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Netware 6 hanging on boot at load of ideata.ham after SP3 install

Posted on 2003-11-05
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
For training purposes in a classroom environment we install NetWare on Dell Optiplex GX270s, Netware 6 SP1 and SP2 run fine, but when we upgrade the Optiplex's to SP3 the system hangs when it loads ideata.ham.  This doesn't effect PowerEdge boxes, but only our student workstations.  Any ideas on how to get past this?
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Question by:drcliche
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PsiCop earned 168 total points
ID: 9687495
If you applied SP3 and updated the disk drivers, there may be a driver incompatibility.

You could try loading the IDEATA.HAM from SP2, which should be in C:\NWSERVER\DRIVERS\STORAGE\BACKUP if you applied SP3 (even if you did not select the Backup Files option).

I'll research this some more.
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by:PsiCop
ID: 9687596
Well, there's nothing in the Novell knowledgebase (http://support.novell.com/search/kb_index.jsp) on this.

However, I had a similar problem on Dell PowerEdge boxes upgrading from NetWare v5.1 SP3 to SP5. You can try my backleveling idea, but be sure to preserve the SP3-level IDEATA.HAM.

If you want to get into serious troubleshooting, then boot up the system to the DOS prompt. Record the contents of C:\NWSERVER\STARTUP.NCF. In C:\NWSERVER type --> SERVER -NA -NS

The server now boots up to the console prompt (:). Manually type in the lines from STARTUP.NCF, one at a time, pausing for a bit after each one to make sure nothing goes wrong. Your IDEATA.HAM load should be in there somewhere, and by doing this in small steps you should be able to determine if IDEATA.HAM is the culprit or if it actually happens before or after that. If it hangs again, then reboot and re-start this process, but when you reach the IDEATA.HAM load statement substitute the backlevel version (just fully spec the path) and see if that works.

If it does, then once you've manually entered all of STARTUP.NCF, type:

LOADSTAGE 1
LOADSTAGE 2
LOADSTAGE 3
LOADSTAGE 4
LOADSTAGE 5

to bring the core OS the rest of the way up. Then type:

SYS:SYSTEM\AUTOEXEC

to run your AUTOEXEC file (can't recall if LOADSTAGE 5 will do that for you in this scenario - if it does, then don't bother re-running it).

Your system will now be up and running as if you'd booted it from scratch. Load TOOLBOX and use it to swap out the IDEATA.HAM files in C:\NWSERVER and SYS:SYSTEM (don't forget to backlevel BOTH places!) and if there's a corresponding .LDI don't forget to backlevel that too.
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by:PsiCop
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Note that TOOLBOX.NLM is not included in the NetWare distro, you need to download it from the Novell Support website (Click on FileFinder and look for TOOLBOX.NLM). Its handy and you should always keep a copy on your severs (even if its not loaded, it should be available) and its a nice tool to throw in as a bonus for your classes.
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by:PsiCop
ID: 9687628
Geez, I am picking up bad habits from ShineOn.

I also meant to add that TOOLBOX.NLM is free. Its the slickest free tool Novell has distributed since Onsite Admin Pro fell by the wayside.
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by:ShineOn
ShineOn earned 166 total points
ID: 9688915
Oh well.

Yeah, the driver thing could be it, but another possibility is the BIOS having a flaw that shows up because of a new call in the new ideata driver.

Have you checked the Dell website for updates for the Optiplexes?
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by:PsiCop
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I think isolating it to IDEATA.HAM, if that is the actual failure point, is prolly the best first step.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 9689100
In my experience, it rarely hurts and often helps to keep your BIOS rev level current, especially with Dell.  They warn you not to unless you have to, but they can't tell you when you have to.
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by:drcliche
ID: 9689145
Great, thanks for the responses!  I'll check through that and see what happens.
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by:DSPoole
DSPoole earned 166 total points
ID: 9690114
okay - Psi and Shine have given some very good ideas:

1)  flash your OptiPlex and make sure it has the updated BIOS.
2) (my own) disable PnP in the OptiPlex BIOS
3)  if that doesn't work, backrev the IDEATA.HAM to the SP2 version

I had an Adaptec .HAM driver do the same thing with NetWare 5.1 SP5 - I had to backrev it to SP4 to get it working again.

also, for fun, I would check the order of your STARTUP.NCF, personally, I like to put the .CDM's associated with the .HAM's in first:

IDECD.CDM
IDEATA.HAM

SCSIHD.CDM
CPQRAID.HAM
CPQSCSI.HAM

I've seen timeout issues if the appropriate .CDM isn't followed by it's associated .HAM driver...

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by:PsiCop
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drcliche,

How goes it with this server?
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by:PsiCop
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Hello?
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