Applying FixPaks on OS/2


This page summarises one easy way of applying OS/2 FixPaks. It is by no means the only way, but it is simple and relatively quick.

What you need

You need the following to apply a FixPak:

  1. The Fixpak itself, as a set of diskette images. These are normally in the form of a number of files, anything up to nearly 1.5MB in size, which have names ending in .nDK, where n is a single numeric digit or a letter.
  2. A recent copy of the FixTool; this is the suite of programs and files that is used to administer FixPaks. For various reasons, it's a good idea to use the latest version, which is version 1.44; a ZIPped version of it can be downloaded by clicking here.
  3. A copy of the DSKXTRCT utility, which can be downloaded by clicking here.


The first task is the installation of the necessary programs. This need only be done once.

Start by installing the FixTool. A good plan is to keep it in a separate directory, and a top level one can make life easier. So, for example, create a directory called F:\FIXTOOL. Just unzip the FixTool files into this directory. If you wish, you can add this directory to the PATH line in CONFIG.SYS, but this is not essential.

Now install DSKXTRCT. Unzip the files into a temporary directory, and copy the file DSKXTRCT.EXE into any directory on the PATH. You don't actually need any of the other files.

Unpacking the FixPak

FixPaks are usually delivered as a series of 1.44MB diskette images; these can be written to diskette if required, but this is a slow and painful process, even using a RAMdisk. It is better to unpack the images directly into a single directory tree.

Note that several programs exist for unpacking diskette images; not all of them check that the image has not been corrupted in transit. However, the DSKXTRCT utility does check. If you choose to use another unpacking utility, then the page on FixPak checking may be of interest.

To unpack the images, first change to the directory containing the images. It is best if this directory is specially created, and contains nothing else; in this example, let us assume that it is called F:\FIXPAKS\XR_C005. Then type the command:


This will unpack all of the images at once. The image files can then be deleted, or archived in case real diskettes are ever required. The file FP.LOG can be checked for errors, then deleted too.

Applying the FixPak

The actual application of the FixPak is done using a command called SERVICE. Be warned that there are other commands with the same name, for example the one used for running the remote installation code server; it is thus a good idea to invoke this command using its full pathname. If it has been installed in a top level directory, there is little extra typing.

Before SERVICE can be run, some environment variables need to be set up. One of these specifies the location of the FixTool files, and the other specifies the location of the FixPak to be applied. So, type the following commands, substituting the appropriate values on the right hand side of the equals sign:

Now run the FixTool:
and follow the usual procedure. That's it!

Further information

For more details about the other capabilities of the FixTool, see the README.INF file in the FixTool directory; use the OS/2 VIEW command to display it.

Using REXX to apply a FixPak

One way of storing FixPaks for later application is to put them on a CD, with a separate directory for each FixPak. The FixTool is also placed on the CD, in a top level directory named \FIXTOOL. A simple REXX script can then be placed in each FixPak directory, and can then be invoked to apply that particular FixPak, without typing anything else first. The REXX script can be downloaded by clicking here.

Back to Tavi OS/2 main page

Last Updated: 20th May 2005
© 2005 by Bob Eager, Tavi Systems