OS/2 Warp FAQ List (20 Feb 95) Section 0401

(4.1) Installation

I am having trouble installing OS/2 Warp. What should I do?

First consult the printed manual and other materials accompanying OS/2 Warp. Make sure your PC meets the system requirements in (2.1) Hardware Requirements. And if the following instructions do not help, fall back on IBM's free technical support (phone 800-992-4777 in the United States). You can also use the (4.10) Problem Report Form. For help with printing, see (2.3) Printer Support.

Configuring PC Devices

The most common problems in installing and configuring OS/2 Warp occur because two or more devices in your PC are sharing interrupts (IRQs), port I/O addresses, memory address space, or DMA (Direct Memory Access) channels. Any system with AT bus slots (even systems with only EISA or PCMCIA slots) can exhibit configuration problems to at least some degree if the various devices are not configured properly. (Microchannel systems are designed to be Plug and Play and are the only systems which avoid these problems. OS/2 Warp supports Plug and Play for PCMCIA, which prevents potential configuration problems unless you add a docking station with AT bus and/or VESA Localbus slots.) Such configuration problems are actually not related to OS/2 Warp in particular; they are due to the way PC hardware is designed and can affect all software (see below).

More precisely, if your PC is using any AT bus or VESA Localbus adapters, you must be extremely careful to configure these cards properly so that no system resources (including IRQs) are used by more than one device. Unfortunately so-called Plug and Play (for AT bus) will not be the answer to configuration problems, since any AT bus adapter which does not support the Plug and Play specification (very few do today) can (and often will) come into conflict with other devices, and even a Plug and Play PC probably will not be able to determine what resources that "old" card is using. In short, be careful.

How to configure the devices in your PC will depend on both the device and the PC. With Microchannel PCs (designed to be Plug and Play ever since their introduction), configuration is done entirely in software, automatically, using a Reference Diskette. With AT bus cards, DIP (Dual Inline Package) switches and jumpers are the norm. However, devices which are built into PCs with AT bus and/or VESA Localbus slots are sometimes configured using software, either on diskette or built into the PC's ROM BIOS setup program.

If you do have a PC with AT bus and/or VESA Localbus slots, you should write down the names of all the devices in your system and the IRQs, I/O addresses, memory space, and DMA channels that they use. Create a chart with this information, and keep it with your PC. Every time you add or remove a device (or change a device's configuration), you should record these changes on your PC's chart. Use the information below as a guide to get you started, bearing in mind that PCs do vary, and you will need to confirm each piece of information. In OS/2 Warp you can use the RMVIEW command to explore your PC's use of resources (as seen by OS/2 Warp). At any OS/2 Warp command line, type RMVIEW /? for an explanation of the command's options.

As stated above, there are four kinds of resources which any device in your PC can use:

If you think configuring PCs with AT bus and/or Localbus slots is harder than it should be, and requires more expertise than should be necessary, you are probably right. However, there are solutions (both current and proposed) to these hardware configuration nightmares. One has been on the market since 1987, namely Microchannel. The PCI bus is also configured through software, automatically, providing Plug and Play. And OS/2 Warp supports Plug and Play for PCMCIA. Some manufacturers and vendors are working on Plug and Play for the AT bus. However, these technologies for the older AT bus (and for VESA Localbus) don't address the core problem, namely systems which have the capability to accept adapters which are not designed for any Plug and Play scheme. Nearly all the AT bus and VESA Localbus adapters on the market today, not to mention all such adapters purchased over the years, do not support Plug and Play. Drop such a card into even the best Plug and Play PC, and suddenly you are back trying to figure out which devices are using which resources in order to resolve conflicts.

IBM recommends that, as a consumer, regardless of the software you choose to run, you purchase a PC with a full understanding of these issues. If you choose a PC with Microchannel, PCI, and/or PCMCIA slots exclusively, you will be buying a system which is much easier to configure, saving you time and money. (If these designs mean the PC is more expensive, it may be worth the higher initial expense to save time and money over the life of the system.) If you purchase a system with EISA, AT bus, and/or Localbus slots, in order to make such a system easy to configure with Plug and Play you should demand from the manufacturer both Plug and Play BIOS (in the system itself) and all Plug and Play adapters. The moment an adapter which is not Plug and Play ready is added to such a system is the moment when your configuration work might begin.

Other Installation Issues

Related information:

(2.1)  Hardware Requirements
(2.2)  SuperVGA Support
(2.3)  Printer Support
(2.4)  COM3 and COM4 Support
(3.2)  Shareware and Freeware Sources
(4.2)  Installing from Drive B
(4.6)  Corrective Service Diskettes
(4.7)  Online Services
(4.10) Problem Report Form

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