Blonde Guy

Installing OS/2 Warp 4 on a IBM ThinkPad A20m

This document covers installation of Warp 4 on an IBM ThinkPad A20m. I did this installation for a client who needed a less expensive alternative than the IBM ThinkPad T20.

Before Installing

Before installing OS/2 on a new machine, the device drivers for the hardware must be located. This is the list of drivers I found for the Thinkpad A20m.

DeviceDriver files
IBM Thinkpad disketteswarp4iu1.exe
PCMCIA Cardbus Controller
TI PCI-1450
Gradd 0.80 drivers
ATI Rage Mobility M AGP
Ethernet card 3cxe589et3C589X_1.EXE
Lucent WinModem
Crystal Sound Fusionaftpitos.exeurl
Intel 82371 AB/EB
Microsoft ACPI
TrackPoint IVtracpto1.exeurl

First, create a set of installation diskettes with the OS/2 Warp CD. These diskettes need to be modified to work with the Thinkpad. To modify the diskettes, use the Thinkpad diskette files, warp4iu1.exe and warp4iu2.exe.

Partitioning the Hard Drive

My philosophy on hard drive partitions is that data files and system files should live on separate partitions. I put applications on the system partition under a bin directory. Usually, when I reinstall the operating system, I also reinstall the applications. Lately, I've been using a home network with a server. Now my data resides on server, and the local drive is just for system and applications.

My ThinkPad A20 has a 6.4 gigabyte hard drive. It came with Windows 2000 preloaded on a single FAT 32 partition. I used partition magic 4.01 to shrink this partition by 2 gigabytes. I then created one 2 gigabyte partition and formatted it HPFS. I set the 2 gigabyte partition to be installable. Both the Windows and the OS/2 partition are primary partitions. When the computer boots, one primary partition is the C drive, and the other is hidden.

Partition Map

Boot from the Thinkpad installation diskettes.

The first screen is the Welcome! screen. It is essential that the OS/2 install partition be formatted at this point. If the drive is not formatted, you may press F3 to get a command prompt, and format the installation partition. There is no copy of FORMAT.COM on the installation diskettes. Instead, execute D:\OS2IMAGE\FORMAT.COM, substituting your CD-Rom drive letter for the D. Otherwise, press Enter, not F3. The next screen is the Installing OS/2 Warp 4 screen. Choose 2. Advanced Installatation. The next screen is the Installation Drive Selection Screen. Choose 1. Accept the drive. The next screen is the Select the File System screen. Choose HPFS. It is important to choose "Do Not format the partition". At the end of the format, the installation program copies some files from both the diskettes and the CD-Rom, and reboots the computer from the hard drive.

Selective Install

The computer now restarts and continues the OS/2 installation by running a Presentation Manager program called Selective Install. The first screen displayed is System Configuration. The default values should be fine with one exception. If the Selective Install program finds a sound card, deselect it and pick "NONE". I also set the CD-Rom to IDE CD-Rom instead of the one suggested. Press next to go on to the next screen.

The next screen is System Configuration (cont.). If PCMCIA is selected, change it to NONE. I did not install a default printer.

The next screen is the OS/2 Setup and Installation screen. I selected all optional System utilities and all Tools and Games. Under Assistance Center, I deselected the Warp Guides, which I find annoying. I left everything else as default settings.

I unchecked Add existing programs to your desktop. This is a new installation. I have no existing programs.

Selective Install for Networking

The first screen of Selective install for Networking is labeled OS/2 Setup and Installation. A list of products is presented for installation. I checked File and Print client and TCP/IP services.

The Configuration Screen for the networking install is worth some time. I usually look at every item on listed on the screen. After looking at each item, the Configuration Screen changes its icon to a green check. When I'm through, every item has a green check. That said, these are the only things I actually changed.

I clicked on File and Print Sharing Services. The home network is a domain, So I entered the domain name. I chose a name and a description for this workstation and entered that. I checked boxes labeled Install LAN Server Administration and Install Sharing. I entered a username and password.

