Tag Archives: driver

Have a question? Be sure to read our FAQs

We’ve discussed the wealth of specific information available in our wiki pages in previous blog posts here and here, but there is still another resource available to get quick answers to “how do I…” and other questions: the Arca Noae FAQ.

Searching the FAQ is easy: just type one or more terms into the search box at the top. To browse questions and answers by category, select one of the available categories from the list, and scroll. Another way to search the entire Arca Noae website is to just use the site search box to the right of most pages.

If a FAQ answer has been helpful, please be sure to let us know by clicking the appropriate feedback link at the bottom.

If you happen to find something which doesn’t seem quite right (outdated or perhaps in need of further explanation), please drop us a note to let us know. If you have a suggestion for something to add, please tell us. We continually add questions as they are asked more frequently (hey, it’s a FAQ, after all), and we’ll be sure to consider any suggestions.

Just as the links to the wiki and the ticket system, the FAQ is available from the Support dropdown on the main menu.

Visited the Arca Noae wiki pages recently?

A few months ago, in another blog post, we discussed some things to do before opening a support ticket, including visiting the wiki pages to check for the latest technical and how-to information for your product.

These pages are regularly updated, so even if you’ve looked over them before, they’re worth a re-read.

Web searches are fine, but unfortunately, much of the available information pertaining to OS/2 is either dated or more specifically related to non-ArcaOS distributions or non-Arca Noae drivers. Your first, best place for information on Arca Noae products is right here.

If you happen to find something which doesn’t seem quite right (screenshots or directions outdated), please drop us a note to let us know. If you have a suggestion for something to add (a tip, how-to, or even a missing wiki), please tell us. We keep a running list of pages to update and add, and we’ll be sure to consider any requests we receive.

As always, and as frequently mentioned here, before opening a trouble ticket, be sure to check the wiki pages (self-help is often the best help).

New driver packages released

Arca Noae is pleased to announce the immediate availability of updates for ACPI, JFS, FAT32, and Panorama to match what is in the recently released ArcaOS v5.0.6.

If you updated to ArcaOS 5.0.6 you already have these updates. These updates are recommended for everyone.

ACPI

  • The power manager in the daemon was enhanced to better handle multiple CPUs.
  • ACPICA was updated to the current version.

JFS

  • The boot loader has a fix that prevents an IPE if the boot volume has empty directories that are read before the IFS is loaded.

FAT32

  • Improved cache performance and stability.
  • Better conformity with standards when formatting media.
  • Improved messages for errors and utilities, including cache control.
  • Improved disk check handling for mismatched FATs.

Panorama

  • The Custom Resolution module was enhanced to better handle some types of Intel BIOS if patching is necessary.

For more information, please read the ReadMe for the specific package.

if you have problems with any of these drivers, please read the wiki first. If your problem cannot be resolved with the information in the wiki or the ReadMe, then the problem should be reported in the ticketing system.

If you have ArcaOS, these driver packages are available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of the Support & Maintenance subscription for your ArcaOS product. Please log into your account and see your ArcaOS order details page to access your software.

If you have an Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription, these driver packages are available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of your Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription. Please log into your account in order to access your software.

If you are still running OS/2 and/or eComStation systems and haven’t yet purchased a software subscription, this is a great reason to do so now. It may also be a good time to consider moving up to ArcaOS.

About requests for support

Whenever you encounter a problem with Arca Noae software which you cannot resolve on your own, you should consider opening a trouble ticket. If you have a current ArcaOS Support & Maintenance subscription or a current OS/2 & eCS Drivers & Software subscription, we’re here to help in any way we can. You paid for professional support with your software license and/or subscription, and you are entitled to it. To provide that level of service, however, we need a little help from you.

Before opening your ticket, please consider whether the issue is really in Arca Noae software or perhaps in a third-party component bundled with ArcaOS. Third-party software is not produced or directly supported by Arca Noae. Look at the program’s documentation. Where does it say support requests should be directed? If it is third-party software, you should probably start there. On the other hand, if it is a third-party component but your problem seems to have stemmed from the manner in which it was installed during an ArcaOS installation or update, that would be a problem for us to at least review first, because it may involve our installation software (which is our component).

Please don’t take offense if we refer you to the program’s developer or distributor for support. Those entities are probably closer to the source code than we are, and thus in a better position to assist you with your problem. We’re not passing the buck, just trying to direct you to the best place for the help you need.

