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HP 200LX, LapLink and Windows 95

HP 200LX, LapLink and Windows 95

This user explains how to use your Palmtop's built-in LapLink Remote Access application to access, backup and swap files between your Palmtop and a PC running Windows 95.

By Peter Jordan

LLRA is LapLink's "remote access" software built into the HP 200LX that lets you connect to and access the disk drives of another PC computer. What this means is that with the HP Palmtop connected to a PC via the HP Connectivity Cable, and with LapLink running on both machines, you can copy, delete, merge, or access files on either of the two computers disk drives. This is very handy for backing up the HP Palmtop to the desktop PC.

I have been able to install the version of LapLink that comes with the HP Connectivity Pack onto a PC running Windows 95 and make the connection between the two computers. The Palmtop's drives show up as drives under the Win95 "MyComputer" application. I can "drag and drop" files between the two computers and open and save files on the HP from your Windows applications.

I figured this out through a combination of trial and error, Microsoft tech support and a couple of ideas I received on CompuServe's HP Handheld forum. I would like to share these ideas and get input back from those that find other ways of doing this.

Getting LapLink Remote Access to load and run under Windows 95

First you need to install the Connectivity Pack software onto a Win95 machine. This creates an Icon in Windows for LapLink Remote Access. But if you click on the icon, you get an error message along the lines of "insufficient resources to load LapLink Remote Access." The solution is to set up your PC so that it loads LapLink from DOS before it loads Windows 95.

To do this, you need to use a batch file named LLRA.BAT (found in the CPACK200 directory of your desktop PC after you install the Connectivity Pack). You must run this batch file from the DOS prompt before you load Win95. Otherwise, it will not work.

There are four ways to do this:

1. Probably the simplest way to run this batch file is to press (F8) as soon as you see the Starting Windows 95 banner during bootup after you turn on your PC. This aborts the loading of Windows 95 and takes you directly to the DOS prompt.

You have about two seconds to press (F8) before Win95 loads. If you miss this two-second opportunity, you have to re-boot the system and try again. If you press (F8) within the two seconds, a menu will appear that allows you to select Command Prompt Only. Select this option and the DOS prompt appears on your screen. Load LLRA.BAT by typing c:\cpack200\llra and pressing (ENTER) (change the path in this command if you have moved LLRA.BAT to another drive or directory). Then start Windows 95 by typing win and pressing (ENTER).

2. Another way to go directly to the DOS prompt when you turn on your PC is to modify the MSDOS.SYS file. This file holds information on the configuration of the system. First make a backup copy of your current MSDOS.SYS (in case you mess up and want to restore your system to the way it was). Then open MSDOS.SYS in the Windows 95's Edit or Notepad applications. Find the line BootGUI=1 and change the line to BootGUI=0. Save the file and restart your PC.

This causes your machine to boot directly to the DOS prompt when you turn it on, without starting Windows 95. After you have loaded LLRH.BAT you can start Win95 by typing win and pressing (ENTER).

3. Another easy way is to select the Windows 95 Shutdown Windows option. From the menu, select Restart in MS-DOS Mode. Load LLRA.BAT then return to Win95 by typing win at the DOS prompt. This method is probably the best for those who may just use LapLink sporadically.

4. The final way is to load LLRA.BAT directly from the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. Open AUTOEXEC.BAT in the Windows 95's Edit or Notepad applications and add the following lines to the beginning of the file (but after the command line referring to MSCDEX.EXE):

cd\cpack200

call llra.bat

cd\

Save the AUTOEXEC.BAT file and restart your computer.

This procedure is the most automatic of the four described, and though it was very reliable on my Toshiba laptop, it is not reliable on all PCs. It seems that if the PC makes the switch to the Windows 95 protected mode before the HP and the Win95 machine attempt to connect, they will fail to connect.

Establish physical link before starting Windows 95

If the physical link between the Palmtop and PC is not established before starting Win95, the ability to make a link is sporadic at best. However, if you make the link before starting Win95 you can break the link and reattach reliably as often as you like. The drive mappings to the HP Palmtop will disappear and reappear in My Computer as you disconnect and reconnect the Palmtop. So before starting LLRA.BAT using any of the above methods you should have the HP 200LX physically attached to the Win95 machine and have LapLink running on the HP. You should wait the 3 to 5 seconds for the connection beeps before typing win to start Win95.

