OS/2 2.0 Technical Library on archive.org

It’s certainly one of those things that I’m surprised I didn’t buy when it was current, but glad binipafruc scanned the set.

PDF’s look nice on an iPad, but maybe that’s me being old.

It’s crazy that once uppon a time, corporations thought developer documentation was a revenue stream to their upstart Operating System. It went as well as you can imagine it would.

Joining NT 4 to a SAMBA Domain Controller

or the Unbridled rage of living on the trailing edge.

I hosted a Porting Party last where where I setup my Dec Alpha as a terminal server allowing people from all over the world to connect in and cross compile software for the 64bit version of Windows for the Dec Alpha. While many problems were overcome, and many more remain, I have to say the most annoying thing was joining a domain hosted by a SAMBA server.

In my mind, I though the easiest way to get files in & out of the Alpha was not to use something like IIS/FTP where it would probably lead to end-less issues with text/binary/active/passive modes, but rather I should rent a VPS, install the OS default SAMBA and just map drives. The benefit of the VPS is that it has a public address, so no NAT is required. The VPS had an option for either CentOS (no) or Debian 10. I went with the Debian, and did an in place upgrade to 11, then 12. Nothing special.

I’d never actually used SAMBA as a domain controller before, but I thought this would be a fun experiment. So the idea is then that the VPS running SAMBA is the Domain Controller, and my Alpha joins it as a member server. Everyone else can use Windows or any SAMBA client and map drives, and then copy files to the VPS, and then copy back and forth from the Alpha to the VPS. This part worked fine.

What didn’t work was SAMBA version 4.

I had come up with this config, based on the fragments of the default config, and and hints from samba.org.

    netbios name = PDC
    passdb backend = tdbsam
    server max protocol = NT1
    username map = /usr/local/samba/etc/username.map
    workgroup = ALPHAPARTY
    server string = Samba Server
    security = user
    hosts allow =, <<<peoples networks...>>>
    load printers = yes
    log file = /usr/local/samba/var/log.%m
    max log size = 50
    passdb backend = tdbsam
    local master = yes
    os level = 33
    domain master = yes
    preferred master = yes
    domain logons = yes
    wins support = yes
    dns proxy = no
    add user script = /usr/sbin/useradd %u
    add group script = /usr/sbin/groupadd %g
    add machine script = /usr/sbin/adduser -n -g machines -c Machine -d /dev/null -s /bin/false %u
    delete user script = /usr/sbin/userdel %u
    delete user from group script = /usr/sbin/deluser %u %g
    delete group script = /usr/sbin/groupdel %g
    comment = Home Directories
    browseable = no
    writable = yes
    comment = All Printers
    path = /usr/spool/samba
    browseable = no
    guest ok = no
    writable = no
    printable = yes
    comment = share for everyone
    path = /public
    public = yes
    writable = yes
    printable = no
    creaet mask = 0777

I had endless issues with the machine account not being either created correctly or not being authenticated. I tried manually creating it, to no avail. No matter what I tried it didn’t work.

Working with NT 4.0 must be depreciated or something but no matter what I tried IT JUST DIDN’T WORK.

Feeling outraged, I purged the old Samba, downloaded the source code to 3.6.25, built that, and using the same configuration I had tried to put together, it just worked.

Dec Alpha joining the SMB Domain

Adding users was somewhat straight forward:

useradd -M -s /bin/bash neozeed
passwd neozeed
/usr/local/samba/bin/smbpasswd -a neozeed
/usr/local/samba/bin/smbpasswd -e neozeed
mkdir /home/neozeed
chown neozeed /home/neozeed/

Creating both a Linux user & directory, and the SAMBA credentials. On the terminal server, all that remains was assigning a local home directory & profile directories, as you really don’t want those over the WAN.

I have no idea if this is a warning to others, or whatever the larger issue is.

Porting Party II

At any rate I’ll be running another porting party this coming weekend. I can host cross compiling fine, but we need people with the 64bit Whistler beta installed to test. The best way to get details is over on discord. Lately the IRC bridge is down more than it’s up, and I can’t effectively send out passwords & get your network block to allow access to the RDP, since I’m not going to open up worldwide access to a Windows NT 4.0 SP5 machine.

Porting Party II

So for anyone interested in porting their C/C++ to either the 32bit Alpha Windows, or 64bit Alpha Windows come join us on discord!

I’ll fire up the Alpha on Friday afternoon GMT and expect the event to run all weekend!

Connecting NT 4.0 clients to a SAMBA 4.17.9-Debian server

This is a brief but annoying thing.

I want to have an internet server that people can map drives to, for copying data in/out for the upcoming Dec Alpha AXP64 building extravaganza! I wan tot use my Dec Alpha for building since it’s got a gigabyte of RAM. One of the hard parts is that NT 4 is beyond obsolete, and twice as much on the DEC Alpha. I was figuring renting a VPS, and using it as a SAMBA server so people can simply map a drive from home, copy files to the VPS, terminal server to the Alpha, and copy files to & from the internet. Easy right?!

I was non stop getting this error:

System error 1326 has occurred.

Login failure: unknown user name or bad password.

Except I knew the username & password was correct.

The key part involved a few parameters to get it working. Although many people reported success by simply setting the protocol level, for me I had to set that and the lanman/ntlm auth to yes. Trying to enable NT4 compatible encryption didn’t work either.

   workgroup = WORKGROUP
   server min protocol = NT1
   client min protocol = NT1
   lanman auth=yes
   ntlm auth=yes

I’m not sure if it’s all that helpful to the world at large, or if it’s just super common knowledge, but I haven’t setup SAMBA in like forever. I guess I could go one further and join it to the domain but that doesn’t seem like it’s all that needed or all that smart.

Installing Windows XP on a Lenovo S20

This was a silly side project that got out of hand, building an XP physical machine to run some old software. Over in the UK, there is this fantastical store, CeX that sells all kinds of retro crap, often for cheap. Normally I wouldn’t care but with pc titles going from £0.50 to £3 it seemed like some fun 1990’s computing value right there!

I had been slowly amassing a collection of bargain bin, garbage tier games ‘from back in the day’ and while I had been running a few on VMware on Windows 10, with that sub £5 copy of Windows XP home, it sadly didn’t help with so many games being copy protected.

I would need a physical machine, and that is where this hunk of junk the S20 fell into place.

S20 is way overkill!

When it comes to Windows XP, the S20 is no slouch. With 12GB of RAM, a Nehalem 3Ghz Xeon W3550 @3Ghz, 2x 120GB SSD drives, and a functional optical disk, this makes for a great system. Rounding out the absurdity is a Nvidia Quadro 4000 with 2GB of VRAM. I’m pretty sure when XP was new I was still using a PII 233Mhz with 256Mb of RAM. So yeah, this is way overkill.

Since all the disks are SATA, the default install CD won’t work. As a matter of fact, not much works on the retail CD-ROM. I tried to use rufus but…

Setup cannot find the End User Licensing Agreement (EULA).

I got this strange error from the USB stick. It appears after some searching it’s seeing the CD-ROM and trying to load the rest of the installer from there. Further searches said don’t use Rufus, instead use “WinSetupFromUSB-1-10“. I figured if I was going to use something like this, that I’d want some crazy pirated/hacked up to date version of XP to compliment the whole hacked up experience, so I went with the seemingly reputable “Windows XP SP3 Integral Edition 2022-6-16“.

WinSetupFromUSB 1.10

Options seemed to be somewhat straightforward, make sure it targets your USB drive! not any external backups. It does recommend you reformat with NTFS & set the alignment for a much needed speed improvement. Other than checking a few boxes to make sure it’s got the BTS driver pack & it’s a 2000/XP/2003 from USB install it pretty much worked.

After rebooting to the USB, be sure to select the

By selecting this option it’ll inject the needed ‘modern’ disk drivers. Otherwise it just wont work (EULA error or inaccessible boot device).

If everything goes well it’ll have injected a tonne of drivers, allowing the install to work.

Once the text part of setup is completed, be sure to boot off the USB again, again choosing option 1 to Auto-detect and use SATA/RAID/SCSI, but then choose option 4 for the Second part of the Windows XP setup.

Windows PE?

From here the setup feels very Windows PE. I suspect it is, but it’ll continue basically unattended and on it’s own. From here you can just boot directly from the hard disk, once it’s finished installing. It will prompt for the USB stick again to add all the additional options

Optional options!

I didn’t know what to exclude or pick, So I just chose them all.

It did take about 20 minutes, but at least by the end I did have a very usable XP install.

Trying the first Quadro Driver I could find, and I got knocked down to 640×480 in 4bit colour. It sucked. I don’t know what the deal was.

320.92 is the version that worked for me!

Working Video

With video working, the next step is all the reaming device drivers. Ohver on Phils Computer Lab, he had mentioned snappy driver installer, but the first link I hit on google was some virus loaded thing. Luckily since this is a fresh install it wasn’t at all painful to shove the USB back in and format the machine. I think I was also spared a lot of damage as it was constantly failing with a “bcrypt.dll missing” error. Saved by being obsolete!

Instead, I found the one on sourceforge.net, and it was working as expected.

Adding the audio drivers took a few attempts at installing stuff, rebooting, trying the windows auto-detect, rebooting, re-running snappy driver, and a few more reboots, and I got the NVIDIA audio and the built in audio working.

Overkill XP

One thing is that some games fail entirely on XP. While GTA: Vice City had been running on Windows 10, it fails to do anything on XP. Older games with Win16 setup programs do run but Games like Links LS 1999 fail completely to run. I think the system has both too many cores, too much RAM, and it’s just plain too fast.

With all the talk of abandoning 8086/286/386 modes of operation, I thought it’d be a good time to build a box explicitly for 32bit gaming out of cast aside parts. The Lenovo S20 list price was an eye watering $3,645 USD, and the Quadro 4000 clocking in at $1,199 USD. This was not a casual machine for playing Mahjong Escape: Ancient China. But it’s kind of funny to know it does.

I have to throw some more stuff at it, but one could have only wished for a PC this fast in 2002.

FOSBIC1 compiler

Or Basic compiler/system in Fortran IV

I came across fosbic1 on github by accident, so intrigued by the description:

This is the FOSBIC1 compiler developed at the University of Gießen, Germany
in the late 70s for the CDC 3300 batch system.

It is a BASIC compiler and runtime system which is written in FORTRAN IV.

The text book from which the source code was copied implies that it is
a modified version of a BASIC compiler named UWBIC from the University of Washington, developed by William Sharp in 1967, for their IBM 7094.

So, without going into it much further I went ahead and made a few minor changes to get it running on Microsoft Fortran


Instead of some boring example, I thought I’d try some Mandelbrot, so going through this collection on rosettacode, I thought the OS/8 version looked simple enough to work with.

Sadly it doesn’t seem to be very ASCII so it doesn’t understand numerical characters. Maybe I’m doing it wrong I didn’t see anything. Just as my attempt to set a string variable to itself + a new letter then print that string strangely failed. Also it does weird stuff with strings, again it maybe me, but I’m impatient. This is terrible, and yeah I know.

                                        TESTCOMPILER -- BASIC BWL 5 GIESSEN -- VERSION 6/76-04

                   10 X1=59
                   11 Y1=21
                   20 I1=-1.0
                   21 I2=1.0
                   22 R1=-2.0
                   23 R2=1.0
                   30 S1=(R2-R1)/X1
                   31 S2=(I2-I1)/Y1
                   40 FOR Y=0 TO Y1
                   50 I3=I1+S2*Y
                   60 FOR X=0 TO X1
                   70 R3=R1+S1*X
                   71 Z1=R3
                   72 Z2=I3
                   80 FOR N=0 TO 30
                   90 A=Z1*Z1
                   91 B=Z2*Z2
                   100 IF A+B>4.0 GOTO 130
                   110 Z2=2*Z1*Z2+I3
                   111 Z1=A-B+R3
                   120 NEXT N
                   130 REM PRINT CHR$(0062-N);
                   131 IF N=0  THEN 200
                   132 IF N=1  THEN 202
                   133 IF N=10 THEN 204
                   134 IF N=11 THEN 206
                   135 IF N=12 THEN 208
                   136 IF N=14 THEN 210
                   137 IF N=15 THEN 212
                   138 IF N=16 THEN 214
                   139 IF N=17 THEN 216
                   140 IF N=19 THEN 218
                   141 IF N=2  THEN 230
                   142 IF N=20 THEN 232
                   143 IF N=22 THEN 234
                   144 IF N=23 THEN 236
                   145 IF N=24 THEN 238
                   146 IF N=25 THEN 240
                   147 IF N=3  THEN 242
                   148 IF N=30 THEN 244
                   149 IF N=31 THEN 246
                   150 IF N=4  THEN 248
                   151 IF N=5  THEN 250
                   152 IF N=6  THEN 252
                   153 IF N=7  THEN 254
                   154 IF N=8  THEN 256
                   155 IF N=9  THEN 258
                   200 PRINT 'A';
                   201 GOTO 439
                   202 PRINT 'B';
                   203 GOTO 439
                   204 PRINT 'C';
                   205 GOTO 439
                   206 PRINT 'D';
                   207 GOTO 439
                   208 PRINT 'E';
                   209 GOTO 439
                   210 PRINT 'F';
                   211 GOTO 439
                   212 PRINT 'G';
                   213 GOTO 439
                   214 PRINT 'H';
                   215 GOTO 439
                   216 PRINT 'I';
                   217 GOTO 439
                   218 PRINT 'J';
                   219 GOTO 439
                   230 PRINT 'K';
                   231 GOTO 439
                   232 PRINT 'L';
                   233 GOTO 439
                   234 PRINT 'M';
                   235 GOTO 439
                   236 PRINT 'N';
                   237 GOTO 439
                   238 PRINT 'O';
                   239 GOTO 439
                   240 PRINT 'P';
                   241 GOTO 439
                   242 PRINT 'Q';
                   243 GOTO 439
                   244 PRINT 'R';
                   245 GOTO 439
                   246 PRINT '-';
                   247 GOTO 439
                   248 PRINT 'T';
                   249 GOTO 439
                   250 PRINT 'U';
                   251 GOTO 439
                   252 PRINT 'V';
                   253 GOTO 439
                   254 PRINT 'W';
                   255 GOTO 439
                   256 PRINT 'X';
                   257 GOTO 439
                   258 PRINT 'Y';
                   259 GOTO 439
                   439 REM
                   440 NEXT X
                   450 PRINT '-EOL'
                   460 NEXT Y
                   461 PRINT 'END'
                   470 END

It runs in batches, so it’s not interactive. Very mainframe/1960’s minicomputer like. I guess it’s fitting again being in FORTRAN.

******************* EVERYTHING SEEMS OK -- LET'S GO AHEAD

                    PERCENT OF AVAILABLE STORAGE USED               31.081
                    PERCENT OF AVAILABLE DATA STORAGE USED            .000

AA    A    A    A    A    B    B    B    B    B    K    K    K    K    K
K    K    K    K    K    K    K    K    K    K    Q    Q    Q    Q    Q
Q    T    T    T    U    X    F    D    E    T    Q    Q    Q    Q    K
K    K    K    B    B    B    B    B    B    B    B    B    B    B    -EOL

I’m not sure what is up with the AA and after that, it’s all tabulated. I ended up running it through sed to remove the spaces, and using notepad to stitch the lines together. I guess I could have bash’d it some more but.. I’m impatient.

So yeah, it looks like it worked! Very amazing. And of course it’s crazy fast but that should be expected I suppose. I don’t like the hard coded table, but I just wanted to get it to generate an image.

Sadly, the author of the compiler, Weber seems to have disappeared, and the publisher Paul Haupt died in 1978, a year after this being published.

Since people were asking for xMach binaries

xMach doing it’s Linux calibration

Since binaries had been requested, along with the old elf cross compiler I thought I’d try that new fangled github binary releases.

This is just taken from old artifacts from the old Building OSkit & xMach adventures.

I had made a vmdk, MachUK22-lites.vmdk.7z as well, not sure if that helps anyone.

Bill Nye, the Microsoft C 6 guy

So, a while back I had found this up on eBay. As much as I’m trying not to buy old stuff I just couldn’t resist. And the price was just too good, I’d just have to forego going out to dinner for a week.

While looking around for something on Microsoft C, I stumbled upon this promo video for Microsoft C 6. Naturally I had to share it!

I had been using it to mess around with a poorly ported Hack 1.03, although I haven’t done much with that in a while.

One thing is for sure, that the old MS-DOS memory limits were becoming more and more of an issue. Sadly, they didn’t include the QuickC for Windows product which had the benefit of building in protected mode for access to far more memory, nor did they include any DOS Extender to even allow larger runtime access. Obviously you were expected to run this under MSOS/2 1.2 in this era. Although targeting OS/2 protected mode allowed easier integration with PharLap’s 286 based DOS Extender.

Since this was the OS/2 era, the Windows 3.0 SDK was a separate product.

There was another release, the 6.00ax version which included a DOS Extender, allowing the compiler to access 16MB of ram, as reported in this leaflet in a combined Microsoft C & Windows 3.0 SDK package.

The followup Microsoft C/C++ 7.0 addressed many of these shortcomings, but of course famously removed targeting OS/2. There was a later update that at least provided OS/2 compiled version of the binaries allowing you to run it under OS/2. I never tried to see if it could be paired with the OS/2 SDK, and manually made to generate OS/2 executables. I suspect not.

The larger thing is that Microsoft C 386 remained a ‘hidden’ product on Xenix, and the 32bit OS/2 and NTOS/2 betas.

64bit computing on a budget

With all that Dec Alpha talk, and how hard it is to get hardware, and how seemingly exclusionary it is, I thought I would try to touch on a more available 64bit ‘risc’ platform, for the masses!

While a couple years ago I had touched on running Windows 10 on the Raspberry Pi 4, in the brave new world of 2023 getting ahold of a pi4 is expensive, hard to find, and kind of depressive, which lead me to this (old) but exciting project, the Renegade Project!

Long story short, there exists enough drivers & information to facilitate a port to the Snapdragon 845, a 64bit System On a Chip( SOAC!), meaning that if you have a device with this chip it *can* be slightly possible to install Windows 10 onto it.

system compatibility matrix, for ants.

Glancing at the system matrix, to me the glaring hole is Charging. 3 systems outright support it, all of them from Xiaomi, the Xiaomi Mix 2s, Xiaomi Mix 3 & the Xiaomi PocoPhone F1. Looking around eBay to start this adventure I found a PocoPhone F1!

Getting the Phone

This seemed like a good start, 29.99, 128GB of flash storage, and I’d later learn 6GB of RAM. The first problem came from Xiaomi. Turns out that the phone was still locked, the seller had neglected to logout from his Xiaomi account. Even worse though he had forgotten his login and password. Calling Xiaomi support was basically worthless. Without unlocking the phone on a reset to root the phone lead me to this:


I got lucky however after talking to the seller, he agreed to go above and beyond and we were able to unlock the phone together. So everything went well. If you do buy one of these phones used, MAKE SURE TO CHECK THE XIOAMI login id! It has to be unlocked and blank so you can register it and get the unlock. It will require a valid email & phone number + sim for it to send/receive SMS codes.

Access to the site is very up & down, so I archived what I had downloaded to unlock the phone here. miflash_unlock_en_7.6.602.42.7z

I should add that we’ve cleared the first few hurdles of precuring the device and unlocking it. And I’m glossing over stuff. Getting to this point was not easy and took a week. The unlock process is not intuitive, and I’m sure many phones are sold out there that have their google access wiped, but have not been logged out all the way, or the flash erased. I can’t show you mine as I ended up erasing Android but be aware of this!

Getting ready for Windows

Basically on the Android side there is three main modes, the boot, the recovery and the ‘fastboot’ mode. Holding power & down brings you to fastboot, where using the fastboot tool you can load an image from your PC into ram and execute it. EDK2 UEFI firmware, is the first part or the renegade project you’ll encouter. It’s really powerful, allowing you to not only boot into Windows, but it also supports a linux disk target mode, allowing you to partition and access the flash directly from a PC. Naturally this is SUPER dangerous, and backup your modem files!

With the phone unlocked softbooting E2DK you can put it into a target disk mode, connect it to a pc and partition away!

disk mode… for ants!

The guide (section 1.2) advices pushing the disk tools to the phone booted up in twrp-3.7.0_9-0-beryllium.img. Honestly its easier to just partition it on your computer. HOWEVER if you were to use Windows, there is a slight issue:

The device may no longer be able to boot into fastboot mode

I ran into this issue and thought I had bricked my phone. I was actually in the middle of researching how to do a physical hard reset, and place it into EDL mode (taking it apart and finding which pads to short, when I found this section of the troubleshooting guide, where it’s the partition names. So instead, I ended up doing the partitioning on a Virtual Machine using VMware and Ubuntu.

(parted) print
Model: SAMSUNG KLUDG4U1EA-B0C1 (scsi)
Disk /dev/block/sda: 123GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 4096B/4096B
Partition Table: gpt
Disk Flags:

Number  Start   End     Size    File system  Name        Flags
 1      24.6kB  41.0kB  16.4kB               switch
 2      41.0kB  73.7kB  32.8kB               ssd
 3      73.7kB  524kB   451kB                bk01
 4      524kB   786kB   262kB                bk02
 5      786kB   1049kB  262kB                bk03
 6      1049kB  1573kB  524kB                keystore
 7      1573kB  2097kB  524kB                frp
 8      2097kB  4194kB  2097kB               bk04
 9      4194kB  8389kB  4194kB               misc
10      8389kB  16.8MB  8389kB               logfs
11      16.8MB  33.6MB  16.8MB               oops
12      33.6MB  50.3MB  16.8MB               devinfo
13      50.3MB  67.1MB  16.8MB               bk05
14      67.1MB  134MB   67.1MB  ext4         persist
15      134MB   201MB   67.1MB  ext4         persistbak
16      201MB   268MB   67.1MB               logdump
17      268MB   403MB   134MB                minidump
18      403MB   1275MB  872MB   ext4         cust
19      1275MB  1342MB  67.1MB               recovery
20      1342MB  1611MB  268MB   ext4         cache
21      1611MB  123GB   121GB                userdata

Before I did anything, this is what the phone partition table looked like. It’s an exceptional amount. The new parted v 3.0 that is recommended to use, doesn’t support the resize command so I had to manually do the numbers after destroying partition 21.

Originally, I had made a 32Gb partition to keep some Android functionality but somewhere it just stopped booting. But I didn’t care.

rm 21
mkpart userdata ext4 1611MB 32G
mkpart esp fat32 32G 32.5G
set 22 esp on
mkpart win ntfs 32.5GB 123G

21      1611MB  32.0GB  30.4GB  ext4         userdata
22      32.0GB  32.5GB  499MB   fat32        esp         boot, esp
23      32.5GB  123GB   90.5GB  ntfs         win         msftdata

Obviously dont follow this. I’m only providing output as an example.

If I were more patient, I guess I would have dd’d the entire phone to get a full entire backup. But I didn’t get this phone to run Android, so I really don’t care.

There is a LOT of disks being presented to Windows, in case you ever wondered how those 128GB flash devices get sold with only 114GB of user space.

So many partitions!

And even that 112GB is actually usable!

Remember the system partition needs the boot,esp flags, and the windows partition is msftdata. Also make sure the partition names are either single words, or NO words. Spaces will kill the fastboot mode.

I put all the disks that are presented in offline mode, so I don’t get confused. Make sure you are going to mess with the right volumes when formatting after the partitioning. This is NOT for the novice, it would be easy to not only brick the phone but screw up your existing install. If you have physical disks attached you don’t absolutely need, remove them or put them offline to make sure you don’t screw up.

I used diskpart to select the appropriate volumes and format them.

select disk 8
select volume 5
format quick fs=fat32 label="System"
assign letter="S"
select volume 6
format quick fs=ntfs label="Windows"
assign letter="W"

This isn’t a guide, just a reflection of what I went through.

With the disk now formatted, it’s a matter of selecting an OS to install.

I had really bad luck picking random versions of Windows, so I looked until I could find a confirmed working version in this video, Rodando o Windows 10 ARM nativamente em um Dispositivo Android (Pocophone F1 + UEFI). Long story short, it’s Windows build 210521-1658 with version 0.4 of the bootloader. Long story short I messed with LOTS of Windows on ARM driver sets, before I finally had the brave idea to just load it with no drivers:


But that image is far too stale, and expires out very quickly, reducing any useful functionality once it’s connected to the internet. So it’s something that probably could be fixed, but it’s far easier to just grab an image that’s newer.

The x86_64 image I’m using now is 19045.3031, so I guessed to pick something comparable on ARM64. I used something called 19045.3031_arm64_en-us_professional, although it too was out of date, but Windows update brought it up to 22H2 19045.3086 . I had tried the downloader tool and apply all the updates offline, but I had issues. I suspect now in retrospect it was drivers.

Another thing I learned the hard way is that some of these images have multiple OS images installed. I guess it’s de-duplication, along with compression, but be sure to index the image first! I accidentally installed a Home version. Yuck.

dism /Get-ImageInfo /imagefile:install.wim

Index : 1
Name : Windows 10 Home
Description : Windows 10 Home
Size : 17,706,743,995 bytes

Index : 4
Name : Windows 10 Pro
Description : Windows 10 Pro
Size : 17,836,320,420 bytes

So just don’t go wildly apply image #1. I wasted too much time on that one.

But in the release I’m using it’s image #1. I checked. Trust me.

dism /apply-image /ImageFile:10.0.21390.1.co_release.210521-1658_arm64fre\install.wim /index:4 /ApplyDir:W:\

The S volume needs to be populated with the UEFI boot files. I had foolishly thought the boot.wim file would include the boot files, but instead bcdboot can set it up based on the location of a Windows install.

bcdboot W:\Windows /s S: /f UEFI

The next thing to do is install the drivers.

I was lucky enough to get some insight into some driver combination to work, and I came up with this much:

minimal 2210.1-fix
USB beryllium v2.0rc2
FG beryllium v2.0rc2

The key of course is that there is a minimal set in 2210.1-fix that will bring the system up with working USB. The FG package brings in enough of the power management to know the battery status.

dism /Image:W: /Add-Driver /Driver:drivers /Recurse

The drivers are not signed, so that means we need to change a bunch of boot flags. I also turned on debugging so have Windows dump core files, so you can run analysts on them with Windgb.

cd S:\EFI\Microsoft\Boot
bcdedit /store BCD /set "{default}" testsigning on
bcdedit /store BCD /set "{default}" nointegritychecks on
bcdedit /store BCD /set "{default}" recoveryenabled no
bcdedit /store BCD /set "{default}" debug on

Of course the catch being that with no drivers loaded it’s in a super basic mode, with no USB, no touch screen, no power management, no wifi no nothing. So it’s a brick. But at least we’ve reproduced enough to show that you can boot Windows.

Sadly, loading all the drives from 2210.1-fix or beryllium v2.0rc2 lead to this:

the cracked glass adds to the feeling.

Add in a much needed OTG adapter and a mouse or keyboard, and you can complete the installation.

However, since I left off the majority of the device drivers as I didn’t want to spend forever trying to track it down, I used a random USB to Ethernet adapter and thankfully It just worked!

Accessing the phone over RDP.

I added a fancy USB 3.0 ‘dock’ with USB-C connector that you can plug a charger into, so that not only can the phone stay connected to power, but there is room for the Ethernet. It also has HDMI, perhaps is the drivers were more stable, it could be a viable desktop? And I have what I wanted, which was a non Intel/AMD 64bit platform that is hopefully more reliable than the Alpha64 platform, and maybe something to do some kind of contrast of the past vs future

This was NOT a simple thing to go through. I would be extremely hesitant to advise other people to follow suit. But in the off chance anyone who wants to do it, might have a better idea of what is involved.

Read the Troubleshooting guide & the Installation guide. Keep notes! I would have absolutely given up, without keeping notes.

Even simple tracking of disasters like this at least helped me along:

boot-beryllium Version 0.4.1.img
boot-beryllium-ebbg Release - 2210.1.img
boot-beryllium-ebbg Release - 2210.1.img

boot-beryllium-ebbg Release - 2210.1.img

boot-beryllium-ebbg Release - 2210.1.img

boot-beryllium-ebbg Release - 2210.1.img
no drivers

no drivers



FocalTechTouch v2.0rc1







Sorry the table doesn’t format well.

TL;DR don’t do it, unless you don’t mind spending too much time on this. Get a used Surface X instead.

AXP64 2210 Installation Media Reconstruction

Yes, Neko is ALPHA64 Powered!


Unfortunately, during this amazing period, the Dec Alpha I had acquired specifically for this research had died. However, I was able to find an amazing group of people to not only go through with this research but take it upon themselves to provide an amazing working ISO image release! Needless to say, this is beyond my knowledge, and this is obviously a guest post


In ~1997, Microsoft started work on a project dedicated to porting Windows NT to use 64-bit addressing on 64-bit machines. Before this, Windows NT used the 32-bit mode or ABI of 64-bit machines. This effort was internally referred to as “Sundown”, otherwise referred to as “Win64”. The ports consisted of not only to the Itanium/IA-64 architecture (which later shipped as Windows XP 64-Bit Edition) but also to the 64-bit DEC Alpha architecture.

Compaq dropped support for Windows on Alpha in mid-1999, and Microsoft stopped the development of 32-bit Windows NT for Alpha soon afterwards, with Windows 2000 build 2128 (RC2) being the last build. Due to a lack of physical IA-64 hardware and the slowness of the simulator, Microsoft continued to work on the AXP64 port of Windows till mid-2000, to help fix general issues related to 64-bit addressing. You can read more about this project here.

In May 2023, a disk image containing an installation of an AXP64 build of Windows XP (Whistler) build 2210 was discovered by a guest reader of this site, and a team (amarioguy, neozeed, pivotman319, starfrost and Tenox) was later assembled to help make this release possible.

Why Repack To ISO

When I saw the news about this build, I asked my friends why didn’t neozeed or Tenox share the full disk image, they told me that the disk image contained PII (Personally Identifiable Data) and neeozeed would like to have them removed first. I have some experience with cleaning up Windows builds, so I joined their Discord server and offered to help, then I got sent a full sector dump of that disk. I scanned the build 2210 partition with a file recovery tool that I stole from a data recovery shop when I worked there, and to my amazement, quite a few files in the deleted \$WIN_NT.~LS directory (a place for holding temporary setup files) survived (more importantly, setupdd.sys, txtsetup.sif, setupldr and the hiv*.inf files). Since all the files required for a clean install from ISO/CD are there, this build can be repacked into an ISO which is guaranteed to contain no personal information!


The first thing I did was I recovered all of the files in the deleted \$WIN_NT.~LS directory, but since the integrity of files recovered from NTFS and FAT partitions cannot be guaranteed, I checked every single one of them. Most of those files were Microsoft Cabinet (CAB) archives, so I wrote a tool called CabChk to verify that 1) they are valid CAB archives, 2) there is only one file per archive, 3) the name of the compressed file is the same as the name of the archive and 4) the compressed file extracts fine. This helped me to verify most of those 4600 files, but I had to verify the remaining 300 or so files by hand because they’re not CAB archives and that task alone took days to complete. After verifying all the recovered files, it turned out that 85% of them survived while the remaining 15% didn’t.


A lot of those overwritten files are actually in the Windows directory (NT64) of that 2210 install, so I copied them out and recompressed the appropriate ones. I set my computer to the time zone Microsoft used and compressed them with the Cabinet Tool (CABARC) parameters Microsoft used. Microsoft used UTC-8 and the following CABARC parameters:

CABARC -m LZX:21 N [output_cab] [input_file]

After repacking and copying over the files, the number of missing files went from about 650 all the way down to roughly 30 :).

Missing User Mode Setup Stub

Unfortunately, usetup.exe was one of those 30 or so files. It doesn’t do much as it’s a stub, but nonetheless without it, text mode setup won’t start. My original idea was to decompile I386 build 2211’s usetup.exe (as it has only about 20 functions) and recompile it for AXP64 with the toolchain discovered earlier on, but I had to wait for someone to cross compile it on an Alpha for me. While I was waiting, I searched that partition for substrings in the I386 usetup.exe and I got a match!

It’s compressed, but since LZNT1 is a simple and weak-ish compression algorithm, you can sort of recognise the original data. I cobbled together an LZNT1 decompressor and decompressed that 32 KiB chunk, and indeed it’s the AXP64 usetup.exe!

E:\Projects\LZNTTool>LZNTTool -d "E:\Whistler 2210 AXP64 Recovery\usetup_compressed_0.bin" "E:\Whistler 2210 AXP64 Recovery\usetup_0.bin"
Decompression successful.

E:\Projects\LZNTTool>wsl hexdump -C -v -s 0x600 -n 0x200 "../../Whistler 2210 AXP64 Recovery/usetup_0.bin"

I then searched for strings expected to be in the second 32 KiB chunk and then the third chunk and so on, until I got all of them recovered. After decompressing all of the 5 chunks, I concatenated them together into one single executable and yay, we now have the original AXP64 usetup.exe!

E:\Projects\PEChkSum>PEChkSum "E:\Whistler 2210 AXP64 Recovery\usetup.exe"
Expected checksum is: 0x00035E4E
Actual checksum is: 0x00035E4E

"E:\Whistler 2210 AXP64 Recovery\usetup.exe" is valid.

Broken Driver Cabinet

pivotman319 pointed out to me that some files in driver.cab were dead, and indeed, Setup did not work with that broken cabinet:

Crash to the NT firmware Monitor

There were 2 copies of driver.cab on that disk, sadly the deleted one in $WIN_NT.~LS got overwritten and the one in \NT64\Driver Cache\axp64… well, 68 errors 😢:

Looking at the broken files, I noticed a pattern – all of them came from 3 blocks – 5, 36 and 37. What on Earth are “blocks”? Well, let’s talk about how CAB archives work first.

Files in CAB archives are stored in blocks, where each block stores 1 or more files. When files are added to a CAB archive, they are all concatenated together into one big file. The concatenated big file is then split into multiple sub-blocks (with default size of 0x8000 bytes) and each of them gets compressed and then concatenated together to form the compressed block. So, for small corruptions (bit-rots and etc.), theoretically only 0x8000 bytes are lost and the rest should still be recoverable, but tools like 7-Zip will refuse to extract anything beyond the point of corruption.

Now looking at the corruption in driver.cab, 2 of the 3 blocks can be fully recovered because we have all of those files in uncompressed form. Block 5 contains mostly printer-related files that are arch- and build-independent, so they can all be borrowed from build 2211 i386. Block 37 has only 1 broken file (win32k.sys) which exists on the hard drive (in system32). To fix these blocks, I simply took the uncompressed files, compressed them and replaced the broken blocks with the newly created ones.

And after fixing block 37:

I then ran my CabScan tool on the fixed CAB and as expected, there is only one bad sub-block left:

E:\Projects\CabScan>CabScan "E:\Whistler 2210 AXP64 Recovery\driver (fix).cab"
Offset 0x0253FD75:
    Expected checksum is 0x568C0AC3
    Checksum is 0x1CEBB9DE
    Original size is 0x00008000
    Compressed size is 0x00003862

Detected 1 bad sub-block(s) in 1 bad block(s).

So, what can we say about the corruption?

  1. Size: 4 bytes
  2. Location: Last 4 bytes of a 0x2000 section
  3. Pattern: Starts with 00 F0 (possibly the result of a buggy NTFS driver)

Knowing these, I immediately located the 4 corrupted bytes in block 36:

So how did I recover those 4 bytes, did I brute force them? Nope, I used the checksum to calculate them! Here is the checksum algorithm Microsoft used for CAB archives:

CAB checksum algorithm

And as you can see, it’s very simple, so it took me almost no time to work out the 4 missing bytes (4A ED 16 71) from the checksum 0x568C0AC3! With block 36 fixed, as expected, all files are now good!

Buggy Setup Loader

I thought I got everything necessary recovered and fixed, so I packaged up the files and sent them to G-Nug85 to test… and it didn’t work:

It failed to find A321064.PAL in the [SourceDisksFiles] section of txtsetup.sif. Well, this is an AXP64 build and A321064.PAL is a 32-bit PALcode image… why would it be there? Needless to say, copying that file to the disc image didn’t help. I have literally spent days on this stupid issue and who would have expected this:

E:\Whistler 2210 AXP64 Recovery>wsl strings -t x SETUPLDR | wsl grep -i '.pal'
  91f68 A321064.PAL

The culprit of the problem was they hard coded the name “A321064.PAL”… in the setup loader executable… how stupid!

