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How to do an ACU using NCIMAN

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature

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Posted: 2 Aug 1999

Wonder how you can easily upgrade everyone to the newest Client on Win95/NT/98? Wonder no more. Here is a dandy step-by-step guide to doing an Automatic Client Upgrade (ACU) using NCIMAN.EXE, so you do not have to go to each workstation physically and install the Client. You'll even be able to set install options without user intervention. This is a fine example of the essence of ZEN-ing: you let your fingers do the walking while you sit back in air-conditioned majesty, far from the madding crowd.

This article is taken from an extremely popular TID that has proven to be effective for lots of Support calls, and we present it here for your convenience. (Note: these TIDS are sometimes updated and revised, so you may want to check the Knowledgebase version of TID 2943427 to get the most current Support information.)


  1. Download the latest Client from into a directory.

  2. Extract the files by running the downloaded executable.

  3. Within the files that are extracted there is a program named NCIMAN.EXE in the ibm_enu\admin subdirectory. This is a GUI utility to setup all desired options for the Client install and save them to a text file (usually unattend.txt). There are different versions of NCIMAN that ship with different versions of the Client. You need to make sure that the NCIMAN you are using is the one that shipped with your Client. The dates for the NCIMAN are as follows:

    NCIMAN version

    Corresponding Client version


    W95 v2.5, NT v4.3


    W95 v3.0, 3.01


    NT v4.5


    W95 v3.02


    W95 v3.10, NT v4.6

    You can use NCIMAN to create either a 95/98 or an NT unattend.txt from either platform. It assumes that you want to create an unattend.txt for the platform you are on. If you would like to create a 95/98 unattend.txt from an NT box, just choose File | New, then select the appropriate platform.

  4. Run this program and set all desired options.

  5. Save this file by clicking on the File menu and choosing Save. Save it as unattend.txt in the same directory where you will run setup.exe for 95/98 (which is in ibm_enu subdirectory) Client or setupnw.exe for the NT Client (which is in the i386 subdirectory).

  6. Copy the .CAB files to the server in the same directory from which you will run the install for the corresponding OS version if 95/98.

  7. Edit the Container login script for the users that you want to get the update and insert the following lines. (This may vary depending on what OS you have or if you have multiple OS's. This example is for multiple OS's.)

    <path>\i386\setupnw.exe /acu /u:unattend.txt

    IF OS = "WIN95" THEN
    <path>\ibm_enu\setup.exe /acu /u:unattend.txt

    Important Note: if you have a mixed Win 95 OSR1 & OSR2 environment

    Since the CAB files for the original version of Windows 95 (v4.00.950) are different from the CAB files for OSR2 (v4.00.950b), you will need to configure ACU differently in a mixed environment. Here are two options.

    • One option is to manually administer groups and make users with OSR1 members of one group, and OSR2 in another and execute ACU based on group membership.

    • Another way to do it is to use the WINVER variable in your login script in an IF statement. This will return the version of Windows that is running, and you can run that ACU from a different directory for each version. You may want to do a test in the login script to see what value is returned by placing a WRITE WINVER statement in the login script and then placing this returned value in the following example:

      Example: IF WINVER = "4.00.950a" THEN .....

      The WINVER variable is provided as part of Client32, it is not allocated and set by the Operating System or in an AUTOEXEC.BAT file (at least not in a default installation). The WINVER variable is only available if the workstation is using Novell Client for Windows 95 version 2.2 or newer. Previous versions of Client32 did not allocate and assign this variable. The same is true for VLMs, the Microsoft Client for NetWare networks, or any other NetWare Client.

    How to determine your OS Version

    How can you tell the platform that is running when the login script is being executed? It's really pretty easy to do. The %PLATFORM parameter can be used to determine what version of Windows is running from the login script.

    Sample syntax when checking for Windows 3.x:


    The PLATFORM identifier variable can have the following values:

    On Windows 3.x, PLATFORM returns WIN
    On Windows 95, PLATFORM returns W95
    On Windows NT, PLATFORM returns WNT

    Note: The parameter is not supported in the command line LOGIN.EXE and may return an error if a user runs the DOS LOGIN.EXE and encounters the PLATFORM variable in an IF statement in the login script. However, the IF statement can be modified so that the DOS LOGIN.EXE does not return an error.

    If your network consists of a mix of DOS Clients and Windows Clients, change the syntax from PLATFORM to "%PLATFORM" as shown below:


    The DOS LOGIN.EXE will not return an error if it encounters the above syntax in a login script.

    Sorting out the Versions

    Wonder what versions with PLATFORM, OS, and OS_VERSION will return on Windows 98, Windows 95, Windows NT, and Windows 3.1? Here's the scoop:

    • Windows NT Windows 98 Windows 95 MSDOS 6.22/ Windows 3.1



    • OS_VERSION V3.51 / V4.00 V4.10 V4.00 6.22 / (Depends on Version of DOS)

    • WINVER 4.0.1381 Service Pack x 4.10.1998 4.00.950x
      (Only Available on IntranetWare NT 4.11 and 95/3.x 2.20 or later Clients)

    If your workstation does not report the above, then you are either using the Microsoft Client which reports back MSDOS in some cases as the OS on WIN95 and WINNT. Or, you are using an early release of Client32. The original release of Client32 reported v7.00 as the OS_VERSION of WIN95.

    Example usage in Login script:


    ...any login script command

    The above syntax will recognize the workstation as a Windows NT machine and execute any login script command that follows.

  8. When the user logs in it will check the registry for the major and minor version of the Client. If the workstation is at the most current Client version, the install will not run. Therefore, these lines can be left in the login script for when you do another upgrade and all that needs to be done is update the Client install files on the server.

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