Making LLRA a Windows 95 compliant driver

You will receive the following error message when starting Windows 95 with LLRA loaded. Windows 95 has detected a new real mode driver LLRA3 that may affect system performance, would you like more information. LLRA3 is not considered a safe protected mode driver under Windows 95 and will force Win95 to run under its slower real mode disk drivers which can negatively affect performance. The solution is to lie to Windows 95 and tell it that LLRA3 is indeed a safe, tested driver and to run it though Win95's protected mode disk and file access. We lie to Win95 by doing the following.

Win95 keeps a list of safe DOS drivers in a file in the windows directory called IOS.INI. Simply make a backup copy of IOS.INI then open it in any text editor such as Edit or Windows Notepad and add the line LLRA3.EXE under the section title [SafeList]. The next time you start Win95 it will now treat LLRA as a safe driver and run under optimal performance with it loaded.

I have tested LLRA under Windows 95 protected mode drivers on three machines. I cannot guarantee safe results with whatever combination of drivers you may have on your machine. Remember messing with disk drivers can result in data loss. I have no idea why Microsoft or HP/Traveling software did not test this driver. I can only conclude by its absence from the UnSafe driver list that it was simply never tested as opposed to being unsafe. See Microsoft Knowledge Base article Q130179 and the Microsoft Windows 95 resource kit for more information.

I also recommend setting the Idle-connection timeout on the HP 200LX to its maximum of 60 minutes. If the HP shuts off automatically, reestablishing the connection is not reliable. If you shut off the connection by hitting F8 or shutting down LapLink on the HP getting the connection back is pretty reliable.

Mapping Drives

OK, so now you can use LapLink from Win95 but all those nasty drive mappings from the HP screw up your network drive mappings. By default LLRA and your HP 200LX map the HP's A, C, D, and E drives to your Win95 machine. If your normal Novell or NT drive mappings start at F: LapLink will conflict with them and cause all sorts of trouble. For instance, if your Win95 machine has one hard drive and two CDROM drives it has already used up the available drives to drive E. LapLink comes along and maps four more drives up to drive I. Then your network administrator (me) has set all the default login scripts to start at F and we now have problems. Using the LLRA control panel from Windows allows us to fix that by specifying what drives to map and where. However, remember the whole reason for this how to file is that the LapLink Control panel does not run under Win95. So here are the following two suggestions. One I found myself and the other I owe to Alexander Gutfeldt, a user here on the HPhandheld forum.

Map only the drives on the HP that you need to see. I only need to see the C drive on the HP 200LX so that I can transfer data, open files and do backups. To turn off all other drives from mapping, edit the TSI.INI file on your HP 200LX. The TSI.INI file can be found in C:\_dat\llraserv\. No need to backup the TSI.INI file before you edit it, there is a safe copy in read-only memory on your D drive. To just map the C drive add or edit this line from the second section of TSI.INI, [ReDirector], on the HP to say the following:

Private=ABDE

To map the HP's A and C drive,

Private=BDE

I never map the A drive however, if I need to back up a memory card or need the data from it Ill just put it in my Toshiba notebook.

That cuts down on the number of drives being mapped. However, it might also help to specify as what drive letter we want it to map to. I map the HP 200LX to drive H on my Toshiba since its easy to remember and its the only drive letter none of the five or six networks I plug into use.

To map the HP 200 to a specific drive letter add the following lines to the TSI.INI file in the CPACK200 directory on the Windows 95 machine. These lines must be LAST in the file.

[Mappings]

HP200=0000000C0000000000000000

 00 000

The name HP200 must match exactly the name that the HP 200LX uses, this can be set on the 200LX under LapLink settings. The default, however, appears to be HP200. The drive mapping line you will notice has twenty-six places followed by a space and three more digits. I have no idea what the last three digits do but the first twenty-six represent A through Z. Just edit that line to put the HP 200LX drive to map (in this case C) in the ordinal place of the letter you want it to map at. The above example has my HP's C drive mapping at my Toshibas H drive. H is the eighth letter in the alphabet so C is put at the eight position in the mapping order. You can add other drives from the HP at other places in the map.

I hope this helps others get the most out of Windows 95 and their HP 200LX. If you have any suggestions or comments about this file please remember to drop me a note.

iPhone Life magazine


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