Novell is now a part of Micro Focus

Updating the NAL Components on Windows NT/2K & XP Silently

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By Wade Grimm

Digg This - Slashdot This

Posted: 13 Jun 2002

Over the last few years we've had a lot of problems updating the NAL components on the workstations. Our users have only User privileges, so when we patched the server, we'd get about 10 million help-desk calls about the DR (Watson) making house calls. (Ok, maybe not 10 million...)

Recently, we upgraded to ZEN 3.2 on the back-end, leaving one server with the 3.0 files so that we could do a phased migration. It was all good, we were pushing out an ACU of the 4.83 client to the desktop, then running the /noupdate switch from the 3.0 server so that we could cut over a context at a time. Everything worked well until we had to apply 'SP1' for 3.2, even with the latest client on the workstation. When we ran nalexpld.exe from the patched 3.2 server the DR would show up again (even if you had admin rights!).

To get around this problem, and to avoid incorporating the seven files affected into the client and pushing out another ACU, I wrote a program that (however simple) stops the Application Launcher & Workstation services, unloads (kills) naldesk.exe from memory, and replaces all the files, then starts up all the services and Naldesk again.

This utility works great and has saved us about a million hours of desktop visits (ok, maybe not a million). Just thought I'd share this info as it has been a thorn in our side for a long time. Here are the files, source, and documentation.

NAL Update Utility

NALUP.EXE, Version 1


This utility will help network admins to update the NAL components on the workstation.

Please be aware that no warranties or guarantees are offered or implied.

NOTE: This utility helps system administrators. It is a 3rd-party product, neither endorsed nor supported by Novell. Problems or questions regarding this product can be reported via e-mail to or


**NOTE: the clients must be running NAL from the server with the /noupdate switch see the Nalupdate utility.doc provided in the zip for more info.

Edit source to your particular needs or leave it as the defaults, edit the AXT provided, deploy via ZENworks. Run as secure system user.


Deploy via ZENworks. (We used force run and run once.)


Helps Network Admins to update the NAL files on the workstation, without having to re-deploy the client.



Novell Cool Solutions (corporate web communities) are produced by WebWise Solutions.

© Copyright Micro Focus or one of its affiliates