Cannot load COMMAND.COM after 6.5 upgrade

Posted on 2006-06-01
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
Okay guys, here goes:

Today I upgraded a Netware 6.0sp4 server to Netware 6.5 (not SuSe Linux ver). All seemed to go fairly well until the reboot at the end of all the installation, clean up, etc. The server booted to the Novell screen, stayed there awhile, then the monitor went black for a couple of minutes. Next came a blinking cursor in the upper left hand corner. After what seemed like forever I got the following:
   Unable to EXEC server (insufficient memory?).
   Cannot load the file c:\COMMAND.COM
   Insert correct disk and strike any key.

Now understand that I am in NO WAY a Netware expert, but I'm all they've got, so I need some help here. In baby steps (please?).

The server has 1GB RAM, is a Compaq ProLiant ML350 -G3. Three 18.2 GB hard drives , RAID 0. Sorry I don't remember the processor
Question by:jojo0508
    LVL 17

    Assisted Solution

    My first instinct was to blame a device driver or memory manager loading in CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT, but since this server was running a previous version of NetWare, that is not likely the problem.

    The problem may be as simple as a corrupted SERVER.EXE file, and copying it off the installation media will solve the problem.  

    1) boot the server, press whatever key stops DOS from running AUTOEXEC.BAT
    2) rename the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS
    3) Create new bare-bones ones to load only the CD-ROM drivers for your system
    4) reboot to a DOS prompt, find SERVER.EXE on the CD-ROM, copy it to C:\NWSERVER
    5) delete the cd-rom specific AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS
    6) Create a CONFIG.SYS with only the following line
      files =100
    7) Reboot
    8) at the DOS prompt, enter:
      cd c:\nwserver

    If this works, Yay!.  Shutdown the server and create an AUTOEXEC.BAT with the above lines in it and reboot.

    If that didn't work, it could be any number of other things far, far more complex.  I know this answer won't win me any points, but if manually copying SERVER.EXE does not fix the problem, I recommend that you stop there and go hire a NetWare expert.
    LVL 30

    Expert Comment

    What disk did you use to do the upgrade?
    There is an overlay disk with all of the spacks(NW6.5 sp5)that is available as an ISO download from their site.
    You might be having a driver issue.
    You are not really using raid 0 are you?
    That is a VERY BAD idea on a production server.
    If you lose a disk you lose the file server and all of it's data.
    LVL 34

    Expert Comment

    Interesting. Reboot the server and press ESC when prompted, to return DOS. Does that work?

    Author Comment

    First, for Bud Durland: Thanks for the suggestions! I'll give them a try in the morning. Since this server is located at an elementary school and school is out, there's no one there to care, so I just left it. I actually have a Netware expert but I can't find her - guess she's gone on vacation, which is where I'll be in about 10 days. I'd kinda like to get this resolved before I head North to Alaska!

    Second, for pgm554: Please excuse me for having my head ... somewhere it really doesn't belong. Of course it isn't RAID 0, it's RAID 5. My brain is functioning at 0. Sorry! I did download the 6.5 sp5 overlay image and burn my installation disk. At least THAT part I got right...

    Third, for PsiCop: I hope that works 'cuz I'm going to have a hard time trying BudDurland's suggetion if it doesn't, huh?

    I'll let y'all know how it turns out. Sure hope I get to award some points !

    Author Comment

    Okay, here's today's exciting news: Tried the steps outlined by BudDurland, no luck. So I rebooted into DOS and put everything back the way it was, except I changed the Files=40 to Files=100 in CONFIG.SYS. Rebooted again and got:

    IO error reading drive C
    Abort, Retry, Fail?

    If you Fail, it says “Unable to EXEC server (insufficient memory?)”. If you Abort, it says, “Cannot load C:\COMMAND.COM   Insert correct disk and Strike any key”

    I rebooted and watched the system console throughout, rather than letting the logo screen stay active. The volumes are being mounted, NLMs are being loaded, some kind of ProLiant Manager window opens and immediately closes back to the console. SOMETHING whizzes by and in about a half a second the cursor starts blinking and eventually the IO error message is displayed.




