Blonde Guy

GenMac in Unsupported mode

The GenMac network driver is a closed-source network driver for OS/2 and eComStation. It works by providing an environment for loading and using drivers written to support Windows XP. A good list of drivers is supported, but for devices not in the list, there is "UNSUPPORTED" mode which may work for additional Windows XP drivers not on the official supported list.

Identify your hardware

With OS/2 and eComStation, the identification of the computer hardware is vital to adding supported drivers. Using the PCI program, the vendor ID and device ID of the network interface to be supported can be found. For my computer, I found that the Attansic L2 network drivers is 1969:2048.

Install GenMac

The first step is to install the GenMac driver. This will put the basis for the driver onto the computers system and make needed modifications to Config.Sys for GenMac support.

The GenMac driver may not see any devices and complain, but ignore any messages and complete the installation.

Add the unsupported files

GenMac will install its files to some directory. On eComStation the default will be \eCS\system\genmac. Looking under the GenMac installation directory, there is a driver directory. In the driver directory, you need to install the files from the Windows XP driver.

For my Attansic L2 network interface, I created a directory named driver\WRAPPER_1969_2048. In that directory, I placed the Windows XP driver files.

 8-31-07  6:26p        10,954      0 a---
 8-22-07 12:07a         6,774      0 a---  l251x86.inf
 8-21-07 11:50p        30,208      0 a---  l251x86.sys

You may need to grab your files from a working Windows XP system. The l251x86.sys file is the driver, and the other files are supporting files including registry settings needed by the Windows driver.

OS/2 network information file

The OS/2 network stack installer, MPTS, needs a description of the network driver to install the driver. This description needs to be created in the nif/W1969x2048.nif file. I took an existing file from GenMac and modified it. The VENDOR and DEVICE must agree with the values obtained from the PCI program. The OPTIONS should contain the value UNSUPPORTED.

The completed network information file should be copied to the OS/2 network drivers directory, ibmcom\macs\W1969x2048.nif.

Installing the driver

At this point, start MPTS, or Adapters and Protocols, and add the network adapter and networking protocols. Ensure that the driver options specify UNSUPPORTED.

The computer needs to be restarted to activate networking support. The driver will issue a message stating either that the hardware was found, or that some error occurred. If an error in PROTOCOL.INI was reported at boot time, examine the ibmcom\protocol.ini file and ensure that UNSUPPORTED was specified.

Reporting the results

If networking works in unsupported mode, reporting it will likely result in that driver being supported in the next GenMac release. Report your results on the GenMac forum.

Last Modified: 21 May 2009
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Copyright 2009 by Blonde Guy