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Troubleshooting a server problem after a support pack install
Novell NetWare 5.0
Novell NetWare 5.1
First don't panic and don't assume that it is a problem with the support pack. Before removing the support do the following troubleshooting steps to identify the root cause.
1. Start the server using SERVER -NS -NA -NL. Closely watch all possible error messages.
2. Execute STARTUP.NCF. Verify all drivers get loaded without error. If not, or you suspect failure, don't go on from here. Instead, try to revert back to old versions of the drivers executed from STARTUP.NCF, or
alternatively download the most recent drivers from your hardware vendor, and try again.
3. Execute Loadstage 1 . At the end of Loadstage 1, the SYS volume should get mounted automatically. Verify that SYS does indeed mount without errors. If not, try VREPAIR. If SYS doesn't even get recognized, down the server, and proceed with the same steps given in "2.". There obviously is a driver problem.
4. Execute Loadstage 2 . Beyond others, NICI gets prepared now. If there are any error messages, verify you have all the correct files (the same as in the SP) in C:\NWSERVER.
5. Execute Loadstage 3. Now DS gets prepared, and NICI initialized. That's the most critical part of the startup. If NICI fails to initialize now, DS will not load and the database will not be open. If you see NICI or MASV errors, most probably a -1497, your NICI is corrupted. There are several possibilities *why*
that happened, from Hardware fault to incomplete shutdown after the SP installation. Your only option at this point is completely removing NICI from your server. To do so, download NREPAIR2.EXE from SUPPORT.NOVELL.COM, and follow the instructions in the ReadMe file. After successfully removing
cryptography from your server, get the *.NFK or *.NFL file from your server base license disk, and copy it to SYS:SYSTEM, while renaming it to NICIFK. Start with the same procedure all over.
6. Execute Loadstage 4 . Now DS gets loaded and the database opened. As usual, verify the correct versions are in place.
7. Execute AUTOEXEC.NCF. If wanted, remark out anything unneeded from it before executing it. Your problem might be a incompatibility with some old or third party software executed from this file. Your server is now completely functional again.
8. Execute Loadstage 5. This shouldn't give you any problems. If it does, remove or rename WDETECT.NLM, BALIFF.NLM and LOADMIG.NLM.
You know can manually start all removed services from AUTOEXEC.NCF, to find the culprit (if any at that point).