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This article was posted to the Usenet group alt.hackers in 1995; any technical information is probably outdated.

Re: Hacker FAQ (please comment and help fix)

Article: 7692 of alt.hackers
From: (Mark McCullough)
Newsgroups: alt.hackers
Subject: Re: Hacker FAQ (please comment and help fix)
Date: 20 Apr 1995 15:42:22 GMT
Organization: U of Wisconsin CS Dept
Lines: 47
Message-ID: 3n5vcu$
Status: RO

In article <>,
Gary D. Robson <> wrote:


>   I recently purchased OS/2 Warp, which came as a CD-ROM with a couple
>of 3-1/2" install diskettes.  I placed the install diskette in my B:
>drive and tried to use it.  No go.  It has to be in the A: drive (which
>in my system is a 5-1/4").  I would expect better than that out
of garage
>shop, and it mightily dissapointed me that a so-called professional
>organization like IBM would do something so lame.

For most programs I might agree with you, but for an OS, I disagree.
By booting off of floppy, they can ignore a bunch of problems inherent
in DOS.  When I installed OS/2 2.1, I did the same thing.  Part of the
problem is OS/2 doesn't use the BIOS to read the drives after the
kernel is loaded, so you can't just switch in BIOS.  (As I found out
the hard way).  Since only boots from A drive are liked by the BIOS
(which decides where to boot from), the OS installation has to obey.

>   The system reboots several times during installation, so ASSIGN won't
>work.  There's too much to fit on a 5-1/4" diskette, so copying won't
>work.  I finally opened the case and swapped my A: and B: drives (with
>the accompanying tweak to the CMOS settings) to run the installation.
>Not much of a hack, but it annoyed me greatly that *any* kind of a hack
>would be required!

Assign wouldn't work anyways.  Assign only works at the DOS level.
What, did you think you were installing MS Windows?  This is a new OS,
so it has to load a new kernel, and move aside the existing kernel.
Since DOS is not loaded, of course a DOS command won't work.

I wish people would realize that installing a totally new OS usually
requires some various things done, like booting from the A drive.

Hmm, now I need an ObHack... My hard drive was making a lot more noise
than I thought was reasonable.  So I finally opened up the case and
looked the box over, only to find that one of the mounting screws to
mount my hard drive in the cage was the wrong size.  Replaced that,
added about three screws to the case to help secure things better that
the installer had missed, and things ran much better.

Mark McCullough        Real programmers don't document.  If it was hard    to write, it should be hard to understand.

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