Connectix Virtual PC 5 for OS/2 (www.softzone.org)
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(C) 2001-2002 InnoTek Systemberatung GmbH
(C) 1988-2002 Connectix Inc.
!!! I M P O R T A N T
!!! Virtual PC 5 contains significant enhancements which
!!! possibly require user interaction when migrating guest
!!! images from a previous version. Please read the
!!! following information very carefully.
Virtual PC for OS/2 allows you to run additional operating
systems on top of your OS/2 system. It is based on
Virtual PC by Connectix Corporation, delivering the most
advanced virtualization technology available.
For general information about how to install, configure
and use the product, please refer to the documentation on
the CDROM. This document will provide technical
information that is not mentioned in the manual and
typically more up to date. It also lists the currently
known problems with the product and possible solutions.
Virtual PC supports Athlon, Duron, Celeron, Pentium II,
Pentium III and Pentium 4 CPUs with at least 400MHz
Due to the plethora of problems with OS/2 on SMP and
very different hardware behavior, we officially do not
support SMP. We have tried our best to make the software
work well on SMP but it is impossible to guarantee
smooth operation on SMP systems.
Virtual PC allocates memory for the guest operating system
that will not be available to the host system and
applications while the guest system is running. The amount
of memory can be assigned by the user and is usually
determined by the type of guest operating system. In a
typical configuration with a Windows 2000 guest, one would
assign 96MB of RAM to the guest and therefore require to
have 96MB in addition to what is needed for sufficient
performance for the host OS/2 and its applications. Note
that the memory assigned to a guest is physically
allocated and cannot reside in the swapper file.
2.2.1 Base Operating System
Virtual PC for OS/2 is only supported on a Convenience
Pack level of OS/2 (MCP1, MCP2, ACP1, ACP2) and
WorkSpace On-Demand 2.0 with Fixpack 16. It has been
tested with earlier versions of OS/2 (Warp 4 FP8 and
higher) and no problems could be identified. However,
such configurations are not officially supported by
eComStation by Serenity Systems is also supported.
Warp 3 is not supported at this time.
2.2.2 Graphics Driver
Virtual PC for OS/2 is very graphics intensive and
sensitive to graphics driver issues. InnoTek recommends
using Scitech Display Doctor - either the retail version
from Scitech or the OEM version SDD/se from IBM. Using any
other driver can cause severe problems.
Virtual PC for OS/2 is optimized for GRADD based display
drivers. However, InnoTek is very interested in getting
feedback on user experiences with other display drivers.
This allows us to selectively look at supporting Virtual
PC with other display drivers based on user demand.
Unless your graphics driver supports hardware color
cursors (the vast majority of OS/2 graphics drivers
including Scitech don't), make sure you only use
monochrome (black & white) mouse cursors. Using non
monochrome mouse cursors will lead to display
corruptions inside the Virtual PC window.
Virtual PC for OS/2 requires a 32bit level of the TCP/IP
stack. This means that the command "inetver" needs to
return a level of 6.x. OS/2 versions past Warp 4 come with
a 32bit IP stack. For Warp 4, you need to update your MPTS
to level WR8620 or later.
Refer to the usual IBM fixpak sites to download these
3.1 Update Installation
The installer can update an existing installation of
Virtual PC for OS/2. All your settings and virtual
machines will be preserved. However, you have to shut
down all virtual machines prior to installing the
update. If there are virtual machines in the saved
state mode (i.e. they have been suspended), the saved
states will be lost after the update. This will
correspond to pulling the power plug of a desktop PC
while it is running and the same risks apply.
Virtual PC for OS/2 fully supported unattended
installations based on the CID method. For detailed
information about how to do an unattended installation of
Virtual PC, please refer to the manual.
3.3 Workspace on Demand
Virtual PC for OS/2 bas been certified on IBM
WorkSpace On-Demand. Note that the hardware and software
requirements also apply for WSOD clients.
To obtain more information for how to perform an
installation in a WSOD environment, please contact
3.4 Virtual PC keyboard monitor
Virtual PC comes with a keyboard monitor driver
(vpckbmon.exe) that can be installed to CONFIG.SYS to
allow Virtual PC to intercept certain OS/2 system key
combinations (Ctrl-Esc, Alt-Esc, Alt-Tab, C-A-D). It
can be selected during installation. The keyboard
monitor will be active when a virtual machine receives
input focus and can be configured through the Virtual
Note that the Virtual PC keyboard monitor might not
be compatible with certain other keyboard monitors.
