networking via TCP/IP, urgent

I have 3 computers hooked together via generic network cards using BNC connectors, terminators, no hub.  Computer A is setup to dial out to my ISP via TCP/IP - dialup adapter.  TCP/IP is also the default protocol for my LAN, using TCP/IP - network card.  My local IP: ( and for the other 2 cpu's).  Subnet mask for all 3.  (I want to use TCP/IP for a specific reason).  My problem:  Computer A sees computers B and C and can access all their files.  Computers B & C can't see or find computer A (can't map to it either).  When I dial into my ISP with cpu A, cpu's B & C can both use the internet connection for browsing, etc.  Please help.
1)  All 3 cpu's have TCP/IP as the default protocol
2)  All have same subnet mask with IP's as noted above
3)  All have client for MS network bound
4)  All have print and file sharing on and bound
5)  All have file sharing turned on through explorer
6)  All have share-level access control checked
7)  They have the same workgroup name
8)  No conflicts in network cards with other devices
9)  I know it doesn't matter if the different cpu's are win98 or win95, cause I have another network connecting a win98 with 32 bit file system with a win95 with 16 bit file system, and it works fine.

Please help....
Who is Participating?
nilosConnect With a Mentor Commented:

As you requested.

mhcaoAuthor Commented:
I need to be able to access files and drives of cpu A from either cpu B or C.
try giving both the othe computers and A the gateway setting of Computer A's IP address.
Free Tool: ZipGrep

ZipGrep is a utility that can list and search zip (.war, .ear, .jar, etc) archives for text patterns, without the need to extract the archive's contents.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way to say thank you for being a part of the community.

mhcaoAuthor Commented:
No luck.  By the way, cpu's B and C both can ping cpu A, and vise versa.  Thanx for the suggestion.
To activate the network browser,  Usually in win95 should have a workgroup or domain(as in winnnt). Try giving all of them same workgroup like home and reboot the comupter. I don't see any other things here.  If you get any better answer you can notify me.
mhcaoAuthor Commented:
Sorry, but I already noted that all the computers have the same workgroup name.
1. When [A] is connected to the Internet he still can see files on [B] and [C]?

2. What happens when you remove the DUN connection from [A}?
Fat32 and Fat16 are not compatible no matter what you think you saw. Make all the PC's either Fat32, or Fat16.

As for sharing Internet through a Win95 PC, you will need a product like Wingate, or WinProxy, there are many other's. You can share Internet with one PC with shareware Wingate, but as soon as you want to do three or more, you will have to get a full registered copy.

As for networking, you will need to keep dialup and local networking seperate.  Do not modify dialup networking from network setup, modify it from Dialup networking ONLY.  As long as you have a newer version of DUN, and Win95 you should be able to do this easily. Older versions of both can make it tricky.
u don't have to use all FAT32 or FAT16, that's just the way that the files are managed on harddisk, it won't make a difference to whether you can see the other computers or not.

We are only talking about seeing the files stored on the PC's, seeing the pC's has not been a problem.
Have you tried selecting the I want to share files and printer option in the network setup window? Also have you shared the hard drives on both these machines? to do this go into windows explorer and in tools select share.
Are you sure that [A] is running Win 95/98?

Win95 &Win95a can not see a FAT32 partition only see FAT16
Win95b & Win98 can see both FAT32 & FAT16
I believe it would be more correct to say that if you have Fat32 you can see Fat32, but otherwise you can not. Win95a can not have Fat32, but Win95B can have Fat32. Now if someone wants to correct me, I welcome it, but I would like a reference to Technet, or Microsofts web page to back it up.
mhcaoAuthor Commented:
I know for a fact that you can network a Win95 FAT16 file system with a Win98 FAT32 file system.  I helped my brother set that up myself and I know it works.  I am actually thinking about buying a new ethernet card, as I'm starting to believe that's the problem, odd as it may sound.
What ver of Win95 on cpu's B & C