    LVL 30

    Assisted Solution

    Boot into dos and change to the nwserverr dir.

    type in

    server -na -nl

    and hit enter (this will turn off the logo ,and no autoexec will execute)
    let's see what'going on
    LVL 34

    Expert Comment

    Also, please post the entire contents of CONFIG.SYS

    Author Comment

    Will try to get out there and do this tomorrow - although since it's Saturday, I'm not making any promises... It may be Monday!

    Author Comment

    Okay  - the CONFIG.SYS:
    country=001,437 ,c:\dos\country.sys
    device=c:\cpqidecd.sys  /D:CPQCDROM
    device=c:\dos\display.sys  con=(EGA,,1)

    For good measure, the AUTOEXEC.BAT:
    @echo off
    prompt $p$g
    mscdex  /d:cpqcdrom  /v  /m:50  /l:f
    c:\dos\mode  con  cp  PREPARE=((437)  c:\dos\EGA\cpi)
    c:\dos\mode  con  cp  Select=437
    cd \NWSERVER

    And finally, the last screen when I booted from  server -na  -nl:
    Warning: Skipping stage 5 loading of nlms.
    Loading Module  DHOST.NLM                            [   ok   ]

    Novell Open Enterprise Server, Netware 6.5
    Support Pack Revision 05
    (C) Copyright    yada yada yada
    Server Version 5.70.05  Dec 16, 2005

    Saturday ,June3, 2006   10:52:09 am cst

    6-03-2006    10:52:33 am:    DS-10552.79-264
           Bindery open requested by the SERVER

    Loading Module  DXEVENT.NLM                        [   ok  ]
    Loading Module  GAMS.NLM                             [   ok  ]
    Loading Module  NMAS.NLM                             [   ok  ]
          Auto-Loading Module SPMNWCC.NLM          [  ok   ]
    Loading Module  SPMDCLNT.NLM                      [   ok  ]

    6-03-2006    10:53:22 am:    DS-10552.79-262
           Directory Services:   Local database is open


    And that's where I left it - after waiting about 10 minutes to see if it would do anything else

    LVL 30

    Accepted Solution

    So you're at a command prompt?That is good.
    If that is so ,then it looks as if something in the autoexec.ncf is causing the server to go kaput.

    Load nwconfig and post what is in the autoexec.ncf

    I think what we need to do is look for a line that might be loading some Compaq utility.

    I am thinking Compaq Insight managermight be the culprit.
    If so ,we need to rem it out.

    Author Comment

    Is that a command prompt? A colon and a cursor? I don't remember if the cursor was blinking or not. If I can't type it in from there I'll just shut it down and start all over.

    Thanks - I'll do that first thing Monday and let you know.

    Author Comment

    pgm554 - If you were here I'd kiss you (assuming you're a guy!) It was indeed one teeny line in the autoexec.ncf. When I remmed out the line  CPQSNMP, everything ran exactly as it should. Now I don't have to have a nervous breakdown.

    While I was rummaging around in NWCONFIG, I took a look at the ProLiant Integrated Management Log. It showed all the abends from all the times I had tried to restart the server since I updated. There were always two at a time and they were always the same two. Here they are -
    Abnormal Program Termination (Abend: Caller should switch to either DoRealModeInterruptDisabled or DoRealModeInterrupt32Disabled      Running Process CPQBSSA.NLM  1  EIP:  1207B8h)
    Abnormal Program Termination (Abend: Caller should switch to either DoRealModeInterruptDisabled or DoRealModeInterrupt32Disabled      Running Process CPQHTHSA.NLM  1  EIP:  1207B8h)

    I've upped the points and will be awarding with a little bit of a split.

    Thanks to ALL of you!

    LVL 30

    Expert Comment

    Yes,I am male.(go figure,a guy in IT,what a rarity!).

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