Most often, you find keyboard monitors in remote
control applications like PolyPM/RSM, NetOp, Tivoli,
etc. In case you experience system hangs starting
Virtual machines or using your remote control
application, it is recommended to remove either the
remote control application or the Virtual PC
keyboard monitor. This can be achieved through the
Virtual PC Setup application.
3.5 Full Screen Mode
Limited support for running guest operating systems in
full screen mode has been added to Virtual PC for OS/2.
The full screen mode will always run at the current OS/2
resolution and color depth. If the guest operating
systems supports automatic resolution changing and the
Virtual PC Additions have been installed (most versions
of Windows), the guest will either be centered or
resized to the OS/2 resolution when switching to
full screen mode. This depends on the File-Preferences-
Full Screen Mode setting (Adjust guest to match host
will resize the guest).
Full support for full screen including changing the
color depth and resolution on the fly is not
available right now due to missing OS/2 functionality.
3.6 Guest Image Migration from Virtual PC 4.x
Virtual PC 5 contains significant enhancements since
version 4.x. Using several patent-pending technologies,
Virtual PC 5 is able to reduce the performance penalty
of a virtual machine compared to a physical machine
to less than 5% in most situations.
These enhancements come along with several changes in
the virtual hardware. For Windows guests, this means
that a hardware redetection will be performed
(Windows 9x, Me, 2000, XP).
For Windows 2000 and XP guests, it is possible that
after the update, they will boot in VGA resolution
and the keyboard and mouse will not function. This
can be solved by resetting the VM and before Windows
is booting, selecting "PC - Install/Update Additions".
It is also possible to use F8 to boot the Windows
To experience the significant performance enhancements
that have been made for Windows NT, 2000 and XP, it is
required to update the guest Additions to the level
provided with Virtual PC 5 (10.x).
For Windows NT guests, it is required to remove the
DEC 21041 network card and install the driver for the
DEC 21140 card. This requires access to the Windows
NT installation media.
4. List of Changes
2002-09-26: Version 5.0 Build 350
- based on the latest Connectix Virtual PC 5.0 with
significant performance enhancements and fixes:
- substantial improvements in performance and speed
- CPU resource control allows user command of CPU
- ACPI support increases compatibility with imported
or exported PC disk images using technologies such
as Norton Ghost or PowerQuest Drive Image
- increased RAM support - user can assign up to 1 GB
RAM per virtual machine
- implemented limited fullscreen support
- improved virtual machine scheduling by making the OS/2
kernel schedule in 8ms instead of 32ms (temporary
time critical thread)
- fixed installer to always update Virtual Switch to the
- enhanced installer to be fully CID compliant with
CID return codes
- display warning in installer if DIVE subsystem is not
present (DIVE.DLL and SSMDD.SYS)
- added bldlevel information to all binaries
- added vpcsetup.exe /tweakvpc to access undocumented
configuration options (use at your own risk!)
- disable use of OS2CDROM.DMD ASPI pass-through by
default to workaround issues with Adaptec SCSI drivers
- fixed startup delay when HOSTNAME was not set and
DNS could not be contacted
- fixed system hang after crashes of VPC (which
hopefully never happen in the first place!)
- fixed various synchronization issues with RAM
- fixed synchronization issues for SMP systems
- improved latencies in sound support (still disabled
by default and unsupported)
- fixed potential system hang when minimizing VPC
- fixed mouse handling without mouse pointer integration
- increased directory listing performance with
- fixed handling of files and directories containing
special characters (e.g. umlauts) with Shared Folders
- improved reliability of COM port handling
- fixed traps in vpcapp.sys when assigning large amounts
of RAM to a virtual machine
- added tweak to autohide mouse cursor when painting in
the guest screen to work around screen corruption
with software mouse cursors (will cause flicker)
- added support for German, French, Japanese, Italian
and Spanish as user interface languages
- fixed codepage translation issues with Shared Folders
- fixed PMMERGE resource leak
- several other minor bug fixes...
