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Appendix C NetWare DOS Requester

Network Drivers

NetWare DOS Requester Modules

The NetWare(R) DOS Requester(TM) is DOS client software that provides the interface between DOS and the network. It consists of individual modules that provide various network services. The NetWare DOS Requester is loaded when you run the file STARTNET.BAT. This file also loads drivers that the NetWare DOS Requester needs in order to communicate with the network hardware.

Network Drivers

When you run STARTNET.BAT, it loads three network driver modules, described in Table C-1.
Table C-1
NetWare DOS Requester Network Driver Modules




Delivers requests and replies between a computer and the network.

Also handles packet sequencing and acknowledgment for the workstation-server connection (for example, SPX).

Takes requests that the NetWare DOS Requester has determined are for the network, "packages" them with transmission information (such as their destination), and hands them to the LSL(TM).


Puts the packaged requests from the IPXODI into the proper format for transmission on the particular physical network that the computer is running on.

Also takes replies for the computer from the network (via the LAN driver), removes the network-specific information it has added, and passes the reply to IPXODI.

LAN driver

Takes requests from the LSL and sends them to the network. It also receives replies from the network and passes them to the LSL. This driver is specific to the network board installed in your computer.

When the network driver modules load, they refer to the NET.CFG file, which contains information about the network board settings. The modules use the entries under the "Link Driver" heading in NET.CFG. Refer to the "NET.CFG Options Reference" chapter of DOSBook for details of all the configuration options that can be specified in NET.CFG.

NetWare DOS Requester Modules

After the network driver modules have been loaded, STARTNET.BAT loads the first NetWare DOS Requester module, VLM.EXE. This is the VLM(TM) memory and module manager. It manages the other modules, deciding where the modules are loaded into memory, and the order in which they are loaded. The modules refer to the Netware DOS Requester section in NET.CFG for any parameters that they require.

Table C-2 summarizes the individual NetWare DOS Requester modules.
Table C-2
NetWare DOS Requester Modules




Controls communication between the individual VLMs, and VLM memory usage.


Auto-reconnect services.


Connects to NetWare® 2.x or 3.x servers.


Connection Table Manager. Enables a computer running the NetWare DOS Requester to establish a configurable number of connections with multiple NetWare servers.


File input/output module that implements a basic file-transfer protocol.


Miscellaneous functions for NETX.VLM and REDIR.VLM.


Transport protocol implementation for IPX(TM).


SNMP MIB-II support for interfaces group.


SNMP MIB-II support for TCP/IP groups.


Connects to Novell Directory Services(TM).


Provides backward compatibility with the older NETX shell.


Network management diagnostic responder for IPX.


NetWare protocol multiplexor. NWP services include establishing and destroying connections, logins and logouts, and broadcast messages.


Connects to Personal NetWare servers.


Personal NetWare server MIB.


SNMP trap module.


Network printing support.


DOS redirector.


RSA encryption for NetWare Directory Services re-authentication.


Enhanced security services.


Transport protocol multiplexor.


Required for the diagnostic responder (see WSSNMP.VLM).


Required for the diagnostic responder (see WSSNMP.VLM).


Network management diagnostic responder for SNMP.


Required for the diagnostic responder (see WSSNMP.VLM).

VLM Manager (VLM.EXE)

The VLM Manager has a number of options that you can use when the NetWare DOS Requester is loading or running. These options allow you to override entries in NET.CFG. For example, you can specify a different preferred server to that given in NET.CFG.

The format of the command is

VLM [option]



Displays help text.


Specifies an alternative configuration file; the default is the NET.CFG file in C:\NWCLIENT. The format of the option is

/C=[path\] filename


Displays VLM.EXE diagnostics.


Specifies that VLM.EXE should attempt to load into the specified memtype, where memtype can be one of the following:

C - conventional memory
E - expanded memory
X - extended memory


Specifies the preferred server, that is, the server you want to attach to when you first log in. This option overrides the parameter PREFERRED SERVER = server_name in the NET.CFG file.


This option is relevant only to users of NetWare 4.x. It specifies which Directory tree you want to use when you first log in. The /PT option overrides the parameter PREFERRED TREE = tree_name in the NET.CFG file.


Unloads VLM.EXE from memory.


Specifies the level of detail in messages, where x is a number, 0 through 4.

0 - Displays copyright and critical errors only
1 - Also displays warning messages
2 - Also displays VLM module names
3 - Also displays configuration file parameters
4 - Also displays diagnostics messages

Loading the NetWare DOS Requester

The /M option enables you to specify which area of memory the NetWare DOS Requester should first attempt to load into; extended, expanded, or conventional. If you want the requester to load into extended or expanded memory, you must first have installed the appropriate memory manager to gain access to that memory. Chapter 10, "Managing Memory," describes the different memory managers and how you install them.

If you use the /ME or /MX option, the NetWare DOS Requester attempts to load much of its code into, respectively, expanded or extended memory. Some code will always remain in conventional memory, but the exact amount of conventional memory used will depend upon the amount of extended or expanded memory available to the NetWare DOS Requester.

If you do not specify which memory you want to use, the NetWare DOS Requester looks first for extended memory, and then for expanded memory.

Reconfiguring the NetWare DOS Requester

The ability to unload the NetWare DOS Requester enables you to test different configurations without rebooting the computer. Simply edit the NET.CFG file as required, then unload the NetWare DOS Requester by entering the following command at the system prompt:


If you run VLM at the system prompt again, with any command line options that you require, the NetWare DOS Requester modules will reload, and will refer to the edited NET.CFG file as they do so.

NOTE: VLM.EXE is a TSR; be sure it is the last TSR loaded before you attempt to unload it.

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