I have sucessfuly installed Win95b with both FAT16 & FAT32 drives. Networked to Win95a & Win95b computers. Win95a access  only FAT16 drives, Win95b access all drives (FAT16 & FAT32) As mhcao said it does work. No documentation but it works great for me

a) Over a network, the client does not SEE if the FAT is 12/16/32. In fact the client does not SEE the method used to alocate disk space. Otherwise how a Win (3.1, 95, 98) or DOS client can R/W a file NTFT partition?

b) It's my impression that "mhcao" problem is impossible (Win 95/98) cannot do what he is describing (forwarding an IP packet to/from the internet from machines [A] to/from [B] or [C])). Only NT can do this.
Edit your lmhosts file and enter:
x.y.z.r   A-name

where A-name is the host name of your A CPU and x.y.z.r is its IP address.
Use map network drive and map to a share in A (\\A-name\sharename)
I guess we will see what the truth is when he gets this to work. I still suggest making the Fats match. There is a Technet article on the Fats not being compatible. You could reference a question I just got 800 points for that dragged on just like this, and the answer was just as I said here. The person who posted the question finally got another disk drive and installed a temporary copy of Win95 to check it out.
mhcaoAuthor Commented:
sorry it was a little while.  I do have a proxy server, wingate running in the background.  It turns out that that was causing the problems.  Nilos actually pointed out the problem, which reminded me I have the proxy server in the background forever.  I just plumb forgot.  Nilos, if you can please lock this question and I can transfer the points.   Thanks and sorry all...
It ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT MATTER which FAT system the computers are using. Any shared network resource can be seen by any other PC that has rights to it.
FAT DOES MATTER! win95a CANNOT see FAT32 drives.

also, it has already been established that the computers can see each other, they just can't access the files stored on them. try reading through all the comments and previous answers before you make a further comment because it makes all of us come back and check it out.

Hey guys, this is getting out of hand and away from the original question, which has allready been sovled. FAT type does not matter as far as a network is concerned.

All FAT's wil talk to each other over a network, they will also talk to MAC filesystem EFS2, NFS and any other machine capable of NETWORK SHARES, hell, do you realy think the internet is made up of machines running FAT, hate to tell you, IT'S NOT.

hehe  :-)

1) Please, go top and let's come back to mhcao question. I agree with "bushhead": The server disk allocation method DOES NOT MATTER. If there was something related to that, how my notebook access my office computer (Win98-FAT32), my home computer (NT 4.0-NTFS) and all machines in the office (NTFT, FAT16, FAT32)?

2) No way a Win9X machine can do what mhcao is stating. Win9x cannot do IP forwarding in the way he describes, without an external program (Wingate, for example).

Can B & C see and ping eachother?
Compare network settings..

I gave you this answer already, but let me say it again another way.

You could have seen Win98, and Win95 Pc's coexist together before, but did you check to see if the Win98 user used Fat32, it does not have to be Fat32 just because it is Win98. I use Fat16 on my Win98 PC's, and it is Fat16 by default, you would have to convert Fat16 to Fat32, and once you do, there is no going back without wiping it clean and starting over. There may be a third party utility to do it, but I'm not sure about that. I stand by my answer of this being a case of Fat compatibility. Please look at this a little closer, there are people who agree on this.

Please you need to reject the massimino answer in order to allow me to lock this question.


Nilo (from Sao Paulo / Brazil)
 I hope this puts an end to this.

This section discusses problems and potential support issues that exist with FAT32. The list below summarizes some points to remember about FAT32:
·      You cannot boot to a previous operating system and access a FAT32 volume.
·      Windows NT 4.0 cannot access a FAT32 volume.
·      DriveSpace 3 is not supported on a FAT32 volume. However, you can have one drive FAT32 and the other a FAT16 and use DriveSpace 3 on the 16-bit FAT volume.
·      Disk Manager users should upgrade to 7.04 or higher.
·      CHKDSK will not fix errors  on FAT32 drives; instead, use ScanDisk.
·      Applications having problems with a program set up on a FAT32 drive should have their program upgraded.
·      Legacy versions of ScanDisk will not work on FAT32.
·      DrivParm has been updated to recognize FAT32.
·      File Control Blocks (FCBs) has limited support.
·      Dealing with files larger than 2 GB may cause problems on non-FAT32-aware programs.
·      Absolute disk read and write utilities should be upgraded to recognize FAT32.
·      Interlink will not work on FAT32.
Booting from a previous operating system.
The new file system is not backward compatible. You cannot access a FAT32 volume from any MS-DOS version before 7.1. Attempting to access a FAT32 volume with a previous version of MS-DOS will initiate a “Non-DOS Partition” error message. If you boot from a floppy with a previous version and all the drives are FAT32, you will not be able to access the drives. There is no problem accessing the C drive if the C drive is a 12-bit or 16-bit FAT.
You must have a Startup Disk from the new operating system.
Windows NT (version 4.0 or earlier) and FAT32.
Currently, Windows NT cannot access a FAT32 drive. You will get one of two messages.
If the capacity of the drive is greater than 4 GB:
The drive is not a valid partition.