2002-07-12: Version 4.3.2
- based on the latest Connectix Virtual PC 4.3.2
version with numerous enhancements and fixes
- added keyboard monitor component to allow OS/2 hotkey
handling in guest window (Ctrl-Esc, Alt-Esc, Alt-Tab,
- vpcapp.sys no longer requires KEE, making it possible
to install Virtual PC on OS/2 Warp 4 FP8 or higher
(note that this is not supported by InnoTek)
- fixed several traps in vpcapp.sys when assigning more
than 160MB RAM to a virtual machine
- added support for SMP systems. Virtual PC no longer
binds to the second CPU.
- moved user specific settings to the HKCU registry tree
(automatic conversion to preserve configuration)
- fixed excessive DLL lookup (uxtheme.dll)
- fixed CDROM handling
- fixed audio CD playback
- fixed slowdown on systems without CDROM
- file dialog now remembers last directory
- fixed window deactivation on minimize
- fixed drop down combobox handling
- fixed VM listbox flickering when running more than
- fixed creation time off by 1h issue for Shared Folders
- fixed infinite loops with certain dialog accelerators
- fixed keyboard accelerators for dialog controls (pressing
a push button with the space bar did not work)
- set maximum container file size to 2GB by default (used
to be unrestricted for JFS and UDF)
- fixed parallel port handling. VPC now queries OS/2
Resource Manager for parallel port settings to support
non standard LPT IO ports.
- implemented full support for DVD media. This requires
the May 2001 level of IDEDASD (included with Virtual PC)
Note that SCSI drives are not supported.
- improved COM port handling
- fixed several problems with the Shared Folders file
- implemented performance improvements due to better
- fixed Novell Netware small Ethernet frame handling
- fixed wave playback and recording
- prevent Virtual PC from growing virtual hard drives
beyond 2GB - even on JFS and UDFS. Instead, split files
will be created.
2002-03-31: Version 4.2 General Availability
- initial public version
5. Known Problems
- due to problems with several sound chips, sound support
has been disabled in this version of the product. It
might be reenabled in a future release. Note that this
is not a problem with Virtual PC but rather a problem
with many OS/2 sound drivers not being able to handle
small buffers. Especially the current Crystal sound
drivers are very problematic. The ESS PCI sound drivers
lead to constant system hangs after running VPC for
about 30-45 minutes.
Note that there is an undocumented way of enabling sound
support in this version of Virtual PC. For more
information, refer to the product support site.
- Virtual Hard Disks (VHD) that map a physical partition
or drive are not supported in version. This might be
available in a future version of the product.
- when using a OS2CDROM.DMD lever earlier than May 2001,
reading multi-session CDROMs and DVDs is not possible.
- when using the Additions software with mouse pointer
integration and using colored mouse pointers, the mouse
cursors will automatically be converted to black &
white. This is due to the vast majority of OS/2 display
drives (including SDD) not supporting hardware color
cursors. This is not an OS/2 or Virtual PC limitation.
You should urge your display driver manufacturer to add
support for hardware color cursors. If SDD supports
colored cursors, we will allow using colored cursors
in a future version of the product.
- when using the Styler/2 desktop enhancer, the system
might hang with mouse pointer integration. The
solution is to uninstall or disable Styler/2.
- when using Shared Networking, TCPBEUI (NETBIOS over
TCP/IP) is not supported. This will be fixed in a future
version of the product.
- using VHD files that are larger than 2GB will not work
with this version. This is due to a change preventing
VHD files growing over 2GB. The change was made
because OS/2's handling of files > 2GB is very limited
and often causes problems. In order to continue to use
VHD files larger than 2GB, the old behavior needs to
be restored. This can be done with the tweaker.
- when using SOCKS and the SOCKS server is not available
(e.g. the network connection is not present), there
might be a delay when Virtual PC is starting up.
To fix this, make sure you disable SOCKS when there is
no connection to the SOCKS server.
Support is available for registered Virtual PC for OS/2
customers. This includes online support through our
support site at http://www.innotek.de/products/virtualpc/.
Updates to the product will also be available from this
InnoTek would like to thank the following people (in
alphabetical order) for their contribution to the project: