Installing MS-DOS 5 Upgrade on NetWare Diskless Workstation (76819)
The information in this article applies to:
• Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 5.0
This article was previously published under Q76819
Because Microsoft MS-DOS 5 Upgrade requires that a previous version of
DOS is bootable from a disk before it can be upgraded, it is not
readily apparent how to upgrade a diskless workstation running Novell
NetWare. The following information explains how to upgrade the version
of DOS running on this type of LAN workstation.
Following the standards set by BIOS routines written for IBM and
compatible PCs, the ROM loader will typically first check drive A for
a bootable copy of DOS, and if one is not available, it will search
drive C. With NetWare, it is possible to boot a workstation using the
combination of a Programmable Read Only Memory (PROM) chip and a
specialized file stored on the server called NET$DOS.SYS. PROMs are
often located on the network adapter, and in such cases are specific
to both the adapter and the LAN operating system. The NET$DOS.SYS file
is often referred to as the "boot image."
NET$DOS.SYS contains a complete image of a bootable disk that can be
used to start MS-DOS on the workstation. The image includes all three
necessary boot files (IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS, and COMMAND.COM) as well as
any additional utilities and drivers needed to optimize the
workstation such as CONFIG.SYS, AUTOEXEC.BAT, *.SYS files, and so on.
To log in to NetWare sequentially, the appropriate shell utilities are
also included, such as IPX.COM and NET5.COM.
To create NET$DOS.SYS on the server, first create a bootable MS-DOS
5.0 floppy disk that would be appropriate if the workstation used a
floppy drive. Next, run the NetWare utility DOSGEN, which uses the
entire physical floppy disk just created to build NET$DOS.SYS. The
file should be placed in a globally accessible server directory, such
as \LOGIN, and flagged as read-only.
In the case where unique boot image files are required for specific
workstation configurations, DOSGEN is still used, but in a slightly
different way. In this case, DOSGEN creates two files: a customized
boot image file (which has no specific name requirement) and a text
file called BOOTCONF.SYS, which contains information that links
specific adapter addresses to the customized boot image file.
For a workstation where it would not be appropriate to use NET$DOS.SYS
because of configuration differences such as video adapter or adapter
IRQ settings, it will use a boot image file specifically made to match
the specific address of the workstation's network adapter. Should a
specific workstation adapter address be unknown, NetWare provides the
utility TRACKON, which is run from the server console, to identify
workstation adapter addresses.
Additional information on Novell NetWare programs and utilities
mentioned herein can be found in the NetWare reference and user
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