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Novell DOS client to Windows 2000 Server!

Posted on 2003-11-21
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I have a strange situation where I need to connect several ancient DOS based machines running Novell Client v2.16 to a Windows 2000 server which is already running IPX.  I have searched the Internet, but only found lots of solutions for the other way round!

I cant install any DOS/Windows client on these DOS machines as they will only run the Novelle client.

Any Ideas, or is it hopeless!

Cheers

Steve
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Question by:SSheriff
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PsiCop earned 500 total points
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It never ceases to amaze me when people want to connect Part A, that's a good 15 years old, with Part B, which is modern and new.

The fact that the W2K box has IPX bound to its NIC doesn't mean anything. It needs to have a service running that is listening to the IPX netwprk and which understand NetWare Core Protocol (NCP). Just binding IPX to the NIC doesn't help W2K understand what is being sent via IPX.

Redmond made some half-a$$ed piece of garbage called Client Services for NetWare or something like that to make a Windoze box sorta, kinda emulate a NetWare v2.x server. If you could get ahold of that, and if it works on W2K (as I recall, it was designed for NT v4), you might be able to do what you want.

Have you instead considered getting a NetWare server for these ancient boxes to talk to? Hell, if you download the NetWare demo, you can install it without a license and it defaults to 2-user mode. What EXACTLY is your goal here? To have something that stays up long enuf for you to get the info off of the ancient DOS boxes? Or do you want to set up something they can talk to over time? The "best" solution is going to depend on EXACTLY what you are trying to accomplish, and you need to tell us that.
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by:SSheriff
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Its OK - I expected everyone to think I was crazy!

To cut a long story short, these DOS clients are not normal PCs but are built into some Industrial Machines that are 10 years old.  They used to have a Novell server but not anymore.  We acquired the company that owned these machines, but we are a Microsoft only house (for our sins!).  And as these things were beige and had a plug on, IT inherited them.

The machines have data loaded into them daily in order to work.  Ideally I would like this data to be acessed from a Windows server.  I hope that makes a bit more sense.  

As you can probably gather, Im no Novell expert!  

I will check out this Client Service thing and see what it does.
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by:PsiCop
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Hmmmm...vertical application boxes, yes, well, that makes more sense.

If they were designed to talk to NetWare, its probably going to be best for you to give them NetWare to talk to. Redmond's NetWare emulation was never more than a crude subset of the NetWare v2.x functionality - just enough to provide a migration path for the people who got suckered by them - once they were on Windows, well, Redmond owned their butt, didn't they?

Here's a subversive idea - go get NetWare v6.5 and install it with Native File Access Protocol (NFAP) as well as legacy IPX and Bindery support (don't forget to turn on Bindery Emulation - those old boxes will need it). With NFAP the NetWare server will look like a Windoze box to Windoze clients, with IPX and Bindery emulation it'll be the sort of NetWare server that the Industrial Machines boxes expect, and everyone will think you did the impossible. Only you will know it was NetWare that did it.

Who knows, mebbe it'll be the start of a move in your company to a platform that will cost you half of what Windoze costs.
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by:PsiCop
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I don't think you're crazy, BTW. You're in a tough position, your company having foolishly abandoned great technology for mediocre crap that costs twice as much to own. Whoever made THAT decision might be crazy, tho. Certainly if I was a shareholder I'd be wondering what was up.
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by:SSheriff
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Looks like Windows Services for Netware 5.0 might do the trick so thanks for pointing me in that direction.  Not sure if its backwardly compatible all the way to V2 though although it does support Bindery (if thats a help)

Thats the good news - the bad news is that you can only get it on 30 day eval at the moment as MS havnt got round to a commercial release!

If not then the 6.5 server is looking promising!
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by:sverre
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Are you running eDirectory (probably not with so old clients), but IF, you can install eDirectory on the W2k-server and make it act as a netware-server
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by:ShineOn
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Novell Client v2.6?  Or the client for NetWare v2.6?

If it is the client version and not the NetWare version, is that NETX, VLM, Client32, or something even older than NETX?

If it is the client version, do you know the version of NetWare that you used to run these devices on?  If the NetWare server is gone already, where are they getting their data from - sneakernet?

Did they simply get data from the server, or was there a process running on the server - like a custom VAP or NLM?


What I'm getting at is - if you already got rid of the server without knowing these things, and without making sure you can support the machines that were dependent on the server, then you've cut off your nose to spite your face.  Kinda like Michael Jackson - only instead of making yourself look like a freak in an attempt to look like Diana Ross, it was in your attempt to look like Bill Gates regardless of the cost to your operation.  You need to get someone there in charge of IT that knows his/her fundamental orifice from a hole in the ground - or at least the basic principles of conversion.  It is possible that those systems won't even quite work right at all without their original back-end, or that the manufacturer has an upgrade that should have been costed into the process of fitting the acquisition into your "all Microsoft, all the time" corporate mold.  If I sound a bit ticked, it's because I saw a good company get shut down as part of a Chapter 11 reorganization of a corp that did that exact kind of thing, to all the companies it bought up, with no regard for whether the move is economically viable or at least makes business sense for ongoing operations.
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by:NwDsk
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I will throw in an exotic approach:

Does you company have Linux installed ?
If so configure a Linux box with both Samba (for your Windows access) and Mars_nwe (NetWare file and print services emulator) as a go-between. Mars_nwe should be perfect for your old dos boxes since it is an older (IPX) emulation of NetWare.

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by:ShineOn
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Depends on HOW old... ;)
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by:ShineOn
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Was it CSNW?  I just want to know what made it work...
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by:SSheriff
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Yep - You put me on the right path.  MS have released Windows Services for Netware v5 and I got them to ship me a 180 day eval CD.  On it was the File and Print Services for Netware, which means my 2000 server emulates a Novelle server well enough to transfer the files, without any problems (so far!)

Apparently it shouldnt work with ver 2.16, but it does!
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by:ShineOn
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Wow, they're all the way up to 1998!
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by:ShineOn
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I still don't fully understand the 2.16.  Is that the NetWare version that was replaced, or is it a client version, and if it's a client version, what client is it?
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by:SSheriff
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On the factory machine when the DOS Netware client starts up, it says its V2.16

The guy in the factory reckons it is 10 to 15 years old.  Apparently they havent touched it since the day it was set up, hence why no one knows how it works!
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by:ShineOn
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If this ever gets into the hands of people in power, the ones in charge, the powers that be, whatever you want to call them, I still thnk they need to look at my post regarding Merger/Acquisition and integration of functions between new and existing companies.

More thought SHOULD have been given this issue before the decision to chuck the NetWare server, so this wouldn't have been the problem it was.

I don't expect points for my advice.  It's just a word of caution for future consideration, so your company doesn't end up in the dumpster like mine did.  My experience is one of those many failed M/A processes that I used to read about in the trade rags, and cautioned against after the acquisition with my cautions falling on deaf ears.

I don't expect my words in this thread to make a difference; I know better from experience.  Take comfort in the knowledge that there truly are people that can feel your pain, regardless of the cheapening of that phrase by Bill Clinton.
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