If the capacity of the drive is less than 4 GB:
The drive is not formatted.

DriveSpace 3.
DriveSpace 3 and FAT32 are incompatible. DriveSpace 3 is included with Windows 98, and it has been modified to detect FAT32 drives, but it will not compress them. You can still compress FAT16 drives even if another drive is FAT32. DriveSpace 3 components are included in Windows 98.
DriveSpace 3 and Cluster Allocation Granularity.
Do not assume that since you reduce the amount of slack space at the end of the clusters, the capacity of a FAT32 drive should increase as much as if you were using DriveSpace 3. There are two components in DriveSpace 3 compression — tokenization and reduction of the cluster size.
There are no compression features in FAT32; just smaller clusters. Gained space is not a function of compression, but more a function of the files sizes on the drive and how many files are on that drive. If you do not have many files on the drive, there will not be a significant  improvement in space. The point and advantage of FAT32 is efficiency.
Disk Manager.
Using Ontrack Systems Disk Manager product on a system that is booting from a FAT32 drive may result in a long pause at boot time and/or that the drive will be set to run in compatibility mode. With version 7.0x, you can use the /L=0 option with Disk Manager to avoid this pause.
If you are using an earlier version of Disk Manager, you should update to version 9.0 and use the /L=0 switch if you use FAT32. Contact Ontrack for an upgraded driver, or check their site on the World Wide Web.
Io.sys floppy disk support.
Io.sys floppy disk support had some problems that have been fixed. When Io.sys copied the BIOS Parameter Block (BPB) from a floppy disk into memory, some data structures were truncated and some fields were ignored based on assumptions that the media was a floppy disk. Also, initializing a drive as “other” (such as an external floppy) would always set up as a 12-bit FAT and discard bits identifying the total sectors or not examine the number of read/write heads.
The problems in building the BPB have all been fixed so that Io.sys now correctly copies all of the BPB fields out of the boot sector on the disk inserted in the drive. Also, Io.sys has increased less than 5 KB in size in conventional memory because of the changes in the real-mode kernel that accommodate FAT32 drives.
If a program was written to work around these problems on its own, you may need to obtain an update that recognizes FAT32. If you begin to experience external drive problems from an application or driver, test with Windows, not the application in question. You can obtain an update that recognizes FAT32 from the vendor.
Making sure a disk is formatted for a FAT32 system.
When you try to defragment a FAT32 file system drive, you may receive the following error message:
Windows cannot defragment this drive. Make sure the disk is formatted and free of errors. Then try defragmenting the drive again.

This can be caused by running an earlier version of Defrag.exe than the version included with Windows 98.
Invalid media error message when formatting a FAT32 partition.
When you try to format a FAT32 file system partition larger than 8,025 MB from within Windows 98, you may receive the following error message:
Verifying <xxx.xx>M
Invalid media or track 0 bad-disk unusable
Format terminated

where <xxx.xx> is the size of the partition.
This error occurs if there is a non-MS-DOS partition preceding the extended MS-DOS partition and the primary MS-DOS partition has been formatted using the real-mode Format.exe command. To resolve this issue, format the volume using the following steps.
To format the volume
 1.      Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart in MS-DOS mode, and then click OK.
 2.      Type the following command
format <drive>:

      where <drive> is the drive letter for the partition you want to format.
 3.      Press ENTER.
 4.      When the partition is formatted, type Exit to restart Windows 98.
You must run CVT1 to convert a drive to FAT32.
When you attempt to convert a drive to the FAT32 file system, you may receive the following error message:
You must run CVT1 to convert a drive to FAT32. In Windows, click the Start button, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click the Drive Converter (FAT32) icon. The conversion was canceled.

