My OS2.INI File is Corrupted

Question I had an issue with a SYS1317 error. I did a maintenance rebuild to fix that error but when I reboot, I am told "Your Desktop could not be found in the os2.ini file. An attempt will be made to create a temporary directory".

Well it couldn't make a new one for some reason. I have tried a great many things without success. The desktop directory is still in the root directory. How does one force OS/2 to see it.
Sean Beggs

Answer It sounds like your hard drive is corrupted. The first thing that I would do is to run chkdsk on the drive. You can do this either from a second installation of OS/2 (if you've got one) or use the installation floppies to boot to an OS/2 command prompt (press the escape key when the welcome to OS/2 message appears) and then run it from there. If chkdsk shows errors on your drive then run chkdsk a second time using the /f:2 flag to try to fix the errors. Run chkdsk again without the flag to check that the errors have been fixed.

Once you have fixed any disk errors try booting your system again to see if the problem has been fixed.

If the problem is still there then you will need to rebuild the OS2.INI and OS2SYS.INI files. These two files are actually the main part of your desktop configuration, the desktop directory cannot create the desktop properly unless all of its contents are correctly referenced from within these files. To rebuild these files from scratch you need to again boot either to a second OS/2 installation or using the installation floppies and run both makeini os2.ini and makeini os2sys.ini so as to rebuild both files. This will recover your desktop back to the way that OS/2 originally built it. As an alternative to rebuilding these two files you could try restoring an archived configuration from the recovery menu but as that also replaces several other files you will only want to do that if you have a recent archive that you have created yourself.

Hopefully after doing this your system should now work properly (you may have to reorganise the desktop back to the way that you like it). If you are still having problems after fixing any disk errors and replacing both the os2.ini and os2sys.ini files then you have an error in some other program within your operating system and the only way to fix that is to reinstall OS/2.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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