Quick 'n Dirty System Programs
Running SP from Floppy Drive
Running from the refdisk is the easiest way to run System
Programs. However, it takes quite a bit longer to load the programs into
memory off a floppy.
Starting SP from the Hard Drive
On the flash BIOS based systems, when the Surepath BIOS
splash screen pops up, press F1. On IML 95 systems, at CP 62 the cursor
*should* jump to the top / right position on the screen. Press the keys
CTRL + ALT + INS. The interval for this is pretty short though - only a
few seconds.- all other models show the CP-Codes in the bottom line of
the screen. However: some are not shown logically, during the time the
screen is blanked and the video subsystem is disabled.
On other IML systems, the cursor *should* jump to the
top / right position on the screen on all IML-machines. Press the keys
CTRL + ALT + INS. The interval for this is pretty short though - only a
CP Codes Sent to LPT1
On PS/2 Models the CP-codes are also sent to the LPT-port
! If you can handle a solder iron you could create a little adapter to
enable you reading the CP codes - either with a separate hardware logic
or another PS/2 machine. For details see here
Most screens use F1=Help, F3=Exit, F5=Previous setting,
F6=Next setting, F10=Save changes. To move from field to field, use the
up arrow or down arrow.
Start operating system
Backup/Restore system programs
Update system programs
Copy an options diskette
Test the computer
Start operating system
Exits from system programs and loads the operating system. You
can use this if you are having minor problems with your setup. Example-
You want to try a different complex type, but don’t want to go through
the drag of restoring the system partition and wiping the drive in the
Backup the System Diskettes Makes
a backup copy of the reference and diagnostics diskettes off of the refdisk
and diags disk.
Backup the System Partition Copies
the information in the system partition onto two 1.44MB floppies. It will
create a reference and a diags disk.
Restore the system partition Installs
the system programs and other critical startup files from diskette to the
Note: This does NOT
wipe out the system partition. Old files that are not on the refdisk and
diags disk will remain. This sometimes leads to bizarre problems that defy
logic. The most trouble free method when creating or restoring a system
partition is to LLF the drive, then restoring the system partition.
Some people claim they can restore a system partition without
destroying the other data on the drive. I personally don’t share their
Boot with a fake refdisk, QBMCA works fine, start fdisk
and you see the partition table of the System partition, you can safely
erase it and create a new one without LLFing the whole disk.
System partitions created for Type 1 through Type 3 systems
are invisible to the OS (some special cases prove the rule). Type 4 systems
use a “convenience” partition which IS visible to FDISK.
Copies a new version of the system programs to the system partition
View configuration Displays current
configuration. Display only, no changes possible.
Change configuration Lets you change
configuration information. Only information enclosed in brackets ([....])
can be changed.
Backup configuration Copies configuration
information from NVRAM to the hard drive.
Restore configuration Retrieves
configuration information from hard drive to NVRAM.
Run automatic configuration Restores
the settings of the installed options to their default values. If you have
manually set configuration settings, write them down before running Autoconfig.
You can then change the settings back to your manual configuration if you
experience problems with the autoconfig settings.
Set and view SCSI device configuration
Only information in brackets ([....]) can be changed.
SCSI configuration verification
If, during POST, the SCSI configuration has changed (devices not present
or not operational), you can either have the system respond to the changed
SCSI information, or ignore it Enable / Disable (NOTE:
Possibly flash BIOS systems only)
SCSI adapter ID Can’t
change ID from this screen, go to Change configuration.
Device address (ID, LUN)
Device size MB, ???? if device removed
and Not present set to “Keep” Also ???? if 1GB or larger drive is on downlevel
complex bios/SCSI bios.
reporting (Enabled/Disabled) If device is not present or not powered
on, Disabled keeps system from running autoconfigure. Use with external
devices (scanners, etc)
(Keep/remove) Use Keep for external devices which may be powered off separate
or removed. Example- a scanner. This can be a problem IF you had a device
marked “Keep” that is now removed. Example- a CD Rom drive was marked as
“Keep” and you change the ID. The setup program will still maintain that
there is a CD Rom at the old address, PLUS a new CD Rom at the new ID.
Display Memory Map Displays memory
addresses assigned to adapters. It does NOT show upper memory useage by
Operational Error reporting If
devices are not present or not operational, you can either have the system
respond to the changed SCSI information, or ignore it Enable / Disable
(NOTE Possibly flash BIOS systems only)
Set date and time Date (MM-DD-YYYY)
Time (HH:MM:SS 24Hr!)
Set password and unattended start mode
Set power-on password
Change power-on password
Remove power-on password
Set unattended start mode
Power-On password must be set first. The use of the unattended start mode
( Also called "Network Server Mode") on PS/2 systems will disable the mouse
port. This is normal system operation and should not be considered a defect.
Disabling the mouse port is required to maintain security of the system
when using unattended start mode. IBM's explanation HERE
Remove Power-On password when you know password
Turn on system
Wait for password prompt (key symbol)
Type current password followed by a space
then hit Enter.
Password w/out Password
Set keyboard speed Speed that a
character repeats when a key is held down. Normal / Fast
Set console Display and keyboard
or Display only
Set startup sequence Select the
sequence of drives that the computer will read from when you turn it on.
If you remove the floppy drive from this list, there is a "safety" feature.
The system will still boot with a reference disk regardless if the floppy
drive is on the startup list or not. A normal boot disk will not work.