This error message can occur if you attempt the conversion when in an MS-DOS window. When the computer is booted to a command prompt, run Cvt.exe by typing the following command:
cvt <drive> /cvt32

where <drive> is the drive to be converted.
Windows 98 partition types not recognized by Windows NT.
When you set up Windows NT on a computer that has Windows 98 preinstalled, the FAT partitions may be shown as unknown.
Windows NT cannot recognize primary partitions using the FAT32 format. Backup any data that you might need to save and then delete the partition(s) using Fdisk from either MS-DOS or Windows 98.
Windows 98 supports four partition types for FAT file systems that Windows NT cannot recognize. The partition type can be identified by the System ID byte in the partition table. This byte is located at the following offsets:
0x1C2 = Partition 1
0x1D2 = Partition 2
0x1E2 = Partition 3
0x1F2 = Partition 4

The four values used by Windows 98 that Windows NT does not recognize are as follows:
0x0B      Primary  Fat32 Partitions up to 2047 GB
0x0C      Same as 0x0B, uses Logical Block Address Int 0x13 extensions
0x0E      Same as 0x06, uses Logical Block Address Int 0x13 extensions
0x0F      Same as 0x05, uses Logical Block Address Int 0x13 extensions

The FAT partition types that Windows NT version 3.x and 4.0 can recognize are:
0x01      Fat12 < 10 megabytes
0x04      Fat16 < 32 megabytes
0x06      Fat16 > 32 megabytes
0x05      Extended (may be FAT, HPFS or NTFS)

CHKDSK will not find or repair errors  on FAT32. CHKDSK is not being updated to repair the new file system, but it will display the file system statistics. Use the real-mode ScanDisk if you cannot get into Windows 98.
Application setup.
The standard API for determining the free space on a drive is being intercepted by shell32.dll. When installing to a drive larger than 2 GB or with more than 2 GB free, shell32.dll readjusts the values for 16-bit programs to run properly.
All properly coded programs should call the correct API for determining free space and existing disk space. There should be no problem installing 16-bit applications on a FAT32 volume. If the program hangs during installation or displays an error message indicating not enough space to install, the application is using a different API and you should obtain an update from the vendor.
Legacy versions of ScanDisk will not work on FAT32. You can receive a variety of error messages, but the following is the most common on that Windows 98 displays:
This version of Microsoft ScanDisk will work only with MS-DOS versions 5.0 and later.

With an old version of Scandskw.exe, Scandisk.exe, or Dskmaint.dll on the drive, you will also receive errors.
In both cases, you should use the file versions that come with Windows 98.
DRIVPARM is a Config.sys command. The numbers entered for the /f, /h, /s, and /t switches were not checked to see if they were too large, now they are. The /f number must be < 10; the /h number must be < 256; the /s number must be < 64; and the /t number must be <= 1024.
Check Help for assistance with these parameters. There are three new switches that allow the setting of other device parameters. If none of these new flags is present, the call continues to do exactly what it did in previous versions.
/a:# - sectors/cluster, must be 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, or 64
/v:# - number of reserved sectors
/r:# - number of root directory entries, must be a multiple of 16

