Running Windows Programs in Separate Windows Sessions

16 bit windows programs are even more prone to crashing than their 32 bit cousins. What is more when you run 16 bit windows programs under any version of windows the crash of the windows program will corrupt your entire system (if you are running a 16 bit operating system) or at the very least will take with it any other 16 bit windows programs that happen to be running at the time.

With the default OS/2 setup the same problem can occur but unlike all of the different windows versions OS/2 provides a means of separating each 16 bit windows program so that it runs in its own windows session completely independently of any other programs that might be running on the system at the same time. When you run your 16 bit windows programs this way the crash of one 16 bit windows program will not affect any others.

To be able to set up specific windows programs to run in separate sessions you need to right click on the program icon and open the properties notebook to the first session page. That's the page that identifies what type of session that the program needs to be run in. Part of this page looks like this:

Part of Sessions page of Properties Notebook

If you select the Separate Session checkbox and then close the properties notebook then whenever you start this particular program in the future it will start its own completely separate copy of windows to run in. This will slightly slow down the process of starting up a windows program (since a new copy of windows has to be loaded every time) but it enables you to run multiple windows programs at the same time without the risk of one of them crashing and corrupting the other windows programs that are running at the time.

There is a simpler way of applying this change to all windows programs if you want to run them all in separate sessions rather than just one or two. To do this go into the WIN-OS2 Setup utility and select the Separate Session checkbox there instead of specifying it separately in the properties notebook of each and every windows program.

For performance reasons you will probably find it more appropriate to only run specific windows programs that appear to be causing you problems in separate windows and allow the rest to run in a common 16 bit windows session. You can always go back and change it later if you need to.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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