I also asked this question in the APPS category, but I have learned more about the problem since. I have 2 WIN XP Pro workstations on a Novell 4.11 network. I don't think the Novell portion of the network is causing the problem.
The 2 workstations are sharing an application which is installed on an external hard drive which is connected to a third computer. That drive is shared out to the network and the 2 workstations that are having the problem connect via a mapped drive letter.
The problem all started when I set up one of the 2 workstations recently as a new computer (newly attached to the network) started up the application (in this case the application is the contact manager Goldmine v6.7). The application would start normally and with a minute or two suddenly disappear from the desktop. All without any warning or dialog boxes. It just went away. Initially I thought the problem was with Goldmine, but i have played around with some settings and I think it has to do with a network sharing resources issue. I unplugged one of the workstations from the router and the second (newer) workstation had no problem using the application and in fact stayed on using it for an hour or so. After that amount of time I then reconnected the other workstation to the network and the very moment I connected it, the application disappeared from the workstation where it had been operating for an hour or so.
One other thing...I have 2 network switches. I plan on changing over to one soon but right now I am using 2 because I needed more ports. One of them is an SMC 8 Port model # 5208DS and the other is a LINKSYS BEFSR81.
I'm hoping that the solution to the problem is simple and obvious to someone with some networking knowledge.
Thank you in advance.