Novell is now a part of Micro Focus

NDS Error Types

Articles and Tips: article

Kevin Burnett
Senior Research Engineer
Novell AppNotes

01 Sep 2002

To successfully support Novell Directory Services, you need to understand the types of conditions that can cause an NDS error to occur.

First of all, a Novell error code is a hexadecimal or decimal number that is usually displayed within an error message for an application. When an error code is displayed, most often it indicates that a software or hardware error has occurred that does not allow eDirectory, NetWare, or some other Novell product to continue operating.

Many error codes display only a few digits of the hexadecimal error code. Often a number code is truncated to two digits, so it is not the actual decimal equivalent or the hexadecimal code.

Note: Some eDirectory error codes have several possible causes.

The three types of NDS errors that can be received are: Informational Errors, Communication Errors, and Data Consistency Errors.

Let's take a closer look at each of these.

Informational Errors

Informational errors are those errors that are returned to the requesting client to provide it with information. Here are some examples.

An outstanding operation is preventing a request from being processed. 

Some of the NDS error codes commonly returned due to this condition are:





  • ERR_NEW_EPOCH (-665)

The requesting client does not have sufficient rights to perform the request.

Some of the NDS error codes commonly returned due to this condition are:

  • ERR_NO_SUCH_ENTRY (-601)

  • ERR_NO_SUCH_VALUE (-602)


The information provided in the request is invalid, references a
nonexistent object, or contains improperly formatted information
(such as object names). 

Some of the NDS error codes commonly returned due to these conditions are:

  • ERR_NO_SUCH_CLASS (-604)







An unexpected response was received while processing the client's request. 

Some of the NDS error codes commonly returned due to these conditions are:




Communication Errors

Communication errors result from one server failing to communicate with other servers. These errors come from two general sources: LAN/WAN Failures and Informational Communication Errors.

LAN/WAN Failures.

Communication errors result from failures that occur in the LAN or WAN environment. Because eDirectory uses a replicated hierarchical database, eDirectory must be able to communicate with other servers existing in the same eDirectory tree.

Problems in underlying software and hardware that provide communication result in the disruption of eDirectory processes and operations. The resolution of these errors requires that the underlying communication problems be resolved.

Generally, eDirectory errors that occur due to communication issues are resolved after the underlying communication issue is resolved. Errors of this type can occur due to problems with any of the following situations:

  • Outdated, faulty, or incompatible LAN drivers used by a server

  • Faulty LAN hardware or cabling used in any server, including the network interface cards

  • Unreliable LAN/WAN connectivity between servers in the eDirectory tree

  • Incorrect network address information contained in the eDirectory database of a server

  • Note: With the exception of the last item, each of these issues exists outside of NDS and requires that the communication environment be resolved first.

A server might experience what appears to be a communication problem, when the actual problem is network address misinformation that one server is using to communicate with the target server.

In cases where strange communication errors appear, you should check the network address information that the server experiencing the error is using against the actual network address information that the other servers are using.

Note: The DSREPAIR directory database repair utility offers functionality that can compare the source server's network address information for other servers against the actual network address information being received from the LAN by the source server.

Some of the NDS error codes commonly returned due to communication issues are:







Informational Communication Errors.

Many communication errors are caused by failures that occur in the LAN or WAN environment. It is also possible that a communication error code may be informational only.

Because of the introduction of transitive vectors and transitive synchronization in NetWare 5, not all servers in a replica ring have to communicate directly with all other servers in that ring. If two servers in a ring cannot communicate due to different protocol types or filtering, they can receive communication errors even though the data is synchronized.

In these cases, the errors are informational only. For more information on transitive vectors and transitive synchronization, see and .

Imagine three servers that hold replicas of the Acme partition. File server FS1 has IPX only, FS2 has both IP and IPX bound, and FS3 has IP only. Assume that a change is made to an object in the Acme partition on FS3. FS3 can send that change to FS2, since they both communicate via IP. However, if FS3 attempts to send the change to FS1, it will receive a communication error because FS1 only communicates via IPX.

If there is no other way for the change to be sent to FS3, the network will need to be changed so the servers can communicate. However, in this case, the error is informational because FS1 can still receive the change from FS2.

Data Consistency Errors

Data consistency problems are caused by a server that has incorrect or out of synch information when compared with another server's eDirectory database. In most cases, eDirectory errors that are occurring due to inconsistent information are not transitory and will occur consistently until you resolve the root cause.

Some of the NDS error codes commonly returned due to data consistency issues are:


  • ERR_NO_SUCH_VALUE (-602)








  • ERR_NO_ACCESS (-672)

  • ERR_END_OF_STREAM (-736)

  • Note: For a list of eDirectory error codes and descriptions, see .


This month we started an investigation of eDirectory error codes by looking at several examples from the major groupings. Error types discussed include Informational, Communication, Informational Communication Errors, and Data Consistency Errors.

* Originally published in Novell AppNotes


The origin of this information may be internal or external to Novell. While Novell makes all reasonable efforts to verify this information, Novell does not make explicit or implied claims to its validity.

© Copyright Micro Focus or one of its affiliates