How to back out from an OS/2 fixpack

This is a repost of an article I had on my old homepage. Consider this a historic document.


This page was written because it seems many people don’t know that IBM provides an excellent way to backout if you have problems. In this document I will discuss this procedure.


To be able to do a backout you must specify an archive or backup directory when installing the fixpak. If you install the fixpak with the program service.exe you will be prompted for an archive or backup directory (see note 1). Also you need a set of boot disks (see note 2) and the program FSERVICE.EXE (see note 3).

The procedure

The procedure to backout from a fixpak is really easy, but you need to create a small file which tells the program where to look for its files. This file is called the response file and looks like this:


In this file you must change the lines starting with :LOGFILE, :SYSLEVEL and :SOURCE to reflect the drive where you installed OS/2, and the directory where you have the program FSERVICE.EXE respectively. To back out from the fixpak you start the program FSERVICE.EXE with the following parameters:


Where you must change the path in the /S: to the directory from which you installed the fixpak and the path in the /R: to the path of the response file you created above. When you have done so the program FSERVICE.EXE will backout automagically your fixpak.


  1. An archive directory is specified the first time you install a fixpak, if you install another fixpak without first committing the changes you will be asked for a backup directory. The archive directory always contains the previous version, the backup directory contains the preceding version.
  2. You can create your own boot disks from the Create Utility disk, use the original Installation disks, download new installation disks at IBM (Readme, Diskette 1, Diskette 2. (still requires the original boot disk 0)) or the kicker disk. You might need to update your disks with new device drivers, see this document for instructions.
  3. The program FSERVICE.EXE can be found on the kicker disk (see note 2 for the download location).

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