In ”Introducing NetWare 5.1,” we showed you how to prepare your server and network for the latest version of NetWare. Now it’s time to get down to brass tacks: installing NetWare 5.1 on your server. In this Daily Drill Down, we’ll walk you through a simple installation of NetWare 5.1 on your server.

Double-check a few things first
Before you install NetWare 5.1 on your server, double-check to make sure that you have everything ready. If you’re integrating your new NetWare 5.1 server into an existing NDS tree, verify that you’ve installed the latest support packs on any NetWare 4.x and 5.0 servers in your tree. Make sure you have several full backups of data on your server, especially your NDS tree.

You should also verify that your server can run NetWare 5.1. The minimum hardware requirements for NetWare 5.1 are listed below, followed by some recommendations:

  • A Pentium processor. (A very fast Pentium III is recommended.)
  • A VGA monitor. (SVGA is recommended.)
  • 50-MB DOS partition with 35 MB available. (You should create a DOS partition that exceeds the amount of RAM in the server by 50 MB and has at least 35 MB available.)
  • 750 MB of free disk space on SYS for the standard NetWare 5.1 products.
  • 750 MB of additional free disk space if you install the IBM WebSphere Application server.
  • 128 MB of RAM for the standard NetWare 5.1 products. (At least 256 MB is recommended.)
  • 128 MB of additional RAM if you install the IBM WebSphere Application server. (512 MB of additional RAM is recommended for this product.)
  • 128 MB of additional RAM if you install the Oracle8i Data server. (256 MB of additional RAM is recommended for this product.)

If you’ve never worked with NetWare 5.1, it might be a good idea to install it for the first time in a test environment. That way, you can get a feel for some of the new features in NetWare 5.1 before it has an impact on your production network. Doing so also gives you the opportunity to make some mistakes without affecting your entire network.

A simple NetWare 5.1 installation
Like earlier versions of NetWare, your server must have a small, bootable DOS partition with DOS loaded on it before you can start installing NetWare 5.1. The partition should be at least 500 MB. You can use any version of MS-, PC-, or DR-DOS for this partition as long as it’s version 3.3 or higher. You can’t use the version of DOS that comes with Windows 9x. If you don’t have a copy of DOS lying around, you can use Novell DOS 7.0, which you can find on the NetWare 5.1 license disk.

Naturally, to install NetWare 5.1, you’ll need the NetWare 5.1 CD. Ideally, you’ll place the NetWare 5.1 CD in a CD-ROM on your server. Check to make sure that the DOS CD-ROM driver is loaded and that you’ve executed MSCDEX in the DOS session.

If your server doesn’t have a CD-ROM, don’t panic. If you have another server on the network with a CD-ROM, you can load the DOS NETX/VLM client on the server you want to upgrade and connect to the server with the CD-ROM. Then, you can load the installation program across the network.

Don’t confuse this process with an across-the-wire upgrade. Because you’re upgrading the version of NetWare on an existing server, it’s still considered an in-place upgrade. You’re just pulling the data for the new software across the network.

After you insert the CD, you can start the upgrade. You start NetWare 5’s upgrade program by typing

at the DOS prompt and pressing [Enter]. When you do, the first installation screen appears. This screen displays the license. You can use [PgUp] and [PgDn] to view the license, and when you agree with the terms, press [F10] to accept the license and continue the installation.

If you’ve installed previous versions of NetWare, you’ll feel comfortable with the first few installation screens. They’re in the same basic text screen layout that you’re familiar with. Things don’t get radically different for several screens.

The next screen that appears asks you what kind of installation you want to perform. By default, NetWare 5 assumes you want to configure your server as Upgrade. To change the setting, select Modify from the Options menu and press [Enter].

You can then toggle the Is This A New Server question by pressing [Enter]. You can either leave it set for Upgrade or select New Server to upgrade from previous versions of NetWare. Because we’re installing a new server, you should select New Server. You are also asked to select the Startup directory of your server files. (This is the directory on the DOS partition of your server.) The default destination location is C:\NWSERVER. To change this setting, select your choice, press [Enter], type in the new location, and press [Enter] again. When you are satisfied with the choices, use the [Tab] key to navigate to the Options box, select Continue, and press [Enter].

The next screen displays the Server Settings. The first setting on this screen allows you to choose the NDS version. You have two choices: NDS 7 or NDS 8. We selected the default choice of NDS 8. You should select NDS 8 if you want to have the added functionality that NDS 8 and eDirectory offer for your network. You’ll also need it to use some of NetWare 5.1’s new Web software, such as WebSphere. If you don’t have Admin rights at the root of your NDS tree or if other servers on your network aren’t prepared to handle NDS 8, then you should select and install NDS 7.

You can also select the CD-ROM driver that NetWare will use to access the installation files. We selected the default of NetWare, but you could change this to DOS. You may be forced to do so if NetWare doesn’t natively support your CD-ROM drive. If you use DOS support, you’ll need to leave the DOS device drivers and MSCDEX command in your server’s CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files. Also, don’t forget that if you use DOS to access your CD-ROM, the CD-ROM will be unavailable if you type the REMOVE DOS command at your server’s console prompt.

The next field allows you to set the Server ID number. The Server ID number is a unique number that identifies the server on the network. NetWare 5.1 will generate this number for you randomly if you want. You can also provide your own number. This can be advantageous if you plan to create a numbering scheme to make it easier to identify your servers.

After setting the Server ID number, you can select Yes or No in the Load Server At Reboot field. As you can probably guess, selecting Yes will cause the server to automatically start NetWare 5.1 when the server reboots. Otherwise, the server will boot DOS only when it starts and you’ll have to manually start NetWare 5.1 using the SERVER command.

The final field on this screen gives you the opportunity to add lines to STARTUP.NCF. To do this, select Edit, press [Enter], and add the appropriate commands. When you have finished, press [Esc] and select Yes when prompted to save changes. When you are satisfied with the settings, select Continue and press [Enter].

The next screen will ask you to specify the regional settings for the server. We accepted the default settings for Country: 001 (USA), Code page: 437 (United States English), and Keyboard: United States. You can select Continue and press [Enter] when the choices are correct for your environment.

Drivers wanted
Next, the installation program will ask you to define your graphics card and mouse type. NetWare doesn’t automatically detect these devices. By default, it selects a PS/2 mouse port mouse and Super VGA graphics card. You can choose Modify to change these selections. For mouse types, you can select PS/2, COM1, COM2, or None. For video cards, your only choices are VGA and Super VGA. You don’t have the option of specifying certain chipsets. NetWare 5.1’s GUI supports any Super VGA card that conforms to the VESA 2 specification. After you’ve selected the mouse and video, select Continue and press [Enter].

After NetWare 5.1 copies a few files from the CD-ROM to the server, you’ll see the Device Driver Detection screen, as shown in Figure A. Unlike the previous screen, here NetWare actually detects the current hardware that you have in your system. This screen displays the disk I/O interfaces your server uses.

Figure A
Install detects the disk interface type used by your server.

You’ll notice several different types of I/O interfaces available on this screen: Platform Support Modules, PCI Hot Plug Modules, and Storage Adapter Modules. The disk types that Install detects appear next to the appropriate type.

Platform Support Modules are optional drivers. If your server supports Platform Support Modules, you can optimize your server by using them. Check with your hardware vendor to see if a Platform Support Module exists for your disk configuration. If Install auto-detects a PSM for your server, you must use it. If it doesn’t detect one, then chances are your server doesn’t use it. In that case, you can ignore this setting.

PCI Hot Plug devices are also specific to certain types of servers. Hot Plug capability allows you to remove malfunctioning disk drives or network cards without having to power down your server. You can just pull the bad part out and your users don’t notice the difference. This module is also optional. Don’t try to add support for PCI Hot Plug unless you know for sure your server supports it.

The most common drivers you see loaded by Install are in the Storage Adapter category. These drivers represent the vast majority of all I/O devices supported by NetWare 5.1. Novell has made some important changes to its I/O driver architecture that you need to be aware of.

Novell no longer uses the familiar .DSK drivers that you’re used to with NetWare 3.x and 4.x. Instead, NetWare 5.1 uses the NetWare Peripheral Architecture (NWPA). NWPA uses a combination of Host Adapter Modules (HAM) and Custom Device Modules (CDM) to communicate with I/O hardware.

Don’t attempt to use old .DSK drivers with NetWare 5.1. If Install doesn’t auto-detect the disk drive type or interface card for your server, contact your server’s manufacturer and get the proper drivers. NetWare 5.1 includes drivers for many popular devices, but naturally, Novell couldn’t supply drivers for every device out there. This is especially true for older boards and drives. If your vendor can’t supply HAM and CDM drivers for your server, replace the boards with ones that support NetWare 5.1.

After you select Continue to go past the Device Driver Detection screen, you’ll see the Storage Device Detection screen, shown in Figure B. This screen displays the actual physical hard drives that NetWare 5.1 detects. Don’t confuse this page with the previous one. The Device Driver Detection screen showed the I/O boards that NetWare 5.1 detected. This screen shows the hard drives that the I/O boards communicate with. Devices on the previous screen use HAM drivers. Devices on this screen use CDM drivers.

Figure B
Install also detects the storage devices attached to your server.

If the detected list matches the hard drives in your system, you can move on to the next field in the list. If not, select Modify and see if your hard drive is in the supported list, just in case Install couldn’t detect it. If the drive isn’t in the list, contact the drive vendor to see if .CDM drivers exist for the device.

The Network board that was detected is also displayed on this screen. If the network board being displayed is correct, you can move on to the next field in the list. If not, select the choice and see if your network board is displayed in the support list. If the driver isn’t in the list, you should contact the vendor to see if it has the correct drivers for the device.

The last field on this screen is NetWare Loadable Modules. This optional field allows you to add, edit, delete, or load an NLM before you complete the installation. We did not make any changes to this field. When the fields have the correct settings, you can select Continue and press [Enter].

Now that you have selected the correct disk controller and hard drive, you can create a NetWare partition and SYS volume. The installation program assumes that you are going to use the entire free space on the hard drive for the SYS volume. This is definitely not a good idea, so we will allocate a portion of our hard drive for the SYS volume and leave the remaining free space for other volumes that we create later on.

Just remember, if you’re going to use only a portion of your hard drive for the SYS volume, you must make SYS at least 750 MB. If you want to install all the NetWare 5.1 products, you must make SYS at least 1.3 GB. For best performance and to make sure you don’t run out of space on SYS accidentally, you should make SYS larger than these minimums if possible.

If you elect to create additional volumes, select Modify and press [Enter], and you will be taken to the NetWare Partition Size (MB) field. Press the [Enter] key and type in the desired size of your SYS volume. Press [Enter] again, and the other values on the screen will automatically be changed to the recommended sizes.

The next field is Hot Fix Size (MB). Hot Fix maintains a list of defective areas on the hard disk, and it will direct data from the bad areas to the Hot Fix area, which is considered good. We accepted the default setting. We did not make any changes to the next field, Volume SYS Size (MB), because this value reflects the change we made to the NetWare Partition Size field. The same is true about the last field on this screen, Unpartitioned Disk Space. Unless you elect to enlarge the Hot Fix Size, the only change that is necessary on this screen is the entry in the NetWare Partition Size field. All the other fields are adjusted automatically. When you are satisfied with the values, press [F10] to save the settings, select Continue, and press [Enter].

If you’re running Install from a CD, Install then loads the appropriate NLMs for your CD-ROM. After loading the NLMs, it mounts the CD-ROM as a volume and continues the installation. Install copies files from the CD-ROM to the server and then launches the graphical portion of the install.

Going graphical
If you’re used to doing only NetWare 3.x or 4.x installations, you’re in for a big surprise next. After Install copies some files from your CD-ROM to your server, it launches the new Graphical Installation program. The GUI Install may resemble an operating system from a company in the Pacific Northwest, but in fact there’s no relation at all.

Novell uses X Windows as its graphical interface. X Windows is a popular graphical interface used by some UNIX operating systems. You’ll find the point-and-click operations in the rest of the installation much easier to use compared to the text screens of earlier versions of NetWare.

The first GUI screen that you will see asks you to enter the server name. You can call the server anything you want, but you should use a different name from the one you used to name your NDS tree. You choose between two and 47 characters for the server’s name. You can use underscores and dashes, but you can’t use spaces. In addition, you can’t use a period as the first character. Once you’ve done that, click Next.

After you’ve named the file server, you’ll be asked to configure the file system. The DOS partition and SYS volume are displayed, as well as the free space on the drive. To create another volume, select the free space and click Create. The New Volume screen allows you to specify the volume name and volume type. We named our volume APPS and selected a traditional volume type. If you want to create an NSS volume, you can do so by selecting the NSS radio button. To find out more about NSS, see “Understanding Novell Storage Services.”

You can also specify the size of the volume in the Space To Use field. The field’s default setting is the amount of free space remaining on the disk. If you are going to create multiple volumes, change the value in this field to reflect the desired volume size and then click OK. To create another volume, follow the same procedure until all your volumes are created or you use up all the free space. Once your volumes have been created, click Next to continue the installation.

The next GUI screen you see, called Mount Volumes, asks you if you want to mount all your server’s volumes now or after you reboot your server. You can see this screen in Figure C. If you want to copy some of NetWare 5’s installation files to a volume other than SYS, you should mount all volumes now.

Figure C
Netware 5.1’s Install program loads its GUI and asks you about mounting additional volumes.

To mount all the volumes now, select No, Mount Volumes Now. If you want to mount all the volumes after your restart, select the default setting of Yes. Once your choice is made, click Next to continue.

You’ll then see the Protocols screen shown in Figure D. On this screen, you tell NetWare 5.1 what protocols you want to run on your server. In the Network Boards window, you’ll see your server along with the network cards installed in it. Select the card you want to bind a protocol to by clicking it. You’ll then see the list of available protocols appear in the Protocols window on the right.

Figure D
You must select the protocols you want to use on your network.

Check the protocols you want to load on your server. Although the screen may suggest that you can only choose between IP and IPX, you actually have more flexibility when choosing a protocol. You have four choices when selecting protocols for your network: IP-Only, IPX-Only, IP with IPX compatibility, and IP and IPX. If you select a protocol’s check box, it will be enabled.

You’ll run into a quirk if you want to select an IP-Only network. When you select the IP check box, IPX Compatibility Mode is enabled by default. If your server detects an IPX packet, it will respond to it even if you haven’t enabled IPX. To disable IPX completely, you must remove the LOAD SCMD command from your server’s AUTOEXEC.NCF file.

If you select IP, you must supply a TCP/IP address, subnet mask, and gateway address for your network. Remember that each TCP/IP address you assign on your network must be unique. You don’t have to worry about network addresses if you plan to use IPX only on your network. The server automatically assigns IPX addresses. Click Next after you select your protocols.

The installation program will check for duplicate server names and server IDs. Once that is completed, the Domain Name Service screen appears. You can provide a host name, domain, and three name servers. We elected to bypass this screen because our server will not be connected to a network running DNS. We left the settings blank, clicked Next, and then clicked OK to bypass the warning message.

