I recently ran across a client who still ran NetWare 3.12 on their production server. Do you still run an ancient NOS or do you keep everything shiny and new? Take the poll and see how you compare to other TechRepublic members.


In a perfect world, we’d all be running the latest software on the newest, shiniest hardware out there. Unfortunately, it’s not like that. We have to support software that’s several versions old and that vendors no longer want to support. And more often than not it’s running on servers that could have depreciated several times. Dealing with ancient equipment can be almost as much of a challenge as supporting the new stuff.

I recently got a support call from a friend of mine who does computer consulting for small businesses. He had a client who was running a NetWare server that wasn’t running properly. He needed some backup, so he called me.

I didn’t know how much backup he needed until I got to the office and discovered the server in question was running NetWare 3.12. The server’s NIC had gone out, and the server had also lost power, causing the server volumes to not want to load properly. It took a few minutes of staring at the : prompt until the old NetWare 3.x knowledge started seeping back in. I was able to put in a new (technically an old, but new to the server) NIC in the server and run VREPAIR, and it was done. The server started up fine, and the client was able to get back to work.

I was initially surprised to find such an old server and ancient OS still up and running, but I guess I probably shouldn’t have been. I’ve long advocated the old cliche of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It got me wondering, however, just how much old stuff is still floating around in production.

What’s the oldest OS you currently support?

Are you lucky enough to be able to upgrade your servers and NOSs on a regular basis? Or are you still patching and fixing old equipment with bailing wire, staples, and chewing gum? Take the poll below and share with your fellow TechRepublic members the old NOSs you’re currently supporting.

I stuck with Windows and NetWare because between the two of them, they’ve had 90+% of the market since the mid to late 80s. If you’re supporting another NOS, select Other and be sure to mention it in Comments.