JetDirect card in NDS queue server mode fails to connect or crashes while attempting to connect.

  • 10016807
  • 1.0.14769688.2323764
  • 16-Sep-1999
  • 29-Jan-2003

Archived Content: This information is no longer maintained and is provided 'as is' for your convenience.


Novell NetWare 5.1

Novell NetWare 5.0

Novell Directory Services Version 8

Novell Directory Services eDirectory

Novell NetWare 4.11

Novell NetWare 4.11 Support Pack 7 (NW4SP7.EXE)

HP JetDirect card

WSS-Top-Issue-STATUS: Requires X.08.05 or later JetDirect firmware from Hewlett Packard.


JetDirect card in NDS queue server mode fails to connect or crashes while attempting to connect.

JetDirect card fails to connect or crashes after installing NetWare 5.1.

JetDirect card fails to connect or crashes after installing Novell eDirectory on NetWare server.

JetDirect card fails to connect or crashes after installing NetWare 4.11 Support Pack 7 (NW4SP7).

JetDirect card fails to connect or crashes after binding additional network addresses to a LAN card.

JetDirect card fails to connect or crashes after enabling LDAP or PORTAL services.

Same JetDirect card works if configured to service the queue via bindery mode instead of NDS.

Same JetDirect card works if configured to service an NDS queue hosted by a different NetWare server.

External JetDirect box dumps a diagnostic page when attempting to connect to the NetWare server.

LAN trace shows corrupted values when JetDirect reading the "Network Address" attribute of server objects in NDS.

DSBROWSE shows "<<< BAD MESSAGE >>>" when viewing values in Network Address attribute of server objects in NDS.

DBDUMP shows values of type "NT_URL" when viewing values in Network Address attribute of server objects in NDS.


Installed NetWare 5.1.

Installed NDS 8 or eDirectory on NetWare 5.0.

Applied NetWare 4.11 Support Pack 7 (NW4SP7).


JetDirect firmware crashes when the "Network Address" attribute of the NetWare server NDS object contains specific combinations of multiple address types and values.


Hewlett Packard has released updated firmware for their JetDirect print server devices to address this issue.  In general it appears that firmware revisions x.08.04 or higher (e.g. G.08.04, H.08.04, etc.) have the fix included.  However, in many cases the fix was not put in until the latest firmware.  When downloading the current firmware for your specific JetDirect device, the readme.txt in the versions fixed for this issue generally indicate a resolved issue "...due to incorrect parsing of additional information in the NDS Get Server's Network Address reply packet.  This additional information may be present in certain network configurations with NetWare 4.11 and support pack 7 or NetWare 5."

Unless explicitly indicated by Hewlett Packard or the firmware readme.txt, version x.08.04 or later is required in order to resolve the issue.  Novell recommends having the latest firmware, because even if the firmware is x.08.04, the fix may not be included until the most recent firmware.  Note that for some JetDirect devices you must upgrade to an intermediate version before upgrading to more current firmware is possible.  For example, the J2550A and J2552A JetDirect devices must be updated to A.05.05 after which the JetDirect will report model numbers J2550B and J2552B respectively.  At that point, the firmware for J2550B and J2552B devices can be downloaded which is A.08.06 or later.

Visit the HP Print Servers & Peripheral Sharing Product Support Home or Hewlett Packard Support Home to determine the availability and download location of updated firmware for your specific JetDirect model(s).

Updating the firmware on the JetDirect device is the recommended action and the only definitive solution.  Other approaches which may temporarily work around the issue at the cost of functionality and are NOT RECOMMENDED SOLUTIONS include:

Switching the JetDirect card to bindery mode instead of DS mode and make the printing object available via bindery emulation.
Or, unbind IP from all network interfaces on the NetWare 5.x server and bind only IPX.
Or, unload the PORTAL from the NetWare 5.1 servers and NLDAP services from the NetWare 5.x servers running them.
Or, unbind IP from network interfaces on the NetWare 4.11 server so that there is only one IP address for the server.
Or, unbind AppleTalk from the server so that no AppleTalk address for the server is present.
Or, re-create print queues on a different server which does not have protocols besides IPX bound.


The older firmware for JetDirect devices apparently failed to properly treat the "Network Address" attribute of an NDS server object as a multi-value attribute.  The "Network Address" attribute is indeed a multi-value attribute as a NetWare server may have multiple IP addresses, AppleTalk addresses, and other protocol types for which the server registers itself as available.

The legacy JetDirect firmware does not fail in all conditions where multiple values are present in the "Network Address" attribute of a NetWare server object in NDS.  But apparently specific combinations or of addresses or address types and the order in which they appear can cause the JetDirect firmware to crash and all communication to the JetDirect will fail.

There is no one specific configuration to which the failure is isolated.  Although specific combinations and orders of addresses have been identified in which the problem appears to always occur, the problem in non-fixed versions of the JetDirect firmware can potentially occur in any configuration where a server has registered multiple addresses.  The only definitive solution is to upgrade to a revision of the firmware which properly treats the "Network Address" attribute as a multi-valued attribute.

Specific scenarios:

NDS version 8 includes LDAP services and NetWare 5.1 includes Portal services both of which involve adding additional values in the "Network Address" attribute of the NDS server object for the NetWare server on which they are running.  Having these additional values present in the "Network Address" attribute may cause the JetDirects to start failing even through the JetDirects were successfully servicing queues on a previous NetWare 5.x or NetWare 4.x server.

Note that some troubleshooting tools such as DSBROWSE, DSVIEW, NDSSNOOP, LANalyzer, Sniffer Pro and others may also fail to accurately identify or display the LDAP and Portal values when present in the "Network Address" attribute.  Values within the "Network Address" attribute of type "NT_URL" (0x0000000D) may be displayed as un-decodable or give the appearance of corruption even though the values are not corrupt and represent legitimate service entries.  For example, DSBROWSE displays "<<< BAD MESSAGE >>>" when attempting to show a value of type "NT_URL", LANalyzer displays "OUT OF DATA. DECODE ABORTED.", and Sniffer Pro displays "(unknown type)" with inaccurate length values.  When manually viewing these attributes with a low-level tool or LAN trace, they will show as valid-length attributes of type 0x0000000D with unicode-encoded content values such as "", "", or "ldap://".

Another occurrence duplicated in the Novell labs appeared specifically when an AppleTalk address for a NetWare 4.11 server was present and multiple IP addresses are also present.  Having only one IP address in addition to AppleTalk or having multiple IP addresses when AppleTalk wasn't present didn't appear to be an issue.

This situation can appear after applying SP7 on NetWare 4.11 because the DS.NLM v6.04 in SP7 populates the NetWare 4.11 server's NDS object with IP addresses (for compatibility in mixed NetWare 4.11/5.0 environments) where as the DS.NLM v6.00 from SP6 did not.  Applying DS.NLM v6.09 (included in NW4SP8A) may potentially resolve this since the 6.09 version of DS.NLM no longer populates IP addresses into the "Network Address" attribute on NetWare 4.11 servers.  However, this does not definitively prevent the problem from occurring since non-fixed JetDirect firmware may still encounter other legitimate network address combinations on which the firmware will fail..