No link light on Hub

Server Info:
Netware 3.12
Pentium 166
2GB Drive
NE2000 compatible card

Workstations:
DOS 6.x
386 SX25
1-2 MB RAM
16 bit IDE PNP NE2000 Compatible cards

I'm converting a Netware 3.12 system running on coax ethernet using bnc connectors to 10baseT.  I've setup a new 16 port hub, and recabled all 12 workstations.

The problem:  When I connect the workstations to the hub, I get a link light on the NIC but not on the hub.  Using the same cable between the server and hub gives me a link on both ends.  I've setup the cards to use manual configuration instead of PNP since I'm using DOS on these older machines.  The drivers load fine, even the VLM's load all the way with no errors!

I can see any reason why I can't connect.  Could these cards be imcompatible with the machines (but the setup program went smootly and the drivers load fine?)  Could there be a problem using these old machines on the hub?  I don't see any of this being a problem, but I've tried different ports, different cards, and different machines, all with the same result. I can't imagine why you could get the link on the cards but not on the hub. Arggghhhhhhhh!

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

(Upgrading hardware isn't a possibility here, so please, no stupid answers regarding the 386s)
ocuranceAsked:
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henrieCommented:
Forgive me for asking, but do you use the same NIC in the server?
If so then the problem must be in the hardware config of your workstations cards. Some cards show a light when there is only a cable "attached". Other cards only light at an active link, like your hub.
With the setup program configure the card's connection type for TPE and not "AUTO" eventhough you only have a TPE connector on your cards. I've had the same problem with my Intel TPE-only NIC's.

Good luck!

Henrie.


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ocuranceAuthor Commented:
No, the server and workstation NICs are different, so that could have something to do with it. I did configure the cards manually instead of in "AUTO", perhaps I just don't understand what the link light actually means.  I always thought the link light meant the conection between NIC and Hub was cabled and connected properly.  Also, how could TPE vs. Auto configuration, or even address conflicts affect the link status?  

In looking at the NIC manual it states that it has both Active and Link lights, of which both are being lit.  Go figure...
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henrieCommented:
Yep, link status vs. config, hmmmm.
You stated the VLM's loaded properly, but in the end, they try to connect to the server. You should have got an error!
If not, try the following:
Set the correct frametype in your net.cfg.
Set lastdrive=Z in config.sys (really important!).

Also, did you mean by "not auto", only disable PNP, and let the driver connect, or really configure manually, ie. I/O address, IRQ, RAM address, etc.

Let me know...

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ocuranceAuthor Commented:
To be honest, this seems like a straight forward problem, which is why I can't understand the difficulty.  To follow up, here is some more info on how I have it setup.

Config.sys is the blank except for lastdrive=z.
Autoexec.bat is blank.
I'm using 802.2, which is the only type I have listed in the net.cfg.  
When I disabled PNP, I manually configured the card to IRQ 10, Address 300.  I didn't mess with the RAM address though (just looking for that needle in this haystack from hell.)

(Contents of my net.cfg)
preferred server=archimedes
Link Driver PNPODI
        FRAME ETHERNET_802.2
        PORT 300
        INT 10

NetWare DOS Requester
           FIRST NETWORK DRIVE = F
           USE DEFAULTS = OFF
           VLM = CONN.VLM
           VLM = IPXNCP.VLM
           VLM = TRAN.VLM
           VLM = SECURITY.VLM
        ;  VLM = NDS.VLM
           VLM = BIND.VLM
           VLM = NWP.VLM
           VLM = FIO.VLM
           VLM = GENERAL.VLM
           VLM = REDIR.VLM
           VLM = PRINT.VLM
           VLM = NETX.VLM

Thanks for any help...
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ocuranceAuthor Commented:
Adjusted points to 150
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henrieCommented:
Don't know if it came through, I'll send it again, sorry if the comment shows double
---

Getting a little confused here :)
You said you got no errors loading the VLM's. They should though, like can't connect to server or something like that. What's happening? What error when starting f:\login\login.exe?
No F: ?

Need to know...

Henrie.

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ocuranceAuthor Commented:
I didn't follow your comment "Don't know if it came through, I'll send it again, sorry if the comment shows double". Not sure what you meant.
--
That's the strange thing here is that I'm not getting any errors at all.  I load the lsl.com, pnpodi.com, and ipxodi.com load, all without any errors.  Then after all the VLM's load it just sort of hangs for about 20 or so seconds, the cursor then goes to the next line with the a:\ prompt, all without incident.  I get no warnings, errors, connect messages or anything.

When attempting to access the f: drive I get the Drive not available message.  I'm completely baffled!




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henrieCommented:
I meant I couldn't see my own posted comment a little while ago, so I posted it a second time!
----
For your information, this is a minimal config.sys (according to Novell):

DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE
DOS=HIGH
FILES=60
BUFFERS=30
LASTDRIVE=Z

Try loading vlm.exe /V4 for verbose errors.

And another idea, did you try NETX ?


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ocuranceAuthor Commented:
I have never used NETX, does it replace all VLM's?  And where can I get a copy of it?  I'd really like to try the NETX tonight and see if it helps out any.
---
I'm installing these drivers manually, is there any reason why I would want to install from the Netware Client installation disk (which has become unreadable?)  
--
I'll make the modifications and try your suggestions tonight.
Thanks for all your help,
Roger

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henrieCommented:
Difference between NETX and VLM's is that VLM's support NDS, which you don't use, so you can easily try it. It is located on most install disks. If you don't have one, go to www.intel.com and get a landrv disk on:
http://support.intel.com/enduser_reseller/etherexpress_lan_adapters/E10PDISK.HTM
It contains NETX.EXE

Good luck.
Henrie

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ocuranceAuthor Commented:
I don't understand why NETX would work when VLMs won't, but it did solve the problem!  Thanks for all your help.

Roger
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