I’m building a backup station for a QNX 4.25 install.
The current system has this ‘mstoolkit’ installed - but I can’t find a source file or media.

Does anyone know the source filename (assuming it was downloaded)? (Maybe it IS on this system somewhere?)

Or does anyone know where I can get a copy of this for the backup station I’m building?

I’ve searched hi and lo at, and no success.


Never heard of that.

Found some docs in the /MSToolKit/ folder, excerpted here:
Still no hits when searching for “Mode Switcher Toolkit”?

From vbios.doc

Title: vbios library
Author: Robin Burgener
File: /home/robinb/doc/vbios.doc
Date: Sept 12, 1997

Related files…


This library contains functions to emulate a real-mode 80x86 processor.
This is accomplished in one of two ways, the opcodes are either
interpreted, executed in virtual mode (Neutrino ONLY) or executed
in real-mode (QNX 4 only).

With the interpreter, a.k.a. Emu86, all opcodes are interpreted and all
memory may be virtual, parts of the “real-mode” machine are overlayed into
the emulator’s memory space. This approach has allowed QNX to maintain
compatibility with the changing video card markets by using the video card
vendor’s video BIOS supplied with the video card instead of hard-coding
modeswitching code for every new video card. Although the primary
purpose of this is to interpret calls to int10h, many other
applications are possible.

*** Definitions

Emu86 - The part of VBIOS that interprets 80x86 opcodes and performs
the operations on a virtualized memory space
VM86 - The part of VBIOS that uses either virtual mode under Neutrino or
real-mode under QNX4

From ModeSwitcher.doc

Document Title: Building a Video Mode Switcher
Author : David Rempel and Pete Patterson
Filename : ModeSwitcher.doc
Location : MSToolkit/docs/
Date : October 25 1997

                                    Building a Video Mode Switcher

1 Introduction

    This document covers the purpose of a QNX Video Mode Switcher (referred

to as QVMS or Mode Switcher from now on) in the QNX/Photon or Neutrino/Photon
environment, and how to go about making one for a specific video card.
It also gives a rundown of the libraries included in the Mode Switcher
Toolkit (MSTK) to help with the various commonalities of QVMS writing.

Found the tar file on the original system (MSToolkit.Alpha.111997.tar).

This all sounds vaguely familiar. It used to be the case that a video card would come with a bios that had a call to change it’s mode. The manufacturer could provide any hardware specific code needed without providing a driver.

The problem with this way of doing things came about when OS’s started using protected mode. The code in the bios was real mode. I think this issue went away with the VESA standard. Just about every video card these days can be controlled as a VESA video card. This “default” driver typically doesn’t perform very well, but it works.

So what I’m saying is that unless you are using a very old system with old hardware, I don’t know why you would need to mode-switch the graphics with the toolkit you are describing.

Thx for the valuable input - good to know.
Our original developer who brought us to QNX is gone, and any other developers are also gone - so no one left here really knows how this all works.

Ok, can you tell us what it is you are trying to do? There’s lots of QNX experience out here. Maybe someone can help.

Our existing devekopment system is quite old and is not getting backed up.
It has no writtable CD, no USB ports, a single drive that’s 97% full.
This is our only QNX station.

I’m pursuing a few avenues to better protect this station, including recursive FTP to an NTFS share (Windows network) and bootable Ghost to capture the drive image.
A thrid option is to recreate the environment onto newer station hardware (with CDRW, USB, 2nd HD, plenty of HD space) - and so the source of my question.

Upgrading the QNX OS is not an option at this time.

Thanks for asking. Any good ideas out there are welcome!

The first thing I’d do in your situation is to do a sector duplication of the drive. That could be done on the the QNX machine or on another machine.

Then I’d think about creating a VM of the system.

Running 97% is bad in a number of ways. If you can upgrade the disk, that would be good.

BTW, this is QNX 4, right?

Thanks for the ideas.

I’m not familiar with the first item “sector duplication”. Is that using the ‘dd’ command? if so - can’t do it on the QNX machine - not enough drive space.
If not, is there info in one of the documents? I’ve downloaded them all I think.

Hmmm - hadn’t thought of virtualizing the system. Don’t use that much here. I’ll look into it. The only device access I need it to write to a CF card.

Right!?! Saw that 97% and kicked this up the priority list! I’m trying to NOT touch the original system - at least until I have a backup I have 100% confidence in. And that’s sorta what I’m trying to do - but the whole system.

Yes - QNX 4.25.


It would be the dd command, but QNX doesn’t have the dd command. If you install a 2nd drive and it is at least as big you could do this:

cp -V /dev/hd0 /dev/hd1

Be very careful before you try this that the old drive is /dev/hd0 and the new drive is /dev/hd1. You wouldn’t want to overwrite your files.