Data Centers

Tips for a smooth install of NetWare 5.1 Support Pack 1

The first support pack for NetWare 5.1 is here. TechRepublic's Steven Pittsley guides you through the install process in this week's NetWare Notes.


It’s that time again. The first support pack for 5.1 has arrived. In the six months since NetWare 5.1 was released, the engineers at Novell have been hard at work fixing bugs and making changes to Novell’s flagship product. This article will guide you through the relatively simple installation of Support Pack 1 for Novell 5.1.
NetWare 5.1 contains a multitude of Web-based products that are new to the operating system, so it comes as no surprise that a good portion of Support Pack 1 contains fixes for these products. Virtually all of the Web-based applications have been tweaked here and there, correcting bugs and improving service.
One of the most highly touted NetWare 5.1products is the IBM WebSphere Application Server. Installing the support pack will upgrade this application from version 3.0 to 3.02 and also install an IBM service pack. Other Web-based product improvements include increased performance of the NetWare Web Search Server when running on a multiprocessor machine, an enhanced interface to manage the FTP Server through the Web Manager, and a new version of the MultiMedia Server. In addition, any display errors that were present in the Web Manager have been corrected, along with the link that allows you to see whether the Web Manager is down.
Those of you running NDPS will now find that the Print Manager object won’t be displayed as an unknown object if the volume is deleted. You’ll also find that support for Windows 2000 printer drivers has been enhanced. Other notable changes include version 8.59 of DS.NLM, which provides improved bindery access and schema synchronization, and a new DSREPAIR version that will ensure accurate suballocation of streaming files and help you save valuable disk space.
Downloading Support Pack 1
To download the support pack, go to Novell’s Web site and search for Technical Information Document (TID) 2956938 or click here. After a brief registration, you can proceed with the download. Since the self-extracting executable file is over 240 MB, I recommend using a high-speed Internet connection to download it. If you would like detailed information and instructions for the support pack, you can view TID 2956734 on the Novell site.

Preparing for Support Pack 1
Novell warns you that this support pack is I/O intensive and that it should not be installed during peak production hours. As with all server upgrades, it’s advisable to schedule the installation for after hours or weekends.

Before installing the support pack, you should perform a few quick housekeeping tasks to ensure that you don’t have any current problems with the file server or the network. Start by checking the server console for error messages. Next, run DSREPAIR to make sure that there are no NDS errors, and then use NDS Manager to verify that the replica ring is synchronized and has no errors. You should also run VREPAIR on all of the volumes of the target server. Finally, verify that network time is correct and synchronized.

When you’re certain that the network and server are behaving correctly, you should create at least one full backup of the file server. You may be confident that everything will go well, but it’s always better to be prepared in case the installation goes south.

Support pack installation
After backing up the server and downloading the support pack, you must extract the file. Copy the self-extracting executable file e51sp1.exe to the root of a volume that has long name support and then execute it. The directory nw51sp1 will be created and the directory structure and files will be extracted.

Once the long process of extracting the files is complete, you can move to the server and load NWCONFIG. At the display, select Product Options and then click on Install A Product Not Listed.

Since the support pack files are too large for a floppy disk, press [F3] to specify a different path, enter the path to the files, and press Enter. You will be presented with a screen asking you to choose the options that you want to install. Select the desired options and then press [F10] to accept the marked groups and start the initial file copy. Shortly after the file copy begins, you will be provided with a Readme file. After reading the file, press [Esc] to continue with the file copy.

During the installation, a warning screen will appear, telling you that the installed products and services will be shut down to allow the necessary files to be replaced. To continue with the installation, press [Enter]. The file copy will continue and various services will be stopped and upgraded. When the file copy has been completed, the server will be restarted.

When the server comes back up, you can verify the support pack revision by typing VERSION at the server console. You will see that the server is NetWare 5.1 and the support pack revision is 01. At this point, if the server is running okay, I recommend running another DSREPAIR to ensure that there are no errors.

Conclusion
Support pack installation is designed to go smoothly, and from my experience this is true of NetWare 5.1 Support Pack 1. The installation itself took less time than downloading and extracting the files, and our server was back in production in less than an hour.

Steve Pittsley is a CNE and desktop analyst for a Milwaukee hospital. He enjoys playing drums, bowling, and most sports.

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