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Stop Forcing Large Apps to Remote Users

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By Scott Morris

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Posted: 16 Apr 2002

Version: ZENworks for Desktops 3.2

One major drawback that we have encountered with the disconnectable feature of ZEN 3.2 is that if a user remotely authenticates to a server via the VPN, NAL automatically goes into connected mode. This poses a huge problem if the user is coming in through a 56K line, and the admins are in the middle of forcing out a large app to all users. The /NODIALUP switch does not help us in our environment, because all that does is terminate NAL if a dialup connection is detected. We need NAL running at all times for our users, because all of our delivered apps do not place icons in the programs folder. All icons are placed in a NAL folder in the start menu called "Software" so we can fully manage them. Hence if NAL closes, access to the user's apps is gone.

So to combat this problem, I have set up the following:

  1. Create an object that will force run at login.
  2. Configure it to be disconnectable.
  3. Place the following in the pre-launch script of the app:

    REGREAD "HKLM,SOFTWARE\NetWare\NAL\1.0,Connected"
    IF "%99"="FALSE" THEN
  4. On the large app you want to force out to only LAN connected users, set a system requirement that an environment variable named "DISCONNECTED" does not exist.


A user is at home with his/her NAL-driven Win2K laptop. In order to log on, he/she must check the "Workstation Only" box since the VPN is not yet established. Therefore, NAL goes into disconnected mode and sets the above mentioned registry key to "FALSE".

The user then fires up the VPN and tries to access some data on a NetWare server. The user is then prompted to authenticate. Once authenticated, NAL sees that it can now talk to NDS and switches to connected mode and switches the above mentioned key to a value of "TRUE". Any force run apps are now deployed.

However, if my solution is implemented, the force run apps will not run if they have the above-mentioned system requirement since the disconnected variable will still exist after the authentication.

Scott is a Technical Analyst at TD Bank Financial Group. If you have any questions you may contact him at Scott_Morris@TD.COM

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