If your issue is with an Arca Noae component, please review that component’s wiki pages for information on supported configurations as well as debugging instructions. The more you do ahead of time, the more you will know and the more information you will have available when we request it in your ticket. Be sure you’re using the right driver for your hardware. Be sure your system is in a supported configuration.

As a general rule when opening tickets, you should familiarize yourself with our Reporting Problems – Best Practices and Ticket Guidelines wiki pages. While these pages don’t change often, they document the framework within which we process tickets, give you an overview of what to expect from us, and likewise, what we expect from you (see mention above of “a little help from you”).

When a technician or engineer has been assigned to your ticket, consider that person your concierge to a solution for the duration of your problem. He or she is there to help. If that technician or engineer requests logging information, that’s not a suggestion. He or she requests that information in order to resolve the problem.

Always bear in mind that not all problems are reproducible by the technician or engineer, or your problem could be a configuration or usage issue. Often the only objective information the technician or engineer has to work with is contained in the log file(s) requested. If the log file(s) contain what you consider to be sensitive information (usernames, IP addresses, etc.), simply ask the ticket assignee to set your ticket to private status. When private, only you, Arca Noae staff, and developers have access to the information. You also have the option of sanitizing your log info to your satisfaction, as long as such anonymizing does not obscure the underlying data (your ticket assignee can provide more guidance, here; just ask).

If you fail to provide requested information or log files, your ticket assignee may very well resolve the ticket as “reporter unresponsive.” You may reopen the ticket within 30 days of resolution if you provide the requested information.

When you attach files to a ticket, please also post a comment. File attachments do not trigger email notifications, and do not change ticket status from Feedback, so without a comment added, the technician or engineer will have no idea that you have provided the requested information, and this may delay the ticket resolution process.

Please do not provide extra, not-requested attachments, such as configuration files and screenshots. If your ticket assignee has need of this information, he or she will ask for it.

Our goal is to resolve your issue as quickly as possible. Some issues may require more time than others. Some issues require group input, and thus, there may be some delays in responding to your ticket. Please be patient.

Above all, our goal is to provide quality software and attentive, professional support. All we ask in return is that you follow the procedures we have put in place so that we may work as efficiently as possible, and you may get back to the business of enjoying your Arca Noae products.

Arca Noae progress report: USB, ArcaOS updater, multimedia

Here are some of the recent happenings around the Arca Noae labs and design studios:

We’ve recently made significant progress toward localizing various parts, particularly for German and Spanish, and will soon have a new test build of the CWMM classes in Spanish (a completely new translation for this component).


We continue to improve the update process for the next ArcaOS release, as we find edge cases where the current updater doesn’t quite finish due to unexpected conditions in the target system. (As a reminder, please check the ArcaOS Updating wiki page before beginning an update to the latest release. There you’ll find hints and tips to help avoid – or resolve – some known problems.)


When IBM left off USB driver development, OS/2 had a working, 16-bit USB 1.x and 2.0 driver stack. Fast forward to 2019, and this is no longer adequate for the needs of today’s hardware.

The Arca Noae USB stack is now fully 32-bit, and USB 3 support development continues to make good progress. Implementing USB 3 support has been tedious because the OS/2 USB architecture didn’t accommodate the peculiarities of USB 3 well.

Adding USB 3 support was not as simple as just writing a new xHCI driver. Significant changes were required throughout the entire USB stack, including changes to USBD and the OHCI, UHCI, and EHCI drivers. The xHCI driver as it exists today in beta testing works quite well. There are just a couple of things that still need to be done before we will be able to release it for general availability. One thing is to implement support for Isochronous transfers (audio and video devices). The second thing is to improve the error recovery speed. Error recovery speed was not an issue with USB 2 because USB 2 devices rarely, if ever, had errors. Super Speed (USB 3) devices operating at the new USB 3 speeds have higher error rates so the error recovery speed is important. We are actively working to resolve these last two issues.

Once the xHCI (USB 3) driver is released, the Arca Noae USB stack will make it possible to install and run ArcaOS on systems which lack USB 2.0 (EHCI) controllers. (Even though many modern systems advertise the availability of USB 2.0 ports, these ports are indeed wired to xHCI controllers. Without an xHCI driver, this will result in loss of keyboard and mouse control shortly after boot and the inability to mount the installation ISO from USB-attached media.)


