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Read Past End of Read Buffer

Posted on 2006-11-05
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I'm an IT guy that has many small clients. Several have servers and a couple have Novell Netware 4.11 (yes, I know Novell quit supporting, but these are non-profits that have very little money -- they're still using Win98 workstations)

Anyhow, was called in because their backup system was not running. The server had just been rebooted and they said that it took quite awhile to get up and running. When I looked at the console, found an error message "Server 4.11-1318 Read past end of Read Buffer ....." and the server was unable to load clib.nlm which would allow Backup Exec to load.

I've searched all my books and out on the internet but have not found a solution to my delema. The server is still sharing files properly, just not allowing any external programs -- can not run rconsole. Tried to reinstall Backup Exec - no luck Tried booting with server -na and then tried loading clib at the consol manually - no luck

So I need an expert to set me straight!!
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Question by:sasforge
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Assisted Solution

by:alextoft
alextoft earned 900 total points
ID: 17876337
It could be that clib.nlm is corrupt; I've seen that error caused by module corruption before. Check what support pack revision the server has, and try renaming to clib.bak and copying a clean version from the correct support pack.
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PsiCop earned 600 total points
ID: 17876508
As the Asker said, NetWare v4.11 ceased to be a supported version about 6 YEARS ago. The last Support Pack for it (SP9) was released in Novemeber of 2000. The M$ contemporary for NetWare v4.11 was NT v3.5.

If they'd used NT, your non-profit clients would have been screwed - try getting any substantive "official" support/patches for NT v3.5 from Micro$oft. They're more interested in forcing forklift upgrades.

Fortunately for them, your clients have got NetWare, and Novell maintains an extensive library of patches, even for obsolete and unsupported versions of their products, on their Support website --> http://support.novell.com  The non-profit folx should remember this when the finally do decide to make technology upgrades.

Anyway, the patches for NetWare v4.11 specifically are at --> http://support.novell.com/filefinder/2125/index.html

As alexoft suggests, you should get that SP, unpack it, and find the CLIB.NLM file in it. Make sure its date/timestamp matches - if it does, replace the CLIB.NLM on the server.

Note that if disk corruption is the source of this problem, then, at best, this will be a band-aid fix. NetWare puts a lot of effort into maintaining filesystem integity. If that failed, it points to underlying hardware problems that are beyond the ability of the software OS to address. In short, the server hardware is dying. Even if you fix this, odds are that something else will soon happen, perhaps something you won't be able to fix. Short of money or not, the non-profit needs to start thinking about replacing the server hardware, if not upgrading the OS. An old Compaq ProLiant (such as a 5500 or 3000) can be had for little money, and properly equipped can still be a good platform (those old ProLiants were built like tanks - they aren't killed by anything less than a howitzer).
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by:sasforge
ID: 17876783
Thanks to both alextoft and PsiCop for quick replies. As a matter of info the server is currently at SP9 and I believe that the unpacked files still reside there. It will be a couple days until I wil be able to try to replace clib.nlm, so stay tuned. I should know that this works by Tuesday evening.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 17886502
clib is one of the core modules that get loaded from the c:\nwserver directory, because it has to be available to be loaded during boot before any volumes can be mounted.  If it's not loading during bootup, a lot of things won't work.

If it got corrupted, it's possible other core modules also got corrupted.

I don't remember if 4.11 could do loadstage bootups, but you should be able to start the server with "SERVER -NS -NA" to prevent autoexec.ncf and startup.ncf from running, and pay close attention during the startup sequence to see what kind of errors you get during the initial loadstages.  That might give you clues why clib isn't loading.
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by:PsiCop
ID: 17886559
No, NetWare v4.x didn't do LOADSTAGEs. That wasn't introduced until v5.x.
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Author Comment

by:sasforge
ID: 17906984
Hi to all....

I'm at the client, found SP9 files in a folder on the server (just where I left them) copied clib.nlm into the sys:\system folder, as well as the c:\nwserver folder and downed the machine. Brought it back up and still am getting the same error as above - back up exec can not be loaded because clib.nlm is not loaded

Checked both the autoexec.ncf and start.ncf and find nothing odd.

Tried loading netbasic -- would not load due to clib not being loaded

Did notice during the rollup that while checking the sys volume machine said "problem with file Q_010B.srv length kept = 0 had allocated = 65536

I'm still stumped. As a continuance of this --- shall I just leave it alone and provide another means of backup of shared files???

Will this "problem" cause any other difficulties other than not being able to load other modules like rconsole, netbasic, etc (not that I had them loaded previously)????

Should I rebuild the server from scratch (move the data off and fdisk it?????

Thank You in advance!!
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Expert Comment

by:ShineOn
ID: 17907329
As I hinted at before, it may not be clib - something else may be corrupt, probably on c:\nwserver.

Can you watch closely during a "SERVER -NA -NS" startup to see WHY clib.nlm load is failing?  It could be any of the other core libs that must load as a prerequisite to CLIB.
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