Then I clicked on TCP/IP Services. I entered my IP address, and the subnet mask and left router blank. I gave a host name of which was the same as the workstation name I entered in the file and print client. I left domain name but I entered my name server IP address.

I clicked Network Adapters and Protocol Services. I needed to remove the adapter that OS/2 installation had detected, then I added the driver called No Adapter.

I clicked Next to continue, and OS/2 installation completed without further interaction. Note that with a 24x CD-Rom and an Celeron 500 CPU, it won't take very long.

OS/2 Warp boots for the first time

The computer booted with the whirling Welcome to OS/2 screen; I checked the box labeled Remove this window. While booting, the computer will complain that COM.SYS and VCOM.SYS did not load. Ignore this message, it will be fixed in a subsequent step.

I brought up System properties (OS/2 System->System Setup->System), chose the confirmation tab and turned off confirm close for OS/2 and DOS windows.

PC Card Support

To get networking support, PC Card support must be installed. I used the PC Card Directory v4.02. Installation is just executing pcminst2.exe and rebooting. When the computer reboots, the error messages due to COM.SYS and VCOM.SYS should no longer appear.

I opened Config.Sys and removed the lines for BASEDEV=PCM2ATA.ADD and DEVICE=PCM2SRAM.SYS. This fixed the PC Card reserving two drive letters for PC Card Flash RAM.

With PCCard support and the ethernet card plugged in, the PC Card Director should recognize the LAN card. To configure the LAN card, install the driver using MPTS. The No Adapter entry should be removed, and the OS/2 driver should be added for the PC Card. Exit MTPS and reboot. The network should be ready.

Config.sys changes

The config.sys file needs a number of changes. I like to make all of the changes at once to reduce the number of reboots needed for the complete installation. I edited config.sys to add my utility directories to the end of the PATH, LIBPATH and BOOKSHELF statements. I also created these directories.


I added the /W parameter the the CD-Rom file system driver to enable the Joliet CD-Rom features.


I added the following lines to further customize my system. I also modified the timezone parameter TZ.

SET TEMP=c:\Temp
SET TMP=c:\Temp

I created the C:\bin\utils directory and copied my utilities. I also unzipped emx into the C:\bin\emx directory. I reboot for all this to take effect.

Installing FixPaks

The base operating system is installed. The next step is to apply the many Fixes to bring the system to the latest fix level. Using the Warp-UP! CD, I applied the fixes that seemed relevent.

Installing device drivers

Then I installed the audio driver. Extract the driver files, and run install. For me the audio drivers cause the A20 to hang after rebooting with ctl-alt-del. They also will hang during operation of Flash/2. I also found MIDI files to play very quietly.

I installed the TrackPoint IV drivers, they seem to work with no problems.

I installed the GRADD 0.80 video driver. The driver fails when running seamless DOS and WinOS2 sessions. These sessions work fine in Full Screen mode. I also tested the SciTech Display Doctor beta 32. This works with the same issues as the GRADD driver.

I also tried the GRADD 0.83 video driver. This driver traps on boot.

The registration applet is of no use. It allows you to send information to IBM about yourself. However, no one at IBM will recieve that information. The telephone number for the registration is disconnected! Here is how to remove the registration applet.

Open the installed features folder. (Drives->[boot drive]->OS2->INSTALL->Installed Features->Install Object - Inventory) Check the box labelled Install Object - Inventory, then press the Uninstall button. Reboot the machine to complete the uninstallation. This kills all kinds of features, so maybe next time just pick the ART tool.

Complete the installation

I have written an essay for installing OS/2 Warp 4. Continue this installation using that essay, starting at the section labelled "Netscape.".

Note: I just read about a possible solution to the VDM problem: My TP A21M is now opening DVM's as Windows. F1 at the opening splash screen and then configure the display to PCI instead of AGP.

Last Modified: 17 Jun 2001
Graphics by Colorful Language
Copyright 2001 by Blonde Guy