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XP and Novell Client trouble

We are using Windows XP with Novell Client 4.83. The problem we are having is this...we are setting up new machines for users using a ghost image. We've done about 12 so far. Periodically, users cannot log on to their machines, it either sits at the Novell client logon screen, or goes to a black screen. So far, this has not happened to every user we have set up (2 have yet to experience this), and happens at completely different times (for example: 2 users could not log on this morning, wheras the others had no problems) The only way to get them back on is to shut the machine off, unplug the ethernet, log onto the machine locally, log off, plug the NIC back in, then after a long delay the user can log on. Could this be a user profile issue? (the ghost image is only administrator, the first thing we do is create an individual administrator account for each user) Or Novell? Where should we start? As these are ghost images (exact same computers), and the problem is infrequent, and no apparent pattern to it, we have yet to figure out what is going on. Any advice would be appreciated, as we have about 40 more to go, and need to figure this out before we continue. Thanks,

John Dailey
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dailejc
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dailejc
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1 Solution
 
Mighty_SillyCommented:
First thing first, did you create your XP image using sysprep?  

Next, you need to have sp1 applied to 4.83 http://support.novell.com/cgi-bin/search/searchtid.cgi?/10071896.htm

Then, there's patch to the sp1
http://support.novell.com/cgi-bin/search/searchtid.cgi?/2964927.htm

As for the system can't login after booted up, try wait a minute or two for XP to "climb the tree", then log in.  If that doesn't work, try turn on PC, log in locally, wait a minute or two, then log into the network....  All this is done to isolate the problem.  If you could log in after waiting a few minutes then the problem lies in wiring, hub/switch setup, or server setup for tree climbing and has nothing to do with the workstation (the fact that some work).  Sorry to be so vague but that's the deal for us too.  We also had to tweak some advanced setting in the client config.  

Post back after you've tried the above.  I'm afraid to share our settings at this time since each envir is a bit different.  If you're still having problem then we'll talk s'more.

good luck!
-Silly-
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dailejcAuthor Commented:
Hey "Silly",
    Thanks, I guess I should have put some more detail, but we used Norton Ghost to create the image (we do quite a few images like this (win98, win2k), but this is really our first XP image done with Ghost), and we are using 4.83 with sp1, however, I was not aware of an additional patch. We can indeed log on after doing what you described, and I would imagine what you suggested about tree climbing might be the culprit. Unfortunately, we dont control our authentication server. I appreciate the advice, Ill try Monday to apply the additional patch, and contact our main IT department about the server settings, and post back any new news. Fortunately, it only happens periodically (which is also why it is frustrating to troubleshoot though). Thanks again,

John
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Mighty_SillyCommented:
No problem,

The issue IS SPORADIC!  And it's brain-racker!  I use Ghost to create my images too, and yes, have been doing it since the w9x days :-)

I'm glad you're using 4.83sp1.  About ghosting in XP, I still would like to know whether you use the "sysprep" method to ghost it.  Do you get hit with something like "PC name already in use" (if PC is connected to network when booting up after imaging) and then have to change the PC name manually?  Or does it prompt you to enter a computer name as XP is booting up?

On a different topic of ghosting, how are you ghosting your PCs? Do you use ghost's multicasting feature, or simply do it one by one, via network connection, or burned CD?  I have it set up such that everything's off the network.  I have a PC within the building (since our server is located in a different building and too many hops, and SLOW) that I could connect to via a boot disk to either run a single ghost instance, or alternative, multi-cast it.  Just curious.

-Silly-
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dailejcAuthor Commented:
Hey, thanks again for the response. Im not familiar with the sysprep method (I believe it sets a unique computer name and identifier for each ghost machine??), but from your questions, I would assume no, we dont use it. (we have to change the PC name manually). We are using Ghosts multicast feature off the network using a boot disk, and like you, its from a PC within the building (I work for a University, so we can redo our lab machines without moving them, and also have 3 stations set up in our office to ghost machines). So do you think using the sysprep method would help solve our problem? How would you suggest solving a tree-climbing issue? I understand the concept, but have never gone through the process of troubleshooting tree issues, especially without access to the server. At any rate, I appreciate your helpfulness in this, as no-one else in my department wanted to handle this. Thanks,

John
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Mighty_SillyCommented:
"as no-one else in my department wanted to handle this" - LOL!!!

