5.1 Starting and Stopping the Server

This section contains information and procedures for

5.1.1 Starting the Server

The server can be started manually from the server startup directory after it has been stopped and powered down, or you can place the command to execute server.exe in the DOS autoexec.bat or config.nw file.

If you installed the server using the NetWare boot loader, then insert the execute commands go in the config.nw file.

Then, whenever the server computer is powered up, the server starts automatically.

To start the server after it has been stopped:

  1. Change to the startup directory (usually c:\nwserver).

  2. Enter server at the server’s DOS prompt.

When you start the server, the X Server--Graphical Console is started and the Novell® logo is displayed. To prevent the Novell logo (server splash screen) from displaying, you can load server with the -nl (no logo) command option.

The following information is also covered:

Maintenance Mode

We have added the option to press the F8 key during the server load process to enter the server maintenance mode. During this maintenance mode, you have the following options:

  • Confirm the loading of modules loaded during the server boot process by pressing any key at each prompt

  • Abort the loading of the operating system by pressing Esc

    When the server is starting up there is a several-second window in which you can press Esc to exit to DOS indicated by the Press Esc to Abort OS boot prompt. This is especially helpful when you have a command in the DOS autoexec.bat file to execute server.exe.

  • Continue loading the server without further pausing by pressing the C key.

Resolving Hangs That Occur during Server Startup

If the server appears to be hung during the first stages when the drivers from the startup.ncf file are loading, check the System Console for the following messages on the most recent screen:

Queuing error message for later.


Processing stage 1 loading of NLMs.

Several of the following actions or problems could cause the hang and the messages to occur:

  • You have made changes in the startup.ncf file that removed a necessary storage driver or Custom Device Module (CDM) drivers; specified incorrect slot numbers; or changed the loading order of PSM, CDM, or HAM storage drivers.

  • You have changed hardware and not changed the startup.ncf to reflect the changes.

  • The storage adapter or drives experienced a hardware failure.

If you suspect that the hang was caused by any of these actions or problems, enter the following command at an alternate console prompt (press Ctrl+Alt+Esc and enter 3 to spawn a new command line process).


The status shows the drive letters (local volumes) that the system is trying to access via real mode interfaces. If any drives are listed, then the hang condition encountered might be the result of the system waiting for a NetWare driver to report the availability of that local volume and, for some reason, that event isn’t happening.

To resolve this hang:

  1. At the alternate console prompt, enter


    This informs the operating system that for this boot instance it is allowed to continue accessing local volumes using the real mode interfaces instead of waiting for access through a NetWare driver.

  2. When the System Console prompt is available, try to discover why the storage drivers did not load or initialize correctly.

    Possible options include:

    • Reviewing the Logger screen for errors reported while loading drivers

    • Running HDETECT to ensure the contents of the startup.ncf file is correct

    • Ensuring that the system’s disk subsystems are configured correctly

  3. Correct the suspected problem and restart the server to ensure that it will run without startup errors.

Seeing Modules Load

When you start the server, you can see a list of modules as they load by making sure the System Console screen or Logger screen is displayed.

You can access these screens by pressing Alt+Esc keys, then tapping Esc until the System Console screen or Logger screen is displayed.

A list of modules scrolls up the screen. If you have a color monitor, the color in which each module name is displayed indicates how the module is loaded as shown in the following table:

Table 5-1 Colors Indicating How a Module Was Loaded


Module Loaded

Cyan (light blue)

By server.exe


From the startup directory


From autoexec.ncf


By other modules

Viewing Loaded Modules

After the server is running, you can view which modules are loaded in a few ways.

From the System Console Prompt

After the server is running, you can display a list of all loaded modules by entering the following command at the System Console prompt:


The module names are displayed in colors that represent the functional group they belong to, as described above. For more information, see Server and MODULES in the NW 6.5 SP8: Utilities Reference.

