dhcp client on Workstation 4.0 won't start

I am working on 2 Workstation 4.0 machines on which the DHCP  clients just won't start. Tried SP3, no luck. Get 2140 internal error.  Semaphore error in event viewer after boot.  I'm goin' crazy with this one.
dcrimAsked:
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scdavisConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Unfortunately, '95 dosen't really have a DHCP 'service' - so my problem was functionally similar (identical) to yours.  I didn't think to check the speed setting.  If the card can't auto-detect which speed the cable is (10/100) before the DHCP client times out, gosh only know what the OS will do..

My rational behind the diagnosis was based on these 'facts':

- Static IP Addresses DID work, so card was capable of 'working' which makes me suspect a software (driver) issue.
- I've found that 3com drivers are often highly 'optimized', for lack of a better term.  They're written with all-out efficiency in mind, and seem to break in strange ways.  I don't have a clue what the problem with this particular system was (ie, maybe finnicky PCI bus settings?!)..  Documentation for these cards (all 3com cards) for Solaris (x86) and Linux both point to finnicky drivers being required by the cards also..

I believe the 3c90x family is based on similar chipsets - if both of your workstations are identical, it's possible that the problem results from some hardware layer incompability that manifests as a driver problem.

In any case, I still advocate replacing the cards with another vendor's card (ie, different chipset).  I've had lots of luck with Cheap-O D-Link cards, and at about $35 (canadian) a pop with lifetime warranty, who's to argue?  As a field technican, I always carry 2-4 Nics of various bus types and chipsets with me.  

Good luck - Scott.
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dcrimAuthor Commented:
Adjusted points to 100
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cbo120897Commented:
Does it work with static IP's ? So you can check your other network stuff (NIC, Driver, ...)

cbo
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dcrimAuthor Commented:
Yes, works fine with statics.  Both machines are currently in a 199 block and functioning correctly.  I need to get the DHCP client started so I can use the client setup feature in SBS.  It relies on DHCP for initially bringing up the machines on the network.
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sgentherCommented:
PSS ID Number: Q123771
Article last modified on 04-22-1997
 
1.0 1.1
 
WINDOWS
 

======================================================================
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The information in this article applies to:
 
 - Microsoft Systems Management Server versions 1.0 and 1.1
----------------------------------------------------------------------
 
SYMPTOMS
========
 
The Systems Management Server Site Configuration Manager fails to correctly
add a domain to the site when the domain contains a server name that
exceeds 13 characters.
 
CAUSE
=====
 
When the NetServerEnum2 call is made to list the servers in the domain, the
correct list is returned by the primary domain controller (PDC). Because
the API returns error 2140 "An internal error has occurred," SMS Site
Config Manager ignores the domain.
 
When a server is added using the Use Specified Servers option, and the
server name exceeds 13 characters, the API (application program interface)
function return error 2453. Again, Systems Management Server Site
Configuration Manager ignores the domain.
 
WORKAROUND
==========
 
To work around this problem, use server names with 13 characters or fewer.
 
STATUS
======
 
Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Windows NT version 3.5.This
problem was corrected in Windows NT version 3.51.
 
Additional query words: config sms prodsms servername
======================================================================
Keywords            : kbnetwork smssiteconfigman
Version             : 1.0 1.1
Platform            : WINDOWS
=============================================================================
Copyright Microsoft Corporation 1997.


 
Try this,if it doesn't help...please reject.
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sgentherCommented:
It may have something to do with how you named the workstations or servers,try shorting the names.
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cbo120897Commented:
Do you have a non-english version of NT-WS?

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dcrimAuthor Commented:
Thanks, but all names have only 7 or 8 characters.

Also, it likely has nothing to do with the server.  A workstation that works correctly will start the DHCP client service even if it is not connected to the network.  It doesn't need any network connection to start.  Makes sense.  The DHCP client is to help establish a network connection.
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cbo120897Commented:
Do you have a non-english version of NT-WS?
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dcrimAuthor Commented:
Cho, it is an English Version.
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sgentherCommented:
Did you check DHCP Manager to see if there are any bad calls to those work stations? Also you can try cleaning up anything thats not supposed to be in there.
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dcrimAuthor Commented:
sgenther
No calls.  Can't get the client to run so as to make a request.
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sgentherCommented:
By the way,DHCP does need a valid network connection to start,how do you think the client receives an ip from the server?
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dcrimAuthor Commented:
sgenther
Not true.  I used an NT4 WS machine I have on which the DHCP client starts O.K. as a test.  I disconnected the machine from the hub as a test, rebooted, and the DHCP client came up just fine.  True, no session was established, but the client started.  On the machines in question, the client won't start, period, on or off the network.  When I say start, I mean the DHCP client actually starting as an NT service, not starting a DHCP connection.
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scdavisCommented:
I had a similar problem with a 3c905tx from 3com. (NIC).  Driver install was 'funny' - I updated the driver to no avail, then replaced with a D-Link card.  No more problem.  Really Funny thing is, that 3c905tx is working without flaw in another '95 box still.

Replace the NIC, let us know..
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dcrimAuthor Commented:
scdavis
O.K.  I'm getting excited!  Both machines have 3c905's.  Did you experience the same symptom?  The DHCP client wouldn't start?  Even if off the network?  What made you suspect the NIC?
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dcrimAuthor Commented:
scdavis
I'll take that back.  One is a 3c905, the other is a 3c900.
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mbreukerCommented:
3Com has an updated NDIS driver for the 3c905-b card. The update only fixes a 100mbit speed issue as far as I know, which shouldn't help your case, especially since the 3c900 is only 10mbit. I thought I would mention this nonetheless since your problem really sounds like a problem with the NIC. Not a physicaly problem, since you establish connections with static IPs, but a driver problem since the DHCP service will not bind to the card.

I would replace the NICs as a test.
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alarosaCommented:
Just an FYI,

I had the same problem with a 3c905b-tx in a server4.0  machine.  I could not get the DHCP clien service to start.  I replaced the card with an Intel brand card and leased an IP right off.  Hopefully 3COM will find a fix!  
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