You’ll then see the Time Zone screen. NDS relies heavily on proper time synchronization, so you must set the time zone for your server. This helps NDS determine the proper time for servers spread across time zones in a WAN. Even if your server isn’t on a WAN and is the only one on the network, you still must specify the server’s time zone.

Select your time zone from the Time Zone scroll box. If you live in an area that observes daylight saving time, you can have your server automatically adjust for it. To do so, select the Allow System To Adjust check box. Then, click Next to continue.

You’ll then see the first NDS screen. If you already have an NDS tree somewhere on your network, Install gives you the option of inserting your NetWare 5.1 server into the existing tree. Doing so can be quite tricky. We’ll cover that in a future article.

For now, we’ll just create a new tree. You’ll need to specify the name for your tree and the context where you want the server created, as shown in Figure E. You can name the tree anything you want, but try to make the name meaningful. You can change it later, but doing so can be quite difficult. It’s just easier to get it right the first time.

Figure E
You must enter the information necessary to create an NDS tree on your server.

The context stands for the main container object where you want to store the server object. You should make this name meaningful. However, if you don’t create the exact name you want for the container, it’s not as much of a hassle to rename the container or move the server to a new container.

The installation program allows you to create an organization container to store the server object. To do this, click the browse button next to the Context For Server Object field. A new window called the NDS Context Browser will open. Select the tree name, click Add, select the organization object, enter the container name, and click OK. You will be taken back to the NDS Context Browser screen. You can add more containers if you want to create more levels in your directory structure. When you’ve created the correct hierarchy, select the container and click OK. The Context For Server Object field will display the newly created context.

Next, you’ll need to specify the administrator user ID, context, and password. If you click the browse button next to the Admin Name field, you can choose the container object where you want to place the Admin object. Install will then automatically fill the context in for you. You can use the default name of Admin for the administrator object or create your own Admin ID.

To keep things simple, don’t change the name of the Admin object. Later you’ll create other user IDs for administration purposes that you can make equal to Admin. If you change the name of the Admin object, you might get confused later or cause headaches for any future network administrators on your network.

After you click Next, Install checks your network to make sure there are no other NDS trees that have the same name as your new tree. If this is your first NDS server and you’re on a LAN, this shouldn’t take much time.

Install then installs and configures NDS on your server. After it creates the NDS database, Install then migrates the information from your 3.x bindery into the new NDS database. It places all the information from your bindery into the same container where you created the server object. After migrating information from your 3.x bindery, Install displays a summary screen showing all of your current NDS settings.

When you click Next on the NDS Summary screen, Install displays the Licenses screen. Insert your NetWare 5.1 license disk in your server’s floppy drive and click Next. If your server’s license information is located somewhere other than A:\, enter the path to the location in the License Location field. Make sure you only use a NetWare 5.1 license disk. You can’t use your old NetWare 3.1x or 4.x license disks to add to or replace the licenses that you purchased for NetWare 5.1.

After you add the licenses for your server, Install gives you these options: Install Standard NetWare Products, Install Standard NetWare Products Plus WebSphere App Serv, and Create A Custom Installation. Your installation will vary depending on the choice you make; however, I recommend creating a custom installation. NetWare 5.1 has an abundance of extra services, and these services allow you to take full advantage of the operating system. To add a service, just click the check box next to it. Services you can add to your server during the installation include:

  • Novell Certificate Server—Certificate Server provides the file server to mint, issue, and manage digital certificates. A Security container and an Organizational Certificate Authority (CA) are created. The CA, which provides secure data transfer, is a required piece of NetWare 5.1.
  • LDAP Services for NDS (Lightweight Directory Protocol)—This service allows LDAP clients to access information stored in your NDS database. LDAP is a common protocol used by Internet applications to access directory information.
  • NetWare Management Portal—The NetWare Management Portal (NMP) is a browser-based utility that allows you to manage NetWare file servers from any workstation that has an Internet browser, regardless of the operating system that is running on the computer.
  • Storage Management Services—SMS allows you to back up and restore workstations on your network from your server. You access local workstations from your server and use the tape drive attached to your server to back up the workstations. To do this, you also need to have SMS installed on your workstations. You also need a backup program that’s compatible with SMS.
  • NDPS (Novell Distributed Print Services)—NDPS adds support for IP as well as IPX printing. It replaces the old queue printing method used by your NetWare 3.x server. NDPS is also nice in that it allows bi-directional communication between printers and workstations and dynamic driver loading.
  • NetWare Enterprise Web Server—Based on the Netscape Enterprise Web Server, the NetWare Enterprise Web Server is a stable and mature product, not merely an upgrade to the old Novell Web server. The application is integrated tightly with NDS and will provide your organization with a solid Web server that can be used for hosting very large sites or many different sites.
  • NetWare News Server—The NetWare News Server will provide newsgroup functionality to your Internet Infrastructure. The application is easy to configure, and being integrated with NDS provides the capability to create newsgroups for individual departments of an organization.
  • NetWare Web Manager—This browser-based utility provides you with the ability to configure and manage all of the NetWare 5.1 Web products, such as the Enterprise Web Server and News Server.
  • NetWare FTP Server—The NetWare FTP Server will allow your users to easily transfer files over the Internet or intranet. This simple application can be configured and managed with only moderate effort. One nice feature of the FTP Server is the ability to use NDS to manage access to files.
  • NetWare Web Search—The final piece of the Web product puzzle is the NetWare Web Search Server. While the Web Search Server is not an exciting new product, it will provide basic search capabilities without causing you too many headaches.
  • Novell DNS/DHCP Services—DNS/DHCP Services creates objects in your NDS tree that allow you to manage DNS and DHCP resources on your network. These objects replace the separate clumsy command-line utilities that earlier versions of NetWare used when you installed DNS or DHCP on your network.
  • Internet Access Services—The Internet Access Server installs NetWare Connect 2.0 to allow your users to dial into your network from a remote location. It also installs the MultiProtocol Router, which allows your network to talk to other networks across a WAN.
  • WAN Traffic Manager—This service helps you control and optimize traffic across your WAN. You can create policies to control how servers communicate information with each other across WAN links. This can help increase your WAN’s efficiency and reduce costs.
  • NetWare MultiMedia Server—As network throughput improves, the NetWare MultiMedia Server will use Real-Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) to send multimedia content to the desktop. An excellent feature provided by the MultiMedia server is Adaptive Quality of Service (QoS), which attempts to minimize the effects of network congestion on the multimedia files being played from the server. The product currently supports WAV, MP3, and RM file formats.

Depending on what services you choose to install, you’ll see additional configuration screens after you click Next. After you’ve configured all your services, Install copies the rest of NetWare 5.1’s files to your server. It also configures your NDS database to reflect the services you added.

Finally, you’ll see the Installation Complete screen. Click Yes to restart your server. When your server restarts, it should automatically launch NetWare 5.1. You’ll notice a big change to your server as some of NetWare 5.1’s services load. The screen looks snappier as NLMs with different-colored text items zip by. Finally, you’ll see NetWare 5.1’s new GUI.

You should now be able to access your server from one of your client workstations. If the client can’t access the server, try upgrading your NetWare client to the latest version and reconnecting. If you installed TCP/IP as the sole protocol, make sure that you select the appropriate protocol when installing the new client software.

John Sheesley has been supporting networks since 1986, when he got his hands on NetWare 2.2. Since then, he’s worked with the Jefferson County Police Department in Louisville, KY and the Genlyte-Thomas Group. John’s been a technical writer for several leading publishers, including TechRepublic, The Cobb Group, and ZDJournals. If you’d like to contact John, send him an e-mail .

The authors and editors have taken care in preparation of the content contained herein, but make no expressed or implied warranty of any kind and assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. No liability is assumed for any damages. Always have a verified backup before making any changes.