Sysprep steps:  Hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!  But if you just want to learn, you can search MSKB for how to do it (or you can email me directly, if permitted by this forum, and I'll send you HOW I DO IT!)  It seems to me that you've been quite lucky ghosting the way you've been doing.  

Netware issue:  IMHO, we can contribute the issue you're experiencing partly to the above.  It is REALLY difficult to say because you have PCs that work!  I don't know your Server settings to give any advice, but we could continue to work on the client-side.  Try:

Windows XP: (if not disabled already)
-disable Computer Browsing svc
-disable Indexing svc
-disable Qos svc
-disable SSDP
-disable Wirels svc
-disable "auto search network files" (in Windows explorer/Tools/Folder Options - first line)
-disable "simple sharing" (last item in above view)
-remove scheduled task (reg hacks)
-if MSO is installed, disable FindFast & OSA & Index

Novell Client:
-SLP Active Discovery: ask server folks if there's SLP setting, then configure as needed (you might want to set it to "OFF" to testing)
-SLP Cache: set to "1", if not already
-SLP Multicast Radius: set to "16", then to "1" if performance is boosted
-Use Broadcast for SLP Multicast: "OFF"
-Use DHCP for SLP:  check w/ your server folks and configure as needed (if it's "OFF" here, then you'll need to have Static "Directory Agent List" entries in "Service Location" tab)
-Protocl Pref Tab: set preferred protocol, and disable one Protocol component settings at a time to test (I find the combo of NDS & SLP together works best, for us anyways)


That's all I can think of at the moment.

-Silly-
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dailejcAuthor Commented:
Hey, thanks for the reply! I tried some of the above, to no avail. I did come across something interesting however, see what you can make of it. I finally found a user today who is consistently having the problem after every restart (every other user, it only happens sporadically). So, I set up a machine here in my office the same as I would have set her up before, and after 7-8 restarts, had no problems logging onto the network. I took the machine to her desk, plugged it in, and low-and-behold, it would not log on. Bringing her old computer back to my office, it logged on perfectly. We are on the same subnet, and I even forced the same authentication server for each machine (they were using different ones), all to no avail. Whats the deal?? Could it possibly be wiring? (I believe the wiring from the wall to the switch in our cataloging department, where all the problems are, is CAT3) The problems dont seem indicative of typical hardware troubles though, to me anyway. Why is it I can log on locally, log off immediately, then succesfully log on to the network? I dont get that either. It works every time though. Anyway, thanks again for the advice, and I appreciate your time on this!
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dailejcAuthor Commented:
oh, and yes, I would like to learn how to use the sysprep method! Ill look it up on MKNB first, as I dont want to take more of your time than need be, but any suggestions would definitly be useful.
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Mighty_SillyCommented:
Ah, THAT problem you described is EXACTLY the same as us!

Try getting the most current NIC driver, disable the Power mgmt for your NIC, and hard code in the speed/duplex setting (10-half for CAT3).  

Also, enable the "Always wait for the network at computer startup and logon" setting (RUN\gpedit.msc\Computer Config\System\Logon...)  I believe this forces XP to wait till it establishes connectivity with the network (not necessary the Novell Server, but the idea is to delay the computer to show the Login prompt too early).

Try that.

post your mail address and I'll send ya the sysprep doc.

-Silly-
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dailejcAuthor Commented:
Ha! Perfect! The above settings did it! I really appreciate your time on this, thanks for all the help! Now to try and make up for lost time. A learning experience, thats for sure. Ill give you my school address - dailejc@auburn.edu - if its over 2mb, use
- dailejc@groupwise1.duc.auburn.edu - Thanks again for all the help and the sysprep doc!

John
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