From Novell Remote Manager

You can view a list of modules running from Novell Remote Manager by clicking the List Modules link under the Manage Applications heading in the navigation frame. For more information, see Managing NLM Programs in the NW 6.5 SP8: Novell Remote Manager Administration Guide.

5.1.2 Bringing Down the Server

To ensure the server’s data integrity, use the DOWN command at the System Console prompt before turning off power to the server. DOWN writes all cache buffers to disk, closes all files, updates the appropriate Directory Entry Tables and File Allocation Tables, and exits the network.

If you want to bring down the server immediately without a prompt, use the DOWN command with the -f command-line switch. This -f switch works with the RESTART SERVER and RESET SERVER commands as well. For example:


If you want to bring the server down and then restart the server immediately, without exiting to DOS, use the RESTART SERVER command instead of DOWN.

You can also use the RESTART SERVER command at the System Console prompt with the following command line switch options:

Table 5-2 Command Line Switch Options for Restarting the Server


Use this option

Restart the server without using the startup.ncf file.


Restart the server without using the autoexec.ncf file.


Force the server down without prompting.


Break into the server's internal debugger


If you want to bring down the server and then warm boot the computer, use the RESET SERVER command.

To make the server load automatically after a RESET SERVER command, enter a line to run server.exe in the DOS autoexec.bat file on the server computer.

NOTE:Bringing down or restarting a server during a remote console session terminates the session.

You can also use the DOWN, RESTART SERVER, or RESET SERVER commands from a workstation using the options on the Down/Restart page in Novell Remote Manager.

This section also includes the following information:

Down Command Powers Off Server on Most Pentium 4 Machines

On newer server hardware that provides ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) support, NetWare 6.5 auto-detects and loads the acpidrv.psm module that supports HyperThreading, if present, and advanced Power Management features.

With the ACPI power management drivers loaded (which they are by default if the hardware support is detected), pressing the server’s power button executes the DOWN command (bringing down the server with a 30-second default delay and a message) and then powers the server off.

Actually executing the DOWN command at the System Console prompt or from Novell Remote Manager, also shuts down the server and powers off the system.

The RESTART SERVER command includes a power cycle on these same machines with ACPI support, equivalent to the RESET SERVER console command.

Some machines can return to DOS even with ACPI drivers loaded. To disable the power off functionality for the DOWN command, use the following command at the System Console prompt:

SET server power down options=off

This lets you execute the DOWN or RESTART SERVER commands without powering off the server.

For more information about the Power Management options, see the console command help for SET > Power Management category.

Informing Users About Bringing Down the Server

Before you bring the server down, you should inform all users to close files and log out of the server. You can do this using the Broadcast Message to Everyone field on the Connections page in Novell Remote Manager or by using the Connections, Compose a Message (F4) option in Monitor.

To send a message and shut down the server from the server console:

  1. At the System Console prompt, enter LOAD MONITOR.

  2. From the Available Options menu, select Connections.

  3. Select each connection you want to inform and press F5 to mark it.

  4. Press F4 to display a Message Text window.

  5. Type the message and press Enter to send the message to the designated connections.

    For example, you might send a message like this:

    Please close files and log out from servername
    Going down in 5 minutes.
  6. Enter one of the following commands at the System Console prompt:




    To bring down the server and exit to the local operating system


    You can now shut off power to the system, if necessary.

    To reboot the server without exiting to DOS



    To bring down the server and then warm boot the machine



Unloading Modules Before Shutting Down the Server

Although most modules, including those in protected address spaces, unload automatically when you bring down or restart the server, some modules might require that you unload them individually first. You can unload them manually with the UNLOAD command. Or you can create a batch file called shutdown.ncf in the sys:system directory and place the unload commands in it. If you create shutdown.ncf, it is executed automatically whenever you bring down, restart, or reset the server.

For more information, see Using EDIT to Create and Edit Text and Batch Files and UNLOAD, Down, and Restart Server in the NW 6.5 SP8: Utilities Reference.