dos program locking up

We are using windows 98se workstations connected to a Novell 3.2 server.  Our protocols we use are IPX/SPX for the server based dos program, and Tcpip for internet access via a proxy machine.  We run a program in a dos box, which is totally server dependent.  There are no files installed on the client machines.  What is happening is that a user will switch tasks from the dos program to ie word, excel, or internet, (which are installed locally on each machine) and when they switch back either the system will lock or the dos program will loose it's connection to the server.  This happens at random times, more so on some computers then others.
We have tried this memory config in config.sys file and it helps some
load c:\windows\himem.sys
load c:\windows\emm386.exe 8192
buffers = 40
files = 120

Any ideas why it locks up when you switch back and forth?
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You have to take it up with your software vendor, I"m sure they can help you with this, since it seems like a program problem, not windows.
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