Talking about NetWare under Virtual PC / Virtual Server

Over the next couple of weeks I am going to be looking at the details of running Novell NetWare under Virtual PC / Virtual Server – however before we get going there are two things I need to cover.

First: NetWare is not supported under Virtual PC / Virtual Server.  Beyond this – of all the operating systems that you can run under Virtual PC / Virtual Server – NetWare has the worst performance.  For this reason I am highlighting that running NetWare under Virtual PC / Virtual Server is only suitable for personal interest / education.  Please do not try to use Virtual PC / Virtual Server for a production NetWare server.

Second: Some versions of NetWare include drivers for our network card – some do not.  However – all of the available network drivers for our emulated network card (a DEC 21140) are misconfigured.  Normally these drivers are only functional for servers that solely use IPX for network communication – using TCP/IP on these drivers will cause the server to crash. TCP/IP connectivity can be easily obtained by correctly configuring these drivers – as detailed in the following steps:

  1. Format a floppy disk – which will be used as the network driver disk.

  2. Copy ‘DC21X4.LAN’ and ‘DC21X4.LDI’ to this floppy.
    1. On Novell NetWare 5.1 install CDs these files are located in DRIVERSLAN
    2. On Novell NetWare 6.0 install CDs these files are located in DRIVERSUNSUPDRV
    3. These files can also be downloaded from http://developer.intel.com/design/network/drivers/#21143

  3. Open the file ‘DC21X4.LDI’ with a standard text editor.

  4. In this file change the following section from:

    LI Line_Speed OPT
     {
       DES: $DC21X4_29
       HELP: $DC21X4_30
       CD: $DC21X4_31
       CH: $DC21X4_32
       CD: $DC21X4_33
       CH: $DC21X4_34
       OUT: ‘LINE_SPEED=%s’
       DEF: 2
      }
    }

    to:

    LI Line_Speed OPT
     {
       DES: $DC21X4_29
       HELP: $DC21X4_30
       CD: $DC21X4_31
       CH: $DC21X4_32
       CD: $DC21X4_33
       CH: $DC21X4_34
       OUT: ‘LINE_SPEED=%s’
       DEF: 2
     }

    LI TX_THRESHOLD REQUIRED
     {
       DES: “TX_Threshold”
       HELP: “This value must be set to 3 for DC21X4 cards”
       CD: “3”
       CH: “3”
       DEF: 1
       OUT: ‘TX_THRESHOLD=%s’
     }
    }

  5. This floppy disk can now be used during installation / network configuration.

Cheers,
Ben