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Solving the Disappearing Icons (Win 3.11)

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By Paul Coletti

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Posted: 4 Jan 2000
 

There aren't that many organisations still using Windows 3.11 (aka Windows for Workgroups) but a recent customer of mine is going for Zen 1.1 with NAL in a big Windows 3.11 environment. I thought this rare nugget might be of use to us poor sods still working with old technology. Development on the DOS/Windows client32 has stopped so this will be useful to those who cannot (or will not) upgrade to Windows 95/98 nor to NT.

Problem Description

Sporadically when running NAL.EXE the Windows 3.11 clients would not receive their associated icons. Sometimes they would, sometimes they wouldn't. There are many very good TIDS on the subject of disappearing icons and we followed all of them and got nowhere until we examined the replica placement a bit more closely. It seems that DOS/Win Client 32 has a problem if the server the client FIRST attaches to does not contain a replica of a partition containing the user's own object. If you experience this problem then check the user's NET.CFG for a preferred server statement. Ensure that the server they first connect to stores the user's object. Read on for a detailed description. This was discovered in a ZEN 1.1 environment but the problem is client related so will probably occur in all version of ZENworks.

User's setup

  • NetWare - 4.11 (SP7)
  • ZENworks (Full Version) 1.1 (zw110p2 applied)
  • Windows - v3.11 (note we are running a shared copy from the network and it has been updated with the DOS/Win client v2.7)
  • DOS/Win client - V2.7 with NDS connections (PROTOCOL = NDS BIND in NET.CFG)
  • Also note: running as normal from c:%5Cnovell%5Cclient32 - all LAN card drivers are 16-bit so we are also running the relevant shims.
  • User with the problem : CN=JSmith.OU=ae.OU=sco1.O=sco-necsuk
  • Top level overview : Tree SCO-NECSUK

    [Root] (P)

    |

    |-O=SCO-NECSUK

    | |

    | |-OU=SCO1

    | | |

    | | |-OU=AE

    | | |-cn=JSmith

    | |

    | |-OU-IS

    |

    |-O=ZEN (P)

  • Launcher configuration tab for container ae.sco1.sco-necsuk:

    Allow users to exit No

    Display icon on desktop Yes

    Enable folder view Yes

    Enable log in No

    Enable manual refresh Yes

    Enable personal folders No

    Enable timed refresh No

    Expand folder view on startup Yes

    Read groups for applications Yes

    Save window size and position Yes

    Set application inheritance level 4

    Specify E-Mail attribute Description

  • Only 2 Partitions in tree SCO-NECSUK:

    [Root] (8 replicas) <- user objects stored here

    ZEN (8 replicas) <- Application objects stored here

  • Servers involved with replicas they hold:

    cn=IS-7.OU=is.O=sco-necsuk

    [Root]: RW

    ZEN: RW

    cn=ftam-4.O=sco1.sco-necuk

    ZEN: RW

When DOS/Win 32-bit clients (CLIENT32.NLM V3.03) loaded with the parameter PREFERRED SERVER = IS-7 and launched the NAL wrapper (NAL.EXE v2.7) from any public directory then NAL would load and the associated app icons would be displayed.

When DOS/Win 32-bit clients (CLIENT32.NLM V3.03) loaded with the parameter PREFERRED SERVER = FTAM-4 and launched the NAL wrapper (NAL.EXE v2.7) from any public directory then NAL would load and the associated app icons would NOT be displayed.

Solution

You'll see that FTAM-4 does not contain a replica of the partition containing its own object nor containing the user's object. We placed a RW replica of [Root] on server FTAM-4 and the problem was immediately resolved. i.e. DOS-Win 3.11 clients could use preferred server = FTAM-4 in their NET.CFG's and would successfully receive their app icons in NAL.EXE. It would appear that NAL.EXE has a problem walking the tree when the preferred server does not have a replica containing a copy of the user's own object. Development on the DOS/Windows client has been stopped - upgrade to Win 95 or NT for a long-term solution.


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