Don’t have ArcaOS yet? Now is a great time to pick up a license or two and replace that aging Warp 4 or eComStation installation and get to know what’s new and improved. ArcaOS supports more modern hardware than any other OS/2 distribution available today, making hardware upgrades much easier than ever before.

Arca Noae progress report: Bits and Pieces

We continue to explore new ways to make the ArcaOS desktop experience more user-friendly and useful. To that end, we’d like to share some upcoming enhancements which should be available in the near future.

An update to the Arca Noae Removable Media Monitor widget for the XCenter is currently in testing which handles JFS, HPFS, and FAT32 media changes better, avoiding a trap which could otherwise occur when removing one device and inserting another without a proper eject operation.

We also have a component in testing now which transparently switches audio output from the built-in audio device to a USB audio device and back again when the USB device is attached or removed.

If you have a Brother laser printer, and have not been able to print to it, even via CUPS, we have some possibly good news for you: The brlaser CUPS driver package (RPM) has recently been updated to version 6.0.0, and our port should be moving from our experimental repository to the subscription repository very soon.

Don’t have ArcaOS yet? Now is a great time to pick up a license or two and replace that aging Warp 4 or eComStation installation. Better yet, why not upgrade to newer hardware entirely, and install ArcaOS fresh? ArcaOS supports more modern hardware than any other OS/2 distribution available today.

Panorama Video Driver Package version 1.15 released

Arca Noae is pleased to announce the immediate availability of our Panorama Video Driver Package for OS/2 and eComStation version 1.15.

This is a maintenance release containing some minor changes affecting driver startup. This release contains all the changes that were included in v1.14 but fixes the regressions that were reported. If you previously installed v1.14 you should probably install this update. This update is recommended for everyone, but it is not critical, so it can be installed at your convenience. It should not change the way existing installations operate.

More information about the Panorama Package may be found in the Panorama wiki.

If you have ArcaOS, this driver package is available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of the Support & Maintenance subscription for your ArcaOS product. Please log into your account and see your ArcaOS order details page to access your software.

If you have an Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription, this driver package is available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of your Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription. Please log into your account in order to access your software.

If you are still running OS/2 and/or eComStation systems and haven’t yet purchased a software subscription, this is a great reason to do so now. It may also be a good time to consider moving up to ArcaOS.

Panorama Video Driver Package version 1.14 withdrawn

Due to some serious regressions that were not discovered during QA testing, I have withdrawn Panorama version 1.14. It has been removed from the subscription download area. The previous version v1.13 is now the latest version available. Originally I had thought that I would be able to get v1.15 out quickly, but the issues are difficult to address and may take some time to resolve. All of the regressions involve a failure to startup properly on certain systems. If you have already installed v1.14 and it is working OK for you, it is safe to keep using it. You do not need to revert back to v1.13.

Once these regressions are addressed, a new version 1.15 will be released. Watch for that announcement. During this transition time, the on-line wiki and on-line readme file will still reflect version 1.14 even though only v1.13 is available.

More information about the Panorama Package may be found in the Panorama wiki.

If you have an Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription, the Panorama package is available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of your Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription. Please log into your account in order to access your software.

If you are still running OS/2 and/or eComStation systems and haven’t yet purchased a software subscription, this is a great time to do so now. It may also be a good time to consider moving up to ArcaOS.

Panorama Video Driver Package version 1.14 released

Arca Noae is pleased to announce the immediate availability of our Panorama Video Driver Package for OS/2 and eComStation version 1.14.

This is a maintenance release containing some minor changes. The release changes the way that MTRRs are set for Write Combining. A larger aperture is used which may make allocation easier on some systems. National Language Support is also updated and an updated gradd.sys driver is included. This update is not critical and should not change the way existing installations operate.

More information about the Panorama Package may be found in the Panorama wiki.

If you have ArcaOS, this driver package is available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of the Support & Maintenance subscription for your ArcaOS product. Please log into your account and see your ArcaOS order details page to access your software.

If you have an Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription, this driver package is available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of your Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription. Please log into your account in order to access your software.

If you are still running OS/2 and/or eComStation systems and haven’t yet purchased a software subscription, this is a great reason to do so now. It may also be a good time to consider moving up to ArcaOS.