a little network hell

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Julian Reville, Apr 7, 2002.

  1. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    I'm hoping for some free advice [​IMG], and possibly some sympathy. God, sometimes I hate computers.
    History:
    My little business is a veterinary hospital. It uses a DOS based program for all of our medical records. When we first started out in 1991 we were running on 1 computer on MSDOS 6. Then we needed to add more printers and workstations, so we had to add a Thin Ethernet network (Lantastic). Then the server started to get real slow (it was a 486 back then) so we had to go to Pentiums, then Pentium IIs running WIN98. Lantastic 7 really was a pain to get to run on WIN98, but it did run fine until yesterday when one of the workstations had a hard drive failure.
    Since then I have worked around the clock in vain. I replaced the bad HD then had to reinstall the OS. But Lantastic refuses to install. So I got the idea to do without Lantastic and just use Microsoft networking in WIN 98. It's just 2 computers, both running WIN98, both with network cards, hooked up with a thin coax cable like before, but I can't get the damn things to recognize one another. Both are set up in Networking for drive and printer sharing, with the same workgroup name, but nothing works. Why can't I get these 2 WIN98 computers to talk?
    Any simple ideas ?
    I'm thinking my best idea may be to call a network consultant and see what they can suggest.
    TIA,
    Julian
     
  2. Rob Behm

    Rob Behm Extra

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    I think that you have to be on Win98 special edition before sharing really starts working well. I'm pretty sure internet access sharing can't work, but can't say for sure about file and printing.

    Did you think about just dropping some new ethernet cards in? They're only like $15 a pop for ethernet. Just make sure to either use a switch or hub, or make a crossover cable.
     
  3. David_Stein

    David_Stein Second Unit

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    i think its second edition, not special edition, just for reference
     
  4. AndyVX

    AndyVX Supporting Actor

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    Is the NetBEUI protocol installed?

    It's not going to work without it.
     
  5. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    I'll buy new cards if I have to. These particular cards are both fairly new PCI bus combo (coax and that other stuff?).

    I should change the wire to what type?

    What kind of switch or hub do I need?

    The NetBEUI is installed on both computers. What elseis supposed to be in the network configuration?

    I'm not concerned about internet access, as a matter of fact I don't want any internet access at all on this network due to security.

    Sorry for all the dumb questions, but "I know nothing 'bout no networks".
     
  6. Shayne Lebrun

    Shayne Lebrun Screenwriter

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    If I lived anywhere in the area, I'd come visit, and figure it out for you. Unfortunately.....

    Troubleshooting this sort of problem remotely is very very difficult, if not impossible.

    Are these computers hooked up to the Internet? Can they be? If so, we can throw VNC onto them easily enough, and you and I can (virutally) sit down and smack them around.
     
  7. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Partial success this morning: the 2 network cards were not running the same protocol (duh!), once I fixed that the 2 computers started talking. Thanks for everyones' help.

    Partial failure: the DOS based program we use runs fine one the server where it is installed, and even prints to printers installed on the other computer, after they were set for sharing and had the ports configured and captured.

    It refuses to run on the workstation computer, even though it did before on Lantastic & WIN98. It keeps saying files (4 of them) not found, even though the files are actually there. This one has me stumped.
     
  8. Thom B

    Thom B Stunt Coordinator

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    What are the files it's not finding, and where are they located on the system? It's possible that the location of the files isn't included in the search path. Here are a couple things to try.

    I assume you're running this from a command window. In the command window type "set path /?" (without the quotes) and hit enter.

    If the path doesn't include the directory that contains the files that the program is looking for type "set path X:(location of files);%path%", where X = the drive that the files are located on, and (location of files) = the directory path.

    e.g. set path c:lantastic;%path%

    T
     
  9. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    HOT DAMN!! I fixed it !!

    I just had to map the network drive before making the shortcut to the DOS program. Runs fine now on both WIN98 computers and printers, and no more LANtastic. Just have to make a few more printer connections now and I'm all set (I hope).

    Thanks everyone!

    Is there anyway to backup all these connections so in case another computer dies I won't have to figure all this out again? One computer had a CD-RW drive and the other has a tape drive backup.
     
  10. Shayne Lebrun

    Shayne Lebrun Screenwriter

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    Write down all the steps you went through. File. :)
     
  11. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Good one, Shayne [​IMG]
    Only trouble is that I've already forgotten what I did. Wait a minute, it's all written down right here on this thread. Can I ask the administrators to please archive this? [​IMG]
     
  12. Thom B

    Thom B Stunt Coordinator

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    Heh heh.
    You can use an imaging program such as Ghost or DriveImage to create a restorable image of your hard drive. Basically they create a compressed copy of your entire drive which you can store on disc, burn to cd, copy to tape, whatever.
    In the case of DriveImage you can restore to a HD other than the original the image was created from. Thus if you have a HD failure in the future, you just install a new drive and restore the image to it. (I assume this is the case with Ghost as well, but I haven't worked with it so I'm not sure.) You won't have any data/changes that've been added since the creation of the image, but you will retain all of your OS/software settings, etc., and can update data from another backup source once the core has been restored.
    Ghost website
    Drive Image site
    Hope this helps.
    T
     
  13. Jeff Blair

    Jeff Blair Second Unit

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    Go with Thom's idea. Imageing a drive is a snap most of the time. If the HD crashes, all you do is boot from the CD, and it puts the HD back to where it was. Nice and easy. If you have enough space on your server, you could even Image it to there.
     
  14. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Thank's Thom,

    I'll probably go with the Drive Image and burn to CD.

    I'm still having problems getting the printers to work right, but that's a problem with the DOS program we use which is not very flexible, and unfortunately no longer supported. But it was expensive, and we have a LOT of data on it. I back it up to CD-RW every night and restore to 2 other computers just cause I'm so paranoid.
     

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