Sometimes autoconfig will slip RPL into the startup sequence. Remove RPL
from this list if you do not want to RPL. Note:
systems let you choose a CD Rom as a startable device. You can try it,
but I haven't heard of anyone being able to boot from a CD. I couldn't.
Set power-on features Type 4 or
flash systems only!
Serial port power-on mode
System powers up if a ring is detected on serial 1. Enable / Disable
Real time clock power-on mode
Enable / Disable If you use a asterix "*" in a field, that means you don't
care. So you could set the date to "**" and the system will power on every
day whatever the power on time is. Or you could set the day to "*5" and
it will power up on the 5th, 15th, and the 25th. NOTE:
You CANNOT leave all fields for date and time as *s. The system will not
enable Power-on if you do.
Power-on day of
month valid values are 0-31
NOTE: This is for flash BIOS systems
System error restart System
won't check for errors in error log. If the error log is full, the system
will put new errors into the error log, and remove the oldest ones to keep
the total of errors at four. NOTE:
Flash BIOS systems only!
Set ignore error log System will
not report errors upon startup Enable / Disable NOTE:
Only systems that support error logs will have this option.
Set fast startup mode Does a quick
check during POST, instead of the full POST routine. Enable / Disable NOTE:
Flash BIOS systems only.
For home users, this is fine, but if I was running a business
off this system, I would WANT the system to do it's full POST testing routine.
The extra two minutes may mean the difference between a system running
24/7 for months, or one that has a memory module just waiting to dump your
system into never-never land when the program tries to use it.
Copy an options
The CORRECT way to copy a new ADF to the hard drive or
to the refisk. Have the new(er) ADF plus any ADP or DGS files on a floppy.
Run Copy an options diskette, follow the prompts. From personal experience,
just copying an adf to the refdisk will FAIL every time.
If you will be adding a different adapter, I suggest you
copy the options diskette FIRST, so the new ADF is already on the refdisk/sysem
partition. Otherwise, you will screw around with “ADF not found” then still
having to copy the option disk anyways...
Test the computer
Not my preferred way of running diagnostics. Use Ctrl-A
to run Advanced Diagnostics. Advanced diags lets you test one component
at a time, while Test the computer does ALL the damn tests. Non stop.
Doing a Ctrl-A from the main menu will bring up the advanced
Run System checkout
Run system checkout Allows you to run diags on single
components. For a device to be shown, there has to be a DGS file for it.
FAIK, IBM was the only one to make DGS files for their adapters / devices.
Other makers just made stand-alone diagnostic programs. SCSI drives are
covered by the IBM DGS, and so is memory.
First screen is a list of installed devices. Only devices
with a *.dgs file will be shown!
Run tests once
Run tests continuously
Log or display
Send error log (EL)
to the default disk, Send EL to printer, stop the EL, View the EL
Device Test List
This shows after you choose Run Tests Once
This is it! The big kahuna! The list
show Type 1 L2 cache if installed.
System board (planar)
Memory Location, MMK
ID, Size (MB), Speed (nS), Type 1 or 0 (1 is parity, 0 ECC) Full test can
take up to an hour with 128MB, the quick test about 13 minutes with 128MB.
Needs KB attached! You WILL press every key before it's done!
System board parallel port
It just does an internal loopback unless you have a wrap plug
Diskette drive asks for a
blank floppy for read/write tests
System board async port It
just does an internal loopback unless you have a wrap plug
Mouse port Need mouse attached!
Information panel 95s
only. It lights up EVERY individual LED by the time it's done.
SCSI I/O adapter
Hard disks Here goes the
Select the SCSI hard
disk to test Size in MB, Slot#, SCSI ID of device, LUN, and
SCSI hard disk
Inquiry- Sends Device Inquiry to HD. Tests ability to recognize
ready test- Resets HD and sends "Test unit ready" . Tests if HD
accepts supported medium access commands.
Capacity Sends "Read capacity". Displays size in MB
test Sends "Self diagnostics". HD self test . Performs R/W to HD
test Sends "seek" Exercises seek mechanism of HD
Test Writes random data to HD buffer, reads it back, then compares
the two. This tests the integrity of data transfer between system and HD
integrity test sequential read verify test. Verifies sectors for
readability. NO writes to HD are performed. NOTE:
IBM says "This test is relatively long"
Format the hard drive This will
LLF the SCSI drive you select.
Select SCSI hard disk to format
Shows Size in MB, Slot#, ID, LUN, and Bus
Next screen asks Save grown defect list -or- Erase grown
When you choose the drive and select save or erase grown
defect list, the LLF program asks you twice if you want to continue. Read
the message box- the first time you answer "Y", the second time it asks
you if you want to stop, answer "N".
NOTE: The system will
refuse to format a drive with an active partition. You might have to use
FDISK to turn the active partition ino just a partition, or delete it.
This was on a Type 4 system, YMMV.
Display revision levels Shows BIOS
levels, refdisk and diags levels, planar and complex ID.
Stand alone utility information
As useful as something on a boar.
Set and view system identification
Set system identification
Enter Vital Product Data (VPD). Model code, submodel code, computer serial
number, and part-identification codes for the planar and complex (if applicable)
View system configuration
Display system error log Shows
you up to four stored errors. You can delete errors from this screen NOTE:
Only on systems that support error logs!
Set character font Choose from
#1, which is a "linedraw" font, sans serif, or #2 which is a serif font.
Flash BIOS systems only???
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