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Novell Client troubles

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I'm working on an unattended XP install (many thanks to C.RAZY for his help with N-lite's options) and I've figured out how to auto-install the Novell client via a batch file and CMDLINES.TXT.

However, when the time comes to login for the very first time, an error is displayed at the Novell login prompt saying "a domain controller could not be found for the specified domain."

The "workstation only" box comes up checked by default and the "From:" field under the "windows" tab (the only tab available when "workstation only" is checked) has two different options that are both dynamically-generated hostnames, not identical, one with a single-computer icon and one with a networked-computers icon.

Anyone have any experience with this that could possibly help me out?

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Are you attempting to join a domain during the GUI portion of the setup?

I install the Novell Client through SVCPACK, myself. I made a custom answer file via ACU (the client is pushed from svcpack.inf using a self-extracting RAR archive with "acu.exe /D:no /U:unattend.txt" as the command line), and then import a couple of registry tweaks via cmdlines.txt. Granted, we're running an older version of Novell, but here's what I have:


!Preferred_Server="<your server>"
!Preferred_Tree="<your tree>"
!Product_Name="Novell Client for Windows 4.91 SP1"
!LoginServiceDWOn0="Default","Save On Exit"
!LoginServiceDWOn1="Default\Tab2","Login Script"
!LoginServiceDWOn2="Default\Tab2","Display Results"
!LoginServiceDWOn3="Default\Tab2","Close Results"
!LoginServiceSZ2="Default\Tab3","Tab","NT Credentials"
!LoginServiceDWOff0="Default\Tab4","Enable RAS"
="E:\Documents and Settings\user\Desktop\Netware.491sp1"
NW_NWFS=NovellNetwareClientParameters, \$OEM$\NET\NTCLIENT\I386


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Novell\Location Profiles\Services\{1E6CEEA1-FB73-11CF-BD76-00001B27DA23}\Default\Tab1]
"Context"="<your context>"
"Server"="<your server>"
"Tree"="<your tree>"

; This key pushes the Novell login credentials to Active Directory, so that users don't have to log in twice. Ah, the joys of legacy systems!
"Sync NDS Username"=dword:00000001

Granted, this may or may not apply properly to your situation, but hopefully it'll help you out.

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Thanks much for the info.

I'm using ACU as the install utility and have used nciman to import the current settings to the unattend.txt file. I thought maybe there was a conflict between the Novell client and my autologin setting in the Windows WINNT.SIF file. However, when I removed the autologin parameter, it still gave the error.

Looking through Google results, I found that most reported cases of this error have to do with the hostname being changed and some registry settings holding on to the old value.

As far as joining a domain goes, we're not using AD on our network-it's a straight Novell environment. The only Windows/MS based networking we have is that of a few shared printers done via Windows File and Printer Sharing.

I'll look into using your registry tweak, though. It would be a "REGEDIT /S netware.reg" entry in the CMDLINES.TXT file, right? Maybe that'll do the trick.

Man, am I ever glad I'm using virtual machines to do my testing. I think my officemates would've called the men in the white coats if they saw me constantly reinstalling on a real system.

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I'll look into using your registry tweak, though. It would be a "REGEDIT /S netware.reg" entry in the CMDLINES.TXT file, right? Maybe that'll do the trick.

Yep, that's what I'm doing. It's strange, because I also set the tree and server in the unattend.txt, but for some reason those settings don't stick upon reboot. The registry tweak works for me, though.

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Okay, I tried your trick, and it works! Thank you so very much.

There remains, however, one complication. When booting, the system is automatically logged into Windows and the desktop appears straight away. I tested and I'm able to login to my NetWare servers and access shared resources just fine (through the Start-->Progs-->Novell (Common)-->NW Login or via the system-tray icon context menu). However, as it will be for a multiuser environment, we need it to boot to a login screen instead of the desktop.

I'm thinking it might work if I clip out the part of your registry file that syncs the passwords for NW and AD. Am I on the right track there, or is there something else I should be looking for?

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Consider forcing the classic-style logon, rather than the welcome screen, and make sure your .sif doesn't autologon (or if it does, set a limit of 1 or 2 logons if possible). This should keep the box from logging on automagically more than a few times.

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more than a few times

So then is this a known issue with an auto-install of the Novell client, that it'll auto-login once or twice? If so, not a big deal, and I'll figure some way to make it work.

Thanks for the tip, I'll make sure to force classic logon and strip autologin out of the SIF. Does the "AutoLoginCount" line need to equal 0 or does it need to be stripped out altogether? I know the line above needs to be set to "no."

Thanks again, everyone. You're the greatest.

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I could insert a crack here about running AD instead of Novell, but that'd be useless. Since I'm not a Novell guy (haven't been for over 10 years), I really can't comment further.

I'm assuming XP's Novell client isn't up to it on your Novell network?

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Got it! It was a matter of the autologin setting in nLite. Apparently it was somehow overriding my WINNT.SIF settings, because once I restarted the test VM, it came up to a login screen.

Thanks for all the help, everyone.

Edited by CelticWhisper
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