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Dodging the WINSOCK2 Fatal Error

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Posted: 19 May 2000

When you install the Novell Client (Win95/98, versions 3.0 and higher) you may find yourself with a Fatal Error when the Microsoft WINSOCK 2.0 (Windows Sockets) installation program is run. If you're using IPX only, you can just remove WINSOCK2 altogether, and go back to the 1.1 version. However, if you intend to use Native IP Service Location Protocol (SLP) or IP Gateway, you will need to work around this error. Both SLP and the IP Gateway rely on the enhanced abilities of WINSOCK 2.0 and will not function under WINSOCK 1.0.

Customer Support has said that many customers are receiving "Fatal Error" messages when executing WINIPCFG.EXE or PING.EXE. The file that the Novell Client uses to install WINSOCK2 is WS2SETUP.EXE and has a size of 986,400 bytes. The corresponding Microsoft WINSOCK2 file is W95ws2setup.exe and has the exact same size of 986,400 bytes. The Microsoft W95ws2setup.exe is available here.

Getting back to WINSOCK1.1

You may wish to uninstall the Winsock2 and have it replaced by Winsock1.1. Here's what the Microsoft Release Notes have to say about that:


When WS2SETUP.EXE runs for the first time, it copies WS2BAKUP.BAT and the WinSock 1.1 files to %windir%\ws2bakup. Running WS2BAKUP.BAT returns the user to their original WinSock 1.1 configuration. From Windows Explorer, simply double click on "C:\\WS2BAKUP\ws2bakup.bat to uninstall Winsock2.

Caution: When you run WS2BAKUP.BAT from inside Windows 95, you may encounter a sharing violation as some system files may not be restored if the newer version is currently running! If this happens, you will need to re-run WS2BAKUP.BAT in MS-DOS mode. To do this 1 Click Start. 2 Click Shut Down. 3 Select the "Restart the computer in MS-DOS mode" option. 4 Click OK. 5 After reboot, type "C:\\WS2BAKUP\WS2BAKUP" and hit the Enter key. (In MS-DOS mode you will see errors for programs that cannot run outside of Windows, but you should not be concerned, as these programs will have already executed properly if you ran WS2BAKUP.BAT from inside Windows 95 first.) 6 Reboot again and you will be back on WinSock 1.1. Note: If you are reinstalling WS2SETUP over a previous version of Winsock2 greater than beta 2, your prior configuration will NOT be backed up again. Uninstalling will yield your original 1.1 configuration, NOT beta 2 or 2a. DO NOT restore by re-installing TCP/IP from the Network applet in the Control Panel! This action will NOT replace the WinSock DLLs, and does not guarantee you will have the same configuration you had before upgrading to Winsock2."


The Novell Client installation is only calling the WS2SETUP.EXE file provided by Microsoft and will be unable to make fixes/changes to this file. If you are concerned that the Novell Client installation is causing TCP/IP problems, you can prevent the Novell Client installation from installing WINSOCK2.

WARNING: If a workstation is not running the 2.0 version of WINSOCK.DLL, then Native IP, SLP, and IP Gateway services will be inoperable. These services REQUIRE WINSOCK2.

To prevent the Novell Client from installing WINSOCK2, edit the NWSETUP.INI from the Novell Client installation source directory. Comment out the "2=WS2SETUP.EXE, <, 1998" line in the [Client.Run] section. This section should look like the following after commenting out this line:

1=WS2NSINS.EXE /install,>=1998

If you are having problems with WINSOCK2 during the Novell Client installing, you should try separating the WINSOCK2 and Novell Client installations. Just download the W95ws2setup.exe from the above listed URL and install this prior to installing the Novell Client for Windows 95/98. Of course, if you don't need to have Native IP , SLP, or IP Gateway functionality, (those of you installing with the IPX Only option), then you won't need to bother installing WINSOCK2 either prior or during the Novell Client installation.

If you do need the IP functionality, one effective method for distributing WINSOCK2 prior to the client is through a NAL Application. This could be accomplished by either running W95ws2setup.exe or taking a snAppShot. For more information about using snAppShot, see ZENworks Cool Solutions.

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