Reference Disk

Only by understanding all of microchannel can we abuse it..
Please tell ME about other details!

Create Refdisk/Diags
Restoring Special Byte Code
TG0 Utility LDF.COM or
DSK Utility loaddskf.exe
Can the Wrong Refdisk Damage My PS/2?
Copying Option ADFs Correctly
Accessing Advanced Diags from the Refdisk
SC.EXE Trivia
Running SC.EXE from the Hard Drive
Common Refdisk Files

Creating a Refdisk and/or Diagnostics Disk
Under DOS-OS/2
Download the file (rf*.exe for refdisk, rd*.exe for diags) onto your hard disk. Put a blank, formatted 1.44MB floppy (caution, some options or early refdisks use 720KB disks) into A:, run the executable. Follow the instructions...

Self-Extractor Screen Messages
Run the self-executable. The following messages will appear:

Self-extracting diskette image processor (OS/2), Version 1.03...

Please enter a drive letter compatible with a 1.44M 3.5" disk,
or press ESC to quit:

NOTE: At this time, enter "a" for your A drive, or "b" if you have a 1.44MB B drive)

Press ENTER to continue (read license agreement)

NOTE: This screen pops up:


NOTE: Bottom line says:
Press ENTER to continue... (Repeats four or so times)

NOTE: Watch for this line! It will dump you out if you only hit enter.

If you agree, type Y and press ENTER...

Insert a blank high-density diskette in drive A:.
Press ENTER to extract, or ESC to exit -
100 percent (shows progress)
Extraction Complete

Press "Y" to do another copy:

Note: Just hit enter to end this program.

Under Win NT/9x
I have created MANY ref/diags disks with W95/NT 4.0 using Windows Exploiter/NT Exploiter, and NONE of them refused to work. Just double click on the file, and the DOS window pops up. Do NOT do a "DIR" under MS-Doze mode! If you want to surf through the new refisk, close the MS-Dos window and return to Exploiter.

Restoring Special Byte-Code
WARNING! Do NOT go to MS-Doze mode under W95 and do a "DIR" command! This will nuke the special byte code created on the refdisk. To put the code back on, use Bob Eager's REFSTAMP.

With some refdisks/option/flash disks, I had trouble under Win NT 4. However, going to the MS Dos prompt and typing "forcedos *.exe" the self extractor would work.

If you run the self-extractor from a path that contains at least one long file name, you will have this problem. You can also solve it by copying the self extracting program to a path with names equal to or shorter than 8 characters.

Disk Utility for TG0 Files
The 8525 starter disk (25start.tg0) needs the extractor LDF.COM or is it I have both. Email me HERE

Disk Utility for DSK Files
You need loaddskf.exe to extract these files. Email me HERE

Could I Damage My System with the Wrong Refdisk?
Hell, no! Your system has ADFs for the planar, and the POS circuitry identifies the specific features available to the systems programs. If you use the wrong refdisk, the system will tell you that you have been bad, and MUST be punished... (actually, it says the refdisk is not the correct one for the system, the system is now locked, and you must Ctrl-Alt-Del to get it to work again)

WARNING: Making "cooked" reference diskettes to "add features" that are not officially supported by your system (even if the hardware supports it) may really mess things up and might cause your system to reject valid reference diskettes. For more, see the near disaster that resulted from hacking a refdisk on a P75...

Copying Option ADFs to the Refdisk CORRECTLY
Just copying the ADF to the refdisk will NOT work (I know, I've tried). Before installing a new adapter, run Systems Programs (or Setup to non-IBM types) and choose "Copy an Options Diskette" from the main menu. Now when you install the new adapter, the refdisk HAS the new ADF on it, and it can autoconfigure without flashing that annoying "The description file for the adapter in Slot x was not found".
On the later systems with a refdisk and diags disk, you need both IF you are installing an IBM option (IBM adapters have *.dgs files).

Accessing Advanced Diagnostics from Refdisk
When at the main menu, do a Ctrl-A and you will eventually get to the advanced diags. LLF is there, as is a more detailed and user selectable diagnostics menu. Use it!

SC Trivia
>Time for wild speculation and downright baseless opinions. Which version of IBM PC Dos would work best with the 1990 vintage SC.EXE?

From Peter
The pre-1992 versions of the reference / diagnostic disks were mainly based on PC-DOS 4.0 (4.01) - which caused several problems with bigger harddisks. IBM replaced the versions with a PC-DOS 5 based system after complaints.
The SC.EXE however should not query the DOS version number, because the modified COMMAND.COM used on the reference disks does not return any DOS version number at all. So it will -most likely- run under any DOS version 4.0 and above. I -at least- had no problem booting up a Mod. 70 for example under PC DOS 7 - putting the refdisk in A: and type "SC" at the A:> prompt.

Run SC.EXE from HD?
From Rich Wolos
Probably don't qualify for any titles, but we did put the refdisk files on several Model 70 hard drives at the shop. (in \refdisk directory).
Found we usually could run sc.exe (set config) to add/remove memory, also adapter cards if the adf's were there, and also setclock.exe and few others. Someone discovered you could type c:\refdisk>command and that would bring up the opening refdisk menu

Common Refdisk Files
BACKUP EXE Backs up reference and diagnostics disk, or does it back up the CMOS contents to floppy?
DIAGS COM The big enchilada that calls up the *.dgs files and runs diagnostics.
KP COM Keyboard password utility (KP.COM) locks the keyboard temporarily without turning the system off.
PASSWORD COM Power-On Password application?
POSTERR COM Brings up a simple message in case of a POST error...
RECV35 COM (Thanks, David Beem!)A parallel port Interlink (before there was such a thing). IBM sold an option of a dongle that was attached to the DB-25 PS/2 parallel port & had a Centronics 36-pin connection on the other side. The option included a diskette with the file for running on the other system with the printer cable to connect to the dongle. On the PS/2 you could map the others' drives to copy files (It was marketed as a way to transfer files from the older 5-1/4 format to the new 3.5 format used on the PS/2.). Look at the Data Migration Facility
SETCLOCK COM Sets the date/time. Runs from command line.
SETRATE COM Sets typematic rate for KB. Runs from command line.
SC EXE The big enchilada for setting configuration. Will run and configure from command line in a pure DOS (M$ or PC) environment.
UPDATE EXE Updates BIOS in CMOS? Or does it update CMOS info on floppy?
USERINT EXE Reference Disk User Interface?
DSPREVL EXE "Display Release Level" (?) where it shows BIOS and ref/diags levels.
IBMCACHE COM IBM Disk Cache Installer
UINSTALL COM User Install utility to install certain optional programs that may be provided with your PS/2. Usually used most on the L40SX to install the optional utilities for that system.
DASDDRVR SYS (Thanks, David Beem!) This is the "Direct-Access Storage Device Driver" collection of software patches to fix ROM BIOS bugs for the early models of pre-IML PS/2s. Only the PS/2-minimum DOS 3.3 and later versions need this driver; OS/2 has the same patches built-in. I don't think the system files in Windows 95 have the patches (and some of the Models fixed by the patches are a 286 or lower; Win95 COMMAND.COM wants a 386 or better.). The patches are system-specific & fix known issues. The driver just overlays the selected areas of affected BIOS, so it uses no more memory.
INSTDBUF COM Install Double Buffer?

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