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Configuring PCNTNW LAN Drivers for IPX and TCP/IP Connectivity

Articles and Tips: tip

Edward Liebing
Novell Systems Research

01 Mar 1996


Compaq's newer DESKPRO machines, such as my Compaq DESKPRO XL, have a built-in Ethernet "board" that uses a PCNTNW driver for network connections. While it's great that you don't have to purchase and install a separate Ethernet board, it can be a little tricky when you want to have both NetWare IPX/SPX and TCP/IP connectivity through the built-in Ethernet. Here are some tips I learned while trying to set this all up.

To connect to NetWare and TCP/IP, you need to bind both protocols and configure the driver to use the Ethernet_802.2 and Ethernet_II frame types. I am running Novell's Client32 for DOS/Windows, but I kept getting an error that the second driver instance wasn't loading and that I had errors with my TCP/IP configuration. Here's what I did to fix these problems.

First I downloaded the most recent PCNTNW.LAN driver from Compaq's ftp server. The driver is contained in the SP1313.EXE file in the ftp://ftp.compaq.com/pub/softpaq/drivers directory. (Download and check the allfiles.txt file in the parent--softpaq--directory to ensure you have the latest and greatest NetWare Programs from Compaq.) The SP1313.EXE file self-extracts onto two diskettes, and the 32-bit PCNTNW.LAN driver (as well as the CPQ2NIC.LDI file) is found on Disk 2 under the \NETWORK directory.

Once I had the PCNTNW.LAN file, I ran the Client32 installation program and indicated that I wanted TCP/IP as part of the installation options (NetWare IPX is installed by default). You need to be sure you have valid IP address, subnet mask, and gateway information when you install Client32 with TCP/IP support. When presented with a list of drivers to choose from, I selected the Other Drivers option. I typed in the path leading to where I had placed the PCNTNW.LAN and the CPQ2NIC.LDI files. The installation program copied the files and set things up to use this 32-bit driver for Client32.

After the installation was completed, I went to DOS and checked the STARTNET.BAT file in the NOVELL\CLIENT32 directory. A listing is given in Figure 1.

Figure 1: The STARTNET.BAT file.

SET NWLANGUAGE=ENGLISH

C:\NOVELL\CLIENT32\NIOS.EXE

LOAD C:\NOVELL\CLIENT32\LSLC32.NLM

LOAD C:\NOVELL\CLIENT32\CMSM.NLM

LOAD C:\NOVELL\CLIENT32\ETHERTSM.NLM

LOAD C:\NOVELL\CLIENT32\PCNTNW.LAN BOARD=1 FRAME=ETHERNET_802.2 

LOAD C:\NOVELL\CLIENT32\PCNTNW.LAN BOARD=1 FRAME=ETHERNET_II 

LOAD C:\NOVELL\CLIENT32\TCPIP.NLM

LOAD C:\NOVELL\CLIENT32\IPX.NLM

LOAD C:\NOVELL\CLIENT32\CLIENT32.NLM

:DRIVER1

The PCNTNW.LAN driver doesn't need interrupt and I/O port information, but it does need to know the logical board number (BOARD=1) and to which frame type(s) I am binding the driver. In this case, the driver is loading twice for the same board (board 1)--once for Ethernet 802.2 frames and once for Ethernet II frames.

While NetWare Client32 reads the frame type information from the commands placed in the STARTNET.BAT, it reads TCP/IP information from the NET.CFG file. So I needed a NET.CFG that looked something like this:


Link Support

Buffers 4 1500MemPool 4096Max Stacks 8

Link Driver PCNTNW

Frame Ethernet_IIFrame Ethernet_802.2Protocol IPX E0 ETHERNET_802.2

Protocol TCPIP

PATH TCP_CFG C:\WINDOWSIP_ADDRESS nnn.nn.nn.nn LAN_NETIP_NETMASK nnn.nnn.nnn.n LAN_NETIP_ROUTER nnn.nn.nn.nnn LAN_NETBind PCNTNW #1 ETHERNET_II LAN_NETip_address n.n.n.n PPP_NETBind NCOMX #1 PPP PPP_NET

Protocol IPX

IPX SOCKETS 40

In this instance, the Link Support header has set up four buffers at 1500 bytes each. The Link Driver header contains the frame types as well as information for binding the IPX protocol to the Ethernet_802.2 frame type.

Client32 looks at the information stored under the Protocol TCPIP header to set up connections to the internet. The n's represent the IP address, IP submask, and IP router connection information. The first Bind command binds the TCP/IP protocol to the PCNTNW driver using the Ethernet II frame type. The remaining two lines set things up to work with a dial-up PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) connection, but I don't use that right now.

Client32 also sets the number of IPX sockets to 40 under the Protocol IPX header. This setting ensures there are enough IPX sockets to accommodate the way Client32's NIOS module works with cached files.

To make this configuration work for you, follow this same basic procedure and substitute your own IP address, submask, and so forth. With these items in place, you should be off and running with your built-in network board connecting to both TCP/IP and IPX.

* Originally published in Novell AppNotes


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