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Copyright 1998-2020, Southern California OS/2 User Group. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

SCOUG, Warp Expo West, and Warpfest are trademarks of the Southern California OS/2 User Group. OS/2, Workplace Shell, and IBM are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. All other trademarks remain the property of their respective owners.

The Southern California OS/2 User Group
P.O. Box 26904
Santa Ana, CA 92799-6904, USA

February 2003


 Dear Mr. Know-It-All 

Mr. Know-It-All has the answers to even the really tough questions.


Question:

I am reorganizing my disk drives and want to move several applications from drive E: to drive D:. Can I do this without uninstalling and reinstalling every application?

Editor's Notes: As with all things risky, caution is a good thing. Be sure you have backups before you do any of the editing suggested in the answer below. You should realize that moving some applications requires far more effort than others. You might want to contact the application vendors for specific information.

Answer:

The answer is usually yes, although sometimes it may be more work than it is worth. This depends on how much customization the application supports, where the application stores its settings and how many hardcoded pathnames the settings contain. However, if you have a heavily customized application, it is worthwhile to try the move. If the move works, you will have saved the time it would have taken to uninstall, reinstall and reconfigure.

Many applications can be successfully moved using just the Drives folder and the usual WPS drag and drop operations. The WPS will take care of moving the files and updating the WPS objects to point to the new file locations.

The application files must be unlocked when you try to move them. If there are locked files, the move will fail. Sometimes, you can work around this problem by using unlock utility included with LxLite to unlock the files.

After the move, you might need to do some additional work to adjust the hardcoded pathnames stored in various places. It is easiest to adjust the paths if only the drive letter has changed, but sometimes more complicated changes can be handled. A lot depends on where and how the pathnames are stored.

If the application has private settings in OS2.INI or OS2SYS.INI, you will need to edit any pathnames these contain to point to the new location. This is easy to do with an .INI file editor. Mr. KIA prefers HyperStar's Unimaint , although Goran Ivankovic's IniEdit and IBM's Regedit2 can be used.

If the application pathname appears in CONFIG.SYS, you will need to edit these references.

If the application has settings in private .INI files, you may need to edit any pathnames these contain.

If the application stores settings in text files, you may find pathnames that need editing in these.

The most difficult applications are those that store settings in a proprietary binary format. For these you will need to use a hex editor. Mr. KIA uses ZTBold for this because it also includes very good search tools along with basic hex editing support. This makes it easier to find the pathnames that need to be edited even when they are spread over multiple files in multiple directory trees. However, there are a variety of capable hex editors available from Hobbes and they will all get the job done.

If you are moving an application that uses the Open32 registry, be sure to check \os2\system\user.dat and \os2\system\system.dat for pathnames to be edited.

If the application was installed by IBM's Software Installer, check \os2\system\epfis.ini for pathnames to be edited. Use an .INI file editor to search and edit this file.

If the application was installed by IBM's Feature Installer, you will need to check the "\os2\install\Installed Features" directory tree for pathnames to be edited. These should all be in the INSTDATA.INI files, which are text files. Mr. KIA has not yet tried to move an application installed by FI, so the move might require more edits than this.

The most difficult part of moving a large application is finding all the pathnames that need to be hand edited. However, the available tools make this relatively easy to do. Mr. KIA has successfully moved large applications including SmartSuite and StarOffice. All the settings were preserved including customized toolbars, menus and templates.


Curious or in doubt, you can ask Mr. Know-It-All
OS/2 is his specialty and sharing solutions is his passion
Mr. Know-It-All lives in Southern California.


The Southern California OS/2 User Group
P.O. Box 26904
Santa Ana, CA 92799-6904, USA

Copyright 2003 the Southern California OS/2 User Group. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

SCOUG, Warp Expo West, and Warpfest are trademarks of the Southern California OS/2 User Group. OS/2, Workplace Shell, and IBM are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. All other trademarks remain the property of their respective owners.