A value of 0 means use the default value.
The new switches allow media of any type to be set, including 12-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit FAT.
Important   It is strongly recommended that you specify /f:7 whenever using any of these new switches so that the media defined will have the 0F0h media byte value. /f:5 will give an error. The other /f:# are allowed, but may not work properly if their default media byte value is not 0F0h.
FAT32 Extension Changes
With the significant changes to the new file system, some previous extensions are no longer supported or have changed. The following list are extensions no longer supported.
SHARE is no longer supported in real mode under MS-DOS 7.1. Share services are a part of the IFS manager. VFAT uses them to provide full file sharing functionality. All MS-DOS-, Win16-, or Win32-based applications have full file sharing services available to it. As a consequence, the MS-DOS utility Share.exe is no longer necessary and is not provided in Windows 98.
FASTOPEN support has been removed from the Io.sys. As with SHARE, it can be installed without error, but Io.sys never calls it.
Windows 3.1 File Manager.
Winfile.exe (the old Windows 3.1 File Manager) does not show accurate free drive space on FAT32 drives that are over 2 GB in size, nor will it display long file names.
Extensions Changed or Superseded
The following functions/extensions have new limitations on FAT32 media.
Support for File Control Blocks (FCBs) is reduced. The Open and Create functions only work for creating a volume label on a FAT32 drive. Programs still using FCBs for finding, deleting or renaming a file will still perform as expected.
Writing to a large file.
To increase a file to a size greater than 2 GB in size, the file must be opened with a new Extended Size flag. If such a file is not opened using this flag, write functions fail and you receive an “Error Access Denied” message.
Opening and creating a large file.
To open a file to a size greater than 2 GB in size, the file must be opened with a new Extended Size flag.
Errors arise from opening or changing files greater than 2 GB from non-FAT32 aware programs. You will need to obtain an upgrade from the application vendor.
Interrupts 25h/26h absolute disk read/write.
Many utilities use absolute disk reads and writes to function. Utilities include disk editors, backup programs, defragmenters, virus scanning software (especially Master Boot Record [MBR] and Boot Sector [BS] scanning), and repair utilities. These utilities can cause problems accessing a drive where the underlying foundation is unknown.
Int 25h/26h is superseded by Int 21h Function 7305h Ext ABSDiskReadWrite for FAT32 drives. As with Windows 95, Int 25h/26h is designed to fail by displaying a blue screen and informing the customer not to read/write to the disk. Programs designed for Windows 98 that invoke volume locking will need to be upgraded for FAT32. These utilities should continue to work properly on FAT16 drives. Also, Windows 95 utilities, including ScanDisk and Defrag, do not work on FAT32 volumes.
Free disk space.
If total or free disk space is greater than 2 GB, then 2 GB is returned. This function, GetDiskFreeSpace, is superseded by GetDiskFreeSpaceEx. GetDiskFreeSpace, for compatibility reasons, now never reports more than 1.999999 GB free under Windows 98.
The only time you might have a problem is if the program does not use GetDiskFreeSpace when determining free space on a volume. If a program has a problem with a drive larger than 2 GB, then it is probably using some other method to determine the free space. You should contact the manufacturer to update the program to FAT32.
Drive parameters.
MS-DOS and Windows keep track of drive characteristics in memory. For example, if you are copying a file to a floppy disk from Microsoft Excel, the application goes to this area to identify the media type. The information here is identical to the BIOS Parameter Block (BPB) in the Boot Sector. Properly written programs use this area of memory for that drive’s information instead of going to the BPB. This area of memory is called the Drive Parameter Block (DPB).
When applications need to know about a drive, such as drive letter, or size of its sector, they access the DPB and use its information accordingly. The functions used to get that information have been superseded. The new DPB contains the FAT32 values by extending the existing DPB to include new 32-bit values while keeping the existing 16-bit fields for compatibility.
On drives larger than 2 GB (or if there is more than 2 GB free), if an application is displaying strange behavior anytime a drive or disk is accessed, it could be getting incomplete information from the old DPB. Also, some programs assume the size of internal Windows data structures. For example, some applications assume that a DPB is 33 bytes long and will never change in size. Programs like this will need to be upgraded to recognize the new ExtDPB. Also, third-party drivers that depend on the old DPB to load will hang if they do not have an error handler in place to terminate the driver.
Dual boot and FAT32.
You cannot use FAT32 on a machine that you need to dual boot to the original release of Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0 (or earlier), Windows 3.1, or MS-DOS 6.x. These operating systems are unable to access a FAT32 partition. However, it is still possible to use dual boot where there are multiple hard disks installed.
The InterLink networking product contained in MS-DOS 6.x will not function properly in MS-DOS mode if you are using FAT32. If you are running InterLink as a server on a FAT32 drive, all connections and inquiries (such as DIR) result in the following error message:
"File allocations table bad, Drive X"

