way to have OS/2 store more than 3 sets of archived > desktop/ini file combinations that would be available from Alt > F1 at boot? > If you are running eCS, right ...

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Thread: Machine down.

  1. Re: Machine down.

    Marc Lewis wrote:
    >
    > Is there a way to have OS/2 store more than 3 sets of archived
    > desktop/ini file combinations that would be available from Alt
    > F1 at boot?
    >

    If you are running eCS, right click on the desktop and select properties. Go to
    the archive tab and set the number of archives to keep option; the maximum is 9.

    If you are running Warp4 or MCP you could try to make it work by hand. There is
    no guarantee that this will work but the n-th archive is stored in the
    B:\OS2\ARCHIVES\nX tree, where B is your boot drive letter. In B:\OS2\BOOT you
    will find the files:

    ALTF1.CMD
    ALTF1BOT.SCR
    ALTF1MID.SCR
    ALTF1TOP.SCR

    If you press Alt-F1 at the boot blob, os/2 displays the three SCR files and
    waits for a keystroke. Here are the possibilities:

    Key Action

    ESC Continue the boot process as if Alt-F1 had not been pressed.
    F2 Go to a command prompt.
    F3 run ALTF1.CMD M. This will chnage the video drivers to classic VGA.
    F4 Reserved
    F5 Enable hardware detection and continue the boot process.
    F6 Disable hardware detection and continue the boot process.
    G/g run ALTF1.CMD G. This will change the video drivers to gengradd.
    n run ALTF1.CMD n. n is presumably the number of a saved archive.

    I don't think that n is checked anywhere; I think that if n isn't the number of
    an actual saved archive you will get either some sort of hang or the same
    behavior as if ESC had been pressed.

    So, you could try renaming, say, 2X to, say, 6X. Then if you want to restore
    that archived desktop later when the original 2X is long gone, just enter 6 at
    the prompt. The worst that is likely to happen is that it doesn't work for some
    reason. Nevertheless, as always, be sure that you have a current backup.

    You could even try editing ALTF1TOP.SCR to add information about your
    permanently saved archive(s) being careful not to increase the number of lines
    too much (which may cause useful information to scroll off the screen
    prematurely). I don't think editing ALTF1MID.SCR will work because os/2 modifies
    that automatically each time the desktop is archived.

  2. Re: Machine down.

    Hi Marc

    Marc Lewis wrote:
    > + User FidoNet address: 1:396/45
    > Hello all.
    >
    > > regarding Re: Machine down. >
    >
    > ml> some valuable lessons about what happens when something
    > ml> gooses the OS2.INI files. (And that "checkini.exe" program
    > ml> is about a useless piece of junk - OS/2 has to be running
    > ml> for it to work, in spite of it being a console mode
    > ml> application.)
    >
    > DTJ> Checkini.exe is not perfect but it is useful in keeping
    > DTJ> errors out of the .ini files. You are right, though,
    > DTJ> that it is for maintenance rather than recovery.
    >
    > That wasn't clear to me, as I'd never used it before. From the
    > impression I got, it was almost a cure-all for .ini file
    > problems. Live and learn.
    >



    It obviously cannot repair what is not there.

    If you should have a similar thing happen your 1st step is to check the
    size of the INI files. During the course of this if you find either 1 or
    both INI files missing or 1 far too large and the other far too small
    then no repair app will help - it is time to resort to rinstating the
    files from backup.

    Not sure if this is relevant to the problem but my youngest son plays on
    a website called Runescape.

    Frequently after disconnecting from Runescape and shutting down normally
    we find that on the next boot either 1 or both the INI files have been
    trashed. I suspect that Runescape has some "script kiddies" attempting
    to crash into whatever system connects to Runescape.

    I suspect that someone/thing tried to gatecrash your system with similar
    results to above.




    > DTJ> Once the .ini files are unbootable, it is too late for
    > DTJ> checkini. If you cannot restore from archive, your only
    > DTJ> option is to reinstall.
    >
    > As I have realised - almost painfully.
    >
    > ml> I've lost count of how many hours I've spent on this
    > ml> machine! I must be a little crazy...
    >
    > DTJ> Good that you've got the machine running again but...you
    > DTJ> still don't know what crapped up the .ini files and,
    > DTJ> until you know the cause, you should PLAN on the same
    > DTJ> thing happening again. Therefore, before you do another
    > DTJ> thing, make sure you figure out how to 1) save an archived
    > DTJ> copy of the desktop and 2) restore the desktop from
    > DTJ> archives.
    >
    > I have installed DTBACKUP and utilised it on this fresh, running
    > install. Not only does it back up the Desktop, but the .ini
    > files as well. It has an auxiliary program when it comes time to
    > restore the stuff. I'm hoping this will be a good adjunct to
    > the full zipped drive backups I've taken to doing now.
    >
    > I've also put the CMDBOOT utility to use in the config.sys.
    > Rather neat little program that stops the load of the desktop
    > and drops to a command line prompt. Handy if there's something
    > wrong with the video or other program that start with the
    > desktop. Obviously, if the .ini files are fouled beyond
    > booting, it is not of any use. But it allows me to start and
    > log into the network from the command line and navigate
    > somewhat.
    >



    The INI files do not have anything to do with Booting. They are only
    read after bootup.

    With trashed INI files it is easy to boot to a command line (Alt-F1 at
    the bootup blob and then select F2 from the menu) and restore those
    trashed files from backup.



    > While we're on the subject I have some semi-related questions:
    >
    > Is there a way to have OS/2 store more than 3 sets of archived
    > desktop/ini file combinations that would be available from Alt
    > F1 at boot?
    >



    Use a 3rd party app to archive ini files (usually requires booting to a
    command line - as would a Restore).

    There is a Desktop Backup script here which can be modified to suit your
    requirements http://www.eracc.com/os2/os2.htm


    > Is there a master program version file (like SETVER in DOS) that
    > can be altered? Object is to set certain programs I use quite
    > frequently in VDMs to operate properly under OS/2 DOS. I see
    > the defaults that come up in the program DOS properties
    > notebook, all of which are useless to me - I'd like to alter
    > that default group.
    >



    Maybe I'm misunderstanding you but you can change the DOS settings for
    each DOS app.


    > DTJ> Also, once you get the archiving working, DON'T make a
    > DTJ> backup on every boot because if your .ini files are
    > DTJ> getting corrupted gradually, then the archived copies
    > DTJ> will not be much better than the corrupted ones, except
    > DTJ> they will still be bootable. Only make a backup when you
    > DTJ> make a significant change in the desktop.
    >
    > Noted. I really didn't realise that OS/2 .ini files were
    > subject to a degradation similar to the Windoze registry; But I
    > suppose that anything GUI based with various types of programs
    > being employed to install/uninstall applications, it would
    > almost be guaranteed. Somewhere down the line a significant
    > degradation will foul the booting of the system.
    >



    And that is where both Checkini and Cleanini come in very useful. You
    should perform an "ini file clean up" about once a month to get rid of a
    lot of mainly useless gumfph that the ini files accumulate.

    Just in case you have not got a copy Cleanini is here
    http://www.ca-arnold.de/

    Another useful ini cleaning tool is IniFix which you can find here
    http://home.clara.net/orac/


    > Thanks to you and all the others for the advice...
    >
    > Best regards,
    > Marc




    Regards

    Pete




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