Can you swap motherboards in a Netware server without reinstalling?

I have a cheapo "Server" (not actual server hardware, but just a suped-up PC) running Netware 6.  We run some non-essential services from it.  It has had a problem since day one with keyboard lock ups (I can't get a caps lock light out of the keyboard, but rconsole works fine) and I/O errors.  I'm pretty sure it's a problem with the hardware (specifically the motherboard).

I know the right thing would be to swap out the motherboard and then reinstall the OS, but I'm pressed for time.  I do have a motherboard with the same exact chipset lying around that I know is good.

WOULD it be possible to just swap in this new motherboard without reconfiguring the OS?
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yes - assuming you match the SLOT settings on the addin cards (Network/SCSI)

however, if you are using IDE or any other onboard controller (SCSI/NIC) then you may have to install new drivers.

as for the chipset - Novell doesn't care about it.

NetWare cares only about device drivers such as NIC/SCSI or IDE controllers.


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Generally, yes. NetWare is much LESS sensitive to hardware changes than Windoze.

If you have a practically identical spare motherboard, you should be able to drop it in with minimal difficulty. Be sure that the add-on cards (e.g. NIC, SCSI board, whatever) are put in the same slots on the new board.

If NetWare encounters problems booting up, then manually load the OS with "server -ns" and experiment with the LOAD commands until you find the right parametersm, then alter the STARTUP.NCF file accordingly.
msiraAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the responses.  The "Surgery" went well and the "patient" has now been up for 12 days without any problems whatsoever.
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did you get a motherboard that supports dual processors?

I am curious because NetWare 6 supports SMP native to the NetWare kernel now.

msiraAuthor Commented:
Nah, when I say cheap, I mean CHEAP (the replacement board cost $79).  So no dual processor or anything fancy...
eep!  please tell me you didn't go AMD!

Personally, I don't like AMD processors in the biz environment, I prefer Intel for compatibility reasons.

There used to be a time when using a non-Intel processor with NetWare caused issues - you even had to use a special startup switch with SERVER.EXE

I don't know if this is still the case or not - but for 100% binary compatibility - always choose Intel.
msiraAuthor Commented:
Nope, not on this board (P4).  But, yeah I do have a couple of test AMD systems with Novell running on them.

You're right, AMD processors have had compatability problems in the past, but the last major problems I've seen were in the K6-2 series.  I've recently built a couple of test systems to see how they've improved and have been impressed.  No problems.
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