Also, the InterLink Manager shows the incorrect total drive size. This problem does not occur on FAT16 drives. To see your FAT32 server, start your computer in protected mode with InterLink running.
You will need to use Direct Cable Connection to get connectivity.
Save to File (Hibernate) feature may be incompatible with FAT32.
On computers containing a BIOS made by Phoenix Technologies, you might not be able to use the Save to File feature if your primary (boot) drive is formatted using FAT32. If your PhDISK utility is earlier than version 5.0, you must obtain an updated version of the utility and an updated ROM BIOS from your computer manufacturer in order to use a Save to Disk file. With older versions of the ROM BIOS, your computer may be unable to start if it tries to read a Save to Disk file from a FAT32 drive. If this occurs, you must disable the Save to File feature in your ROM BIOS. This does not affect computers using a disk partition to store the Save to Disk data.
Ontrack Systems Disk Manager.
If you use the Ontrack Systems Disk Manager program on a computer with FAT32 drives, there might be a long pause when you start your computer and/or the drive will be set to run in compatibility mode. If you use version 9.0x, you can avoid this pause by using the /L=0 option with Disk Manager. To do this, carry out the following steps:
To use the /L=0 option with Disk Manager
 1.      Start Disk Manager.
 2.      Click the Maintenance menu, and then click Update Dynamic Drive Overlay.
 3.      Add /L=0 to any other options that are already present.
 4.      Save the settings, and then restart your computer.
      If you are running an earlier version of Disk Manager and you want to use FAT32, you should update to version 7.04 or later and use the /L=0 switch.
V Communications System Commander.
Versions 2.28 and earlier of V Communications System Commander are incompatible with FAT32. If your primary (boot) hard disk uses FAT32 exclusively, you must obtain version 3.0 or later of System Commander.
Iomega Jaz tools may be incompatible with FAT32.
If you format an Iomega Jaz disk using FAT32, you may need to obtain updated versions of the Jaz tools. Older versions of the tools do not support FAT32 Jaz disks properly. As a result, the eject, write-protection, and password-protection options will be disabled. Updated versions of these tools that are compatible with FAT32 are available from Iomega, and from the Microsoft Windows Driver Library contained on the Windows CD-ROM disk and available for download from various online services.
Syquest Techology, Inc. device drivers.
Older versions of the Squatdvr.sys and Sqdriver.sys device drivers are incompatible with this version of Windows and will hang when your computer starts if your primary (boot) hard disk uses FAT32. You must remove the associated DEVICE= line from your Config.sys file in order to start your computer from a FAT32 drive. Updated versions of these drivers that are compatible with FAT32 are available from Syquest, and from the Microsoft Windows Driver Library contained on the Windows compact discand available for download from various online services.


joe_massimino missed one single point. What we are talking here, since the very beggining, is about to access A NETWORKED DRIVE. In that case, for a NETWORKED DRIVE, most of the information above DO NOT APPLY!

The miracle, about a NETWORKED DRIVE, is that the client do not need to know how the server drive is formated or allocated. That magic allow us to access files (IN A NETWORKED DRIVE) without knowing how the file (NETWORKED) is allocated.

Of course, no pain no gain, one cannot use (IN A NETWORKED DRIVE) any program that depends of those formats (CHKDSK, SCANDISK and other low level utilities).

nilos, There is a problem in accessing network drives with different file formats.


Can you demonstrate one? We have, in our network, the following formats:

FAT16 (Win95/ WFWG 3.11)
FAT32 (Win95 OSR2,OSR2.5 / W98)
LINUX (Using Samba)

No problems from any machine to any machine (Using shares)

mhcaoAuthor Commented:
I must reject this answer because I know otherwise.  Like I said earlier, I helped my brother set up his network and I updated the FAT file system myself.  There is no question there are 2 cpu's connected thru a network with 1 being win98 FAT32 and 1 being win95 FAT16.
mhcaoAuthor Commented:
And they work perfectly fine accessing one another's files and directories.  Please, Nilos, lock this question so I can transfer the points...
Are you saying that you have solved your problem?  I would like to know how?
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.