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2,001 Tips
Windows 3.x

Set Your Net For Floppy-less Installs

Using SETUP.EXE's Administrative switch, you can install any version of Windows from a network drive. Install Windows on the server and enable sharing for the Windows directory. Run Setup with the administrative switch-SETUP /A-to load all the necessary files to a network user's system. Windows 95 and NT even have options that allow you to create files that hold setup info for unattended installs.

Right Directions for Drive Maps

To ensure that your drive mappings are correct, log onto your NetWare domain before you launch Windows. Otherwise, Windows won't be able to automatically restore drives mapped from File Manager.

Remote Backup Net Nodes Need Backup, Too

Third-party backup software (such as Cheyenne Software's ARCserve and Seagate Backup Exec) lets you back up the hard drives on networked Windows workstations. These products, and others, also let you schedule backups that are done overnight or during downtime.

Crossed Wires

The easiest way to create a two-computer, peer-to-peer network is to link NICs together with a crossover twisted-pair cable. The difference between this kind of cable and a standard twisted-pair cable is that the crossover cable has the 1 and 3, and 2 and 6 wires reversed. You can buy a crossover cable at a networking supply store or create your own by cutting the RJ-45 connector off one end of a cable and attaching a new connector with the appropriate wires crossed.

Solid Attributes

Protect files with DOS's ATTRIB command. Run ATTRIB filename.ext +R to prevent users from overwriting or deleting important files. ATTRIB also accepts wildcards, such as *.* so you can set the attribute for all files in a directory. Alternatively, you can select Properties/Options in File Manager to achieve the same results.

Local Service

Running Windows from a server is not a good idea as most networks don't have sufficient bandwidth to provide satisfactory performance. For the best results, run Windows from local hard disks. However, you can share .INI files from a network drive to manage the client systems centrally, thus enhancing control.

In the NIC of Time

Improve the performance of your network interface cards (NICs) by keeping their drivers up-to-date. You can obtain the latest drivers from the manufacturers' Web sites, ftp sites, BBSes or online locations. