SCOUG OS/2 For You - April 1998
System Commander 3.0
by Bob Ottke
With the vastly increased capacity of hard drives these days, we can easily afford to have two or three (or more!) operating systems on our machines. Are you one of us that believes that OS/2 Warp is a better and more stable system than 95? Surely you still have an earlier version of DOS. But, how do we handle several systems on the same machine? The best answer is to install System Commander v.3.0. At boot, you are presented with a menu of operating systems (up to a hundred, if you like), and can select the one you want to run. I do not believe that there is an operating system that cannot be accommodated. I have written about earlier versions of this program, and simply would not be without it. The new version has some goodies that make it even more attractive.
Although not necessary in most cases, I like to keep different operating systems on separate partitions. Wow! Do I have to go through all the drudgery of backing up, setting new partitions with FDISK, partitioning, reinstalling? Forget it! System Commander will allow you to create new partitions of whatever type (it will not handle HPFS or NTFS, though) without losing a byte of data. Even though re-partitioning is safe, though, be sure to back up your data before moving it around. There is just one no-no: compressed disks. But with the size of current hard drives, who needs disk compression anyway?
The Installation Wizard makes installation a snap, even if you need new partitions. Before you install System Commander, though, be sure to plan your objectives carefully, and read the documentation. Unlike most programs, the docs for this one are outstanding. Once you decide exactly what configuration you want, you will almost certainly find a section in the book that will take you step-by-step to the setup you want.
The new Deluxe version offers a number of options that were not available in earlier releases. The user will find many options that will make life more convenient. Some of these replace or supplement some of your CMOS configuration, and others get you into the areas of FDISK and the Master Boot Record (MBR). Suffice it to say that as you develop familiarity with the program, you will find it more and more useful.
The only reason you might not need System Commander is if you are running just OS/2. Even though Warp offers a Boot Manager to allow switching between two systems, you will undoubtedly find System Commander more convenient and more flexible. If you are running three or more operating systems on a single machine, you can hardly live without it. Without reservation, it is the most reliable and bug-free program I have ever run.
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