We can tell from this that Microsoft has never made ISOs or discs for AXP64 builds, otherwise they would’ve found and fixed this bug. Well, maybe they did eventually try installing AXP64 builds from disc, because it’s fixed by the time of Windows XP SP1, but that’s long after this build:

#if defined(_AXP64_)

Oh well, I replaced the hard coded “A321064.PAL” with “a121165.p64” and what do you know, it’s working!

Finishing Touches

That install went smoothly, but one error did pop up during second stage setup:

A missing driver – big deal, hey? We actually have the build 2209 AXP64 version of this driver, so I injected it to the ISO and Setup happily accepted it.

I’ve also copied the Arc Installation Program (ARCINST) from Windows 2000 build 2128 AXP32 to the AXP64 directory of the ISO, because it is required for disk partitioning if you don’t have AlphaBIOS (and yes, it works because it’s not a Windows executable).

Supported Machines

Microsoft compiled several HALs for this build, but not all of them are listed in txtsetup.sif, the following machines are supported by default:

  • Digital Personal Workstation A-Series
  • Digital AlphaServer 4×00 5/xxx Family
  • Digital AlphaServer/AlphaStation 1200 5/xxx Family
  • Digital Alpha 21264/Tsunami Uniprocessor
  • Digital Alpha 21264/Tsunami Multiprocessor

The following machines may be supported if you replace textsetup.sif with a modified version:

  • Digital Alpha EB164
  • Digital Alpha PC164SX
  • Digital Alpha XL 300/366 Family
  • Digital AlphaPC 164LX
  • Digital AlphaServer 1000 5/xxx Family
  • Digital AlphaServer 1000a 5/xxx Family
  • AlphaServer 800 5/xxx (Corelle)
  • AlphaStation 600A 5/500 (Alcor Primo)

We have only tested this build on the Digital Personal Workstation A-Series, AlphaServer DS10 and the AlphaServer 800, so there is no guarantee that the other HALs work (though they should).

Also, since this is a checked build, it does run slower than a retail build, and by default it will expect you to have a kernel debugger attached. Be sure to add the /NODEBUG flag to the bootloader to improve performance. I had noticed the SDL spite test demo going from 60fps to 70fps on my Alpha Personal Workstation 500a before it had died.

For Preservation

As I have said earlier on, Microsoft has never made ISOs/discs for AXP64 builds, so please don’t preserve the ISO file (eg: don’t upload it to BetaArchive). I know BA prefer ISOs over folder dumps, so let me tell you this mrpijey, the ISO is a franken-build with a patched Setup Loader and files from 2128, 2209 and 2211. We have a folder dump of the original files from the \NTDev network share with original high-precision timestamps just for preservation, so please for the sake of preservation, use this. Also don’t even think about creating an ISO out of the folder dump, you’ll end up with a non-existent thing that doesn’t work.


ISO for Installation: https://mega.nz/file/q5AhhDJR#MsLYxxvmAdYDQ101fUHoGyzJ5Pk0EFsc2xdYH1p9qxQ
Whistler 2210 axp64 installable

Folder Dump for Preservation: https://mega.nz/file/r5gE3RxQ#4VfviMdQo44wJZT0df0cw8o4kE30lvSQKBZklma0mtg

Modified TXTSETUP.SIF For Other Machines: https://mega.nz/file/zsBVAJDD#5oQVM6U2AwseTJ54lOmN1E7BHTDFuwOuWdZOykmXP8E

Special Thanks

  • to the person who sent us the disk image
  • to Microsoft for not wiping that disk before throwing it away
  • to pivotman319 for verifying recovered files and finding missing files
  • to Tenox for testing
  • to G-Nug85 for testing and providing photos used in this post
  • to Furball for testing
  • to lbdm for testing
  • to myself… I guess?

Special Offer – Windows 2000 RC2 AXP32 Full ISO

The ISO on BetaArchive is the same as the ISO on WinWorld, which was originally named usa_2128_axpfre_win2000.pro_beta3_cairo.iso… hmm, that doesn’t sound very ‘Microsoft’!

Yep, definitely not original. Even worse, SETUP.EXE is broken/truncated:

The fact that the AXP32 2128 ISO we’ve had for over a decade is both unoriginal and incomplete is truly shocking! Well, I have something to offer – an at least complete Windows 2000 build 2128 AXP32 ISO from my private collection:

The SETUP.EXE in this ISO is good and complete! The CDIMAGE parameters used to build this image matches what was used to build ISOs of AXP32 builds from the same era and the disc label (W2PAS_EN) is much more sensible than “Cairo_2128”. The only thing that doesn’t make sense is the timestamp – 1999-09-23 12:00:00. Microsoft used 1999-09-10 as the timestamp for all other copies of build 2128, so I’m not sure why this one is different. It’s worth noting that all files from the incomplete ISO also have the strange 1999-09-23 timestamp, so I guess it’s not a coincidence ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Download: https://mega.nz/file/qoYyUbLB#oKArX_Qqh_kjnESnT6dQD8NGTg05_CMhKMxW4FKuhjEWindows 2000 build 2128 DEC Alpha