Error: "A network service failed to start" after applying Windows update

  • 3256490
  • 04-Jan-2008
  • 26-Apr-2012


Novell Client for Windows 2000/XP/2003 4.91 Support Pack 4
Microsoft Windows XP Professional Windows XP Professional Support Pack 2
Microsoft Windows 2000
Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition


After installing Microsoft Windows updates on a machine with Novell Client 4.91 SP4 installed, the user is unable to access Novell
services. For example, when installing Windows XP SP2 to a Windows XP machine that currently has the Novell Client 4.91 SP4

When booting the machine, the Novell Client login dialog will take a long time before it will display, and the following message
will be displayed when you finally attempt to login to eDirectory.

A network service failed to start

The "System" event log will report a load failure for SRVLOC.SYS, citing "a device attached to the system is not functioning".
Note that NetWareWorkstation (NWFS.SYS) will also fail, but this is because SRVLOC.SYS failed to load.


This problem has been resolved in the Novell Client 4.91 SP5. Novell recommends you upgrade to the current version of the Novell Client for Windows XP/2003 to resolve this problem.
For the 4.91 SP4 version of the Novell Client for Windows XP/2003:

To help prevent issues that could be caused by applying existing or future Microsoft Windows updates that choose to reset the"ServiceGroupOrder" list, Novell is providing a solution that reconfigures the Novell Client driver load order to eliminate use of the "NetWare Services" group altogether. Once reconfigured, if an existing or future Microsoft update resets the "ServiceGroupOrder" list this will not interfere with the proper Novell Client driver load order and dependencies.The readme for the .inf which implements these changes is available here:

The .INF can be run on a Novell Client 4.91 SP4 machine prior to installing Windows XP SP2, and this will fix the machine such that a subsequent installation of XP SP2 will not cause a SRVLOC.SYS load failure.  Or, the .INF can be run on a machine where the SRVLOC.SYS load failure is already occurring, and the .INF will perform the  reconfiguration necessary to fix the SRVLOC.SYS load failure.

Additional Information

The problem results from the Windows XP SP2 upgrade removing the "NetWare Services" item which exists right before the "TDI" entry in the "List" value under