Installing Windows Programs

At the time of writing this, OS/2 still does not fully support the running of 32 bit Windows programs. For the latest on the work being done to resolve this take a look at project ODIN. So let's move on to a consideration of how we can install 16 bit windows programs so as to best take advantage of the benefits that you can get from running these programs under OS/2 instead of under any of the many versions of Windows.

Under OS/2 our 16 bit windows programs can be run either in a common session (as they do under Windows) or each in its own separate copy of the 16 bit windows environment. By using the following procedure for installing the Windows programs in the first place, you can make it just as easy to run the programs either way depending on which best suits you at the time.

The best way to start out with installing 16 bit Windows programs on OS/2 is to install them the same way that you would have under Windows 3.1 but substituting the Win-OS/2 window or full screen for the full screen Windows session. This means that you first select Run... from the File menu, type in a:\setup.exe (or whatever the appropriate command to start the install process is) into the command line field, and press OK. This will install the program onto your system and create the appropriate program group for you within your Win-OS/2 session. You can then exit Win-OS/2 by selecting the exit option from the file menu.

In some instances a 16 bit windows program will not install this way but can still be run successfully once it is installed. In this instance a separate DOS/Windows session on your computer comes in handy. You can install the software there and then copy the .GRP and .INI files from your windows directory into your os2\mdos\winos2 directory and then manually edit the win.ini file to copy the additional file extensions and any program specific options, and progman.ini to add the new group to the list. The final effect should be the same as if you installed the program under win-OS/2.

Next you need to go into System Setup and select the Add Programs option. You can then select Search for and select programs to add and then select the drive where you installed the program. You can unselect any other drives and also DOS and OS/2 from the selection window before you press OK.

If your program is found in the OS/2 program migration database then the same entries that were added to the windows group should now appear selected at the top of the list of programs that were found. If they don't appear then click the Other Programs button and browse to find the programs where they were installed. Once you have all of the programs selected on your list and have the appropriate radio button selected to add the selected programs then click the OK button to add the programs into OS/2. You can then click the Cancel button followed by the Exit button to exit from the add program facility.

A copy of the programs that you selected will have been added to your OS/2 desktop and to access them you need to go into the Programs option on the desktop and you will find the programs in one of Win OS/2 Groups or Windows Programs or Additional Windows Programs. You can then copy these to wherever best suits you for when you want to run the programs without going into win-OS/2 first. By configuring the properties to run in a Separate Session you can give yourself two completely different ways of running the same program. You can run it in a separate win-OS/2 session under OS/2 by running it from this icon or you can start win-OS/2 and run it as part of the common win-OS/2 session by starting it from the win-OS/2 group entry.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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