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Troubleshooting Problems Viewing Files on a NetWare Server

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Tony Kelly

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Posted: 16 Aug 2007

Previously I have come across instances where users can't see files in Windows Explorer on Servers (server in question is NetWare 6.5).

It transpires that some filenames have illegal characters in them, typically slightly different hyphens and apostrophes.

I had a similar issue today where there was a number of files with illegal characters in them. All the files belonged to the same user. However the user could see the folder and their contents. His colleague could not. I could, but my other colleague in another team could not.

We are all XP users.

ConsoleOne was brilliant in illustrating the differences. The users helpfully made a copy of the folder. When I swapped between both folders in ConsoleOne the slight differences were very apparent.

I amended the illegal characters and it was fine.

The next thing that made me wonder was the apparent differences between the two users PCs.

What I did was to map two drives to each PC.

I then went to the fonts folder on each and in Dos did:

c:\>dir *.* /s /o : sortorder > zzfilename.txt

I deliberately chose zz as a filename so it would appear at the bottom of the list.

The PC it didn't work on had an additional file - VERDREF.TTF, dated 1998.

My colleagues PC has exactly the same file.

I have the file on my PC, exactly the same but the name is lowercase and it is dated 2000.

My colleague who could not see the files either had VERDREF.TTF, dated 1998.

The other person who could see the files doesn't even have a VERDREF.TTF anyway?

Very strange. In the office we recall years ago an issue with Hatten.TTF and Access97, could VERDREF.TTF have a similar affect with files?

Of course there could be a totally different reason as to why the filenames changed, but I thought the above was interesting.

I decided to remove my copy and installed the older one.

With the older file on my PC when I salvaged this is what I could see.

Note the odd apostrophe.

On the other PC I remoted I got this:

I like to tinker with my PC, and I mused "What would happen if I set my Windows Desktop use verdref.tff by default?

I think there is some link with Verdana and Verdana Ref. The files being missing isn't necessarily a rights issue, but is a bug with XP.

I set Verdana Ref as default in Display Properties like the screenshot below.

When I click on the taskbar, ALL the text is missing. The reason is that it changes the Menu size to 100.

You can't see if you have any attachments in Groupwise and other irritations.

I've come to the conclusion that the VERDREF.TTF font dated 1998 is invalid and should be replaced on XP PCs or deleted.

I'm not sure what system file XP uses in Word for the actual text when saving files, but if it is Verdana and it is linking to Verdana Ref, maybe the introduction of apostrophes and hyphens to file names causes problems?

Interestingly when I spoke to the user, he said his PC was built as the same batch as his colleagues.

All rather interesting though!

Thought this might give people some ideas if the problem crops up again.

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