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Novell popup messages not reaching all users

Posted on 1998-05-20
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Last Modified: 2008-02-26
We are in a Windows NT40/95 shop all running off of Novell 4.11   Each time I send a Novell pop-up message to my entire group many of the popups do not get sent.  The Send Message results window usually shows about 50% of the users with the standard blue "X" representing that the message wasn't sent.  It doesn't matter if the user is on a NT or 95 box and their receive broadcasting is definitly turned on.  The *only* common thing that *always* is the same is that the people that don't get their popups have a "higher" connection number.  In fact, if I click on the "connection number" title (so everyone is sorted by connection number) everyone with lower connection numbers shows getting the popups and at some point there is a "cutoff" (unknown, varies from day to day!) as to when people don't get the popups.  Today that "cutoff" number might be 350, tomorrow it might be 400...
I haven't found anything conclusively as to why this is happening and how to fix it.  I have even considered a third party product but haven't found anything yet that is fairly inexpensive.
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Question by:mfilip
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by:jstegall
ID: 1592435
What client are you using?
What patches are install on the server?
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by:paulnic
ID: 1592436
couple tests you might try...

1.  can you send a message to an *individual* w/a high connection number that didn't receive the broadcast to the group?

2.  does group size affect things?  Suppose the one big group were split in two...would only half of EACH group get the message?

Peace^^Paul
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Author Comment

by:mfilip
ID: 1592437
ok, so I don't have all the facts... we don't actually administer the servers so I don't know what "patches" are installed on the server.  We are running the 4.11a client on our NT boxes and the latest client on the 95 boxes.  If I show that 10 people didn't get sent the message within a group then if I try to send to them individually I still cannot. I hope this answers your questions adaquetly.  I'm upping the points because I think it's a little tough to try to troubleshoot this one.
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by:jlove1
ID: 1592438
Have you checked the status of the SEND command in netware?
Try using the SEND command on the clients that aren't getting the messages. It's probably because the send command has the messages disabled.

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Author Comment

by:mfilip
ID: 1592439
I am able to use either the GUI or "DOS" level send to send to a user who, as part of a group, showed they weren't receiving the message.  That is to say that if I send a broadcast message to 50 people, the first 25 people (sorted by connection number) will show getting the message the the last 25 (highest connection numbers) do not show getting them.  I can then independently send any of the 25 (that didn't get them as part of a group) a message and it shows getting the message.  This works by either using the GUI or "dos" send command.  
I am now starting to record how many people total are logged in at the time I send a message and out of that group how many received it and how many didn't.
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by:saar2
ID: 1592440
Just a little checks - try to send a message for a user with high connection number.

If it does not work go to NWADMIN and check if this user has a preffered server, if it does not - change it and try again.

Saar

saar@bigfoot.com
UIN: 3233305
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by:jlove1
ID: 1592441
Try running the following from a client machine that CAN't recieve the messages and see if this helps:
send /a=a

Try it and let me know the results.
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Author Comment

by:mfilip
ID: 1592442
Saar2's response: the preferred server is alread set and it is done at the workstation the user happens to log into.
Jlove1's response: It made no difference.  Also, remember that whatever "fixes", I need this to work from the standard GUI environment (my workstation in fact).  
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by:tbaffy
ID: 1592443
Is your network subnetted with a router?  Many broadcasts packets are blocked by routers in their default settings.

Tom
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by:saar2
ID: 1592444
mfilip, I am not talking about the preffered server in the workstation configuration.

Check the user's one in NWADMIN.

Saar
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by:zhanghl
ID: 1592445
Please make sure all the client use same Ethernet frame, such as 802.2 or 802.3.
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by:mfilip
ID: 1592446
I'm not sure everyone here is reading *all* of my stuff.  These users are receiving popups from me in an inconsistant manner.  One day User "A" can receive my popup, the next he cannot.  The only determination I can make from this is that on the day user "A" did receive my popup his connection number to the network was "low".  Users, on a given day, with high connection numbers do not receive my popup messages.  So checking something that is definitly not being changed is an unlikely "fix". Again depending on the connection number assigned to users when they log in seems to be the common denominator here.  I would check these various settings mentioned if they were somehow dynamic in nature.
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by:tbaffy
ID: 1592447
Do you have any SET commands in startup.ncf or autoexec.ncf that set broadcast parameters numbers of sockets or SAPS?

tbaffy
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by:mfilip
ID: 1592448
I have no files on my local drives that end with .ncf, so I would assume the answer to your question is no.
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by:paulnic
ID: 1592449
a few thoughts after looking over this conversation:  

It may not seem apparent, but the server is directly involved in handling popup messages.  If you want to solve this there's a good chance you'll have to find a way to communicate with the folks who run the server, and ask them some of the questions people have been presenting to you in their effort to help.  

For instance, the support pack level and licensing status of the server may need checking.  A missing "preferred server" in NWADMIN may semi-randomly affect the connection number that a user gets...even though the missing setting doesn't change.  The NCF files are in directories on the server, usually accessible only to server administrators.   At some point, you have to decide whether you are serious about getting to the bottom of the problem, which just might take you in the direction of the server!

Peace^^Paul
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by:tbaffy
ID: 1592450
The STARTUP.NCF and AUTOEXEC.NCF are files that reside on your server.  It is much more likely that this problem is a server side configuration issue rather than the client side.  Consider that you have already stated that the problem is related to the connection number of the station.  Also consider that this connection number is determined on the server side.  Also consider that the file server will initiate the broadcast communication that you are sending. All in all I think you can pretty much forget the clients.  If they can receive one popup message then all other popups are pretty much the same to the client.

Tom
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Author Comment

by:mfilip
ID: 1592451
I will attempt to find out more information from the last two questions from the people in charge of the server(s).  Unfortunately this will be a slow and tedious process so please bear with me while I communicate to them.  Aren't all ISD's slow?
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by:tbaffy
ID: 1592452
mfilip,

Do you have any administrative access to your server at all?  If you can see the contents of the SYS:SYSTEM directory then you can probably find out most of what we need to know yourself.

The AUTOEXEC.NCF file is in the SYS:SYSTEM directory.  It is just a standard text file and can be viewed with any text editor such as notepad.  If you can get to it, then look for a line in this file that says:

LOAD REMOTE ?????????

where ???????? is the remote access password for RCONSOLE.  If you can get this then you can find (and change) any of the server side configuration parameters you need.

Tom
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Author Comment

by:mfilip
ID: 1592453
We have very little rights to our server. Our ISD deptartment retains most of the rights and we're basically limited to adding objects, setting file directory rights, etc.  This must be why I am not able to browse for the directories you mentioned.
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by:tbaffy
ID: 1592454
See what you can find out then post another comment here to let us know.  My email will be anxiously awaiting ;).

Tom
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by:Jez
ID: 1592455
Have tou tryed a dsrepair at the server console?
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by:tbaffy
ID: 1592456
jmcclell,

He doesn't have access to the server console.  He is still trying to find out about server configuration settings from his Info Systems department.

Tom
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Author Comment

by:mfilip
ID: 1592457
I'm afraid I cannot newer information. I am unable to run server console or browse the directories mentioned so I can't answer the questions properly.  The only thing I can add new is that one of our ISD folks "claims" that there is a known bug in Netware 4.1 in regard to this problem.  I couln't find anything on the Novell site to back his claim up though.  I can also report that this problem occurs for any other techies in my section that send out popups, so it doesn't appear to be machine specific.  I apologize for the lack of info but I can only give out what I am given rights to "see".
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by:tbaffy
ID: 1592458
That is bunk!  I have sent broadcast messages to hundreds of users simultaneously.  The only thing I can think of is that your network admins are running a hacked 25 user Netware.  That is why the first 25 stations work OK but everybody else doesn't.  They figured out how to hack the license for more network connections, but don't know how to tell message handling services to use more.

Tom
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Author Comment

by:mfilip
ID: 1592459
I can assure you that being a State agency that our ISD folks are on the up & up on the licenseing issue.  And JSTGALL, as previously mentioned we are running the most current client 4.11a and I don't have access to information on what server patches have been installed.
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by:jrbuck
ID: 1592460
go Tom, Go!
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Author Comment

by:mfilip
ID: 1592461
Yes, an individual who is on the big list that didn't get a message will get an individual message.  I can't "split" the list into two so I don't know what would happen if I did.  By the way, my initial comment about 25 users wasn't exact and isn't consistant.  If I send out a group popup and there are, say 45, people logged in, it may only be that 20 of them get it, the next time 17, and so on.  There appears to be no consistancy other than if their connection number is higher, at some point, everyone past a certain (daily dynamic) point doesn't get the popups.
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by:saar2
ID: 1592462
What happens if you send message for many users which all of them have "high" connection number?

If you had access to the console, you could use Auditcon to audit all the messages sending - this way you could know if the server gets all the messages or just few of them (which mean it is someing worng with the client).

Saar
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Author Comment

by:mfilip
ID: 1592463
I can send individual messages to any users that previously didn't receive a message due to their "high" connection number.
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by:tbaffy
ID: 1592464
mfilip,

I can assure you that your problem is related to a server resource.  There is something in one of the Netware memory pools that has to be adjusted in order to accomodate the broadcasts.

Tom
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by:rjhawkin
ID: 1592465
in addition to checking the novell TID base you might want to do a check on the novell list archive located at:

http://netlab1.usu.edu

Your problem might have come up for discussion, Both the list archive and the FAQ can be reached from that page.

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Author Comment

by:mfilip
ID: 1592466
Thanks for the additional info.
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Expert Comment

by:lelton
ID: 1592467
I had a similar problem, some of my workstations could receive broadcast messages, some could not. I found the sollution. It seemed to stem from those workstations that had the MS client form MS networks loaded, and only those that had the MS client loaded after Client32, it seems that the MS client messes up the Client32 if its installed after Client32. The sollution, a quick reinstall of Client32 solved the problem in my network and the missed broadcast messages problem was corrected.

Les Elton
abc@globalserve.net
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Author Comment

by:mfilip
ID: 1592468
In this case this would not pertain to us.  Every one of our 95 and NT workstations are built exactly the same (from standardized install procedure).  We always install the latest Novell client in each case.
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Accepted Solution

by:
maryann071598 earned 150 total points
ID: 1592469
Are you using broadcast from the server console or the send command from a workstation?

Did you try using the send command at the DOS prompt? The users have to have the preferred server entered in NWadmin for this to work. Does broadcast from the console have the same results?

At a DOS prompt we use - Send "your message" .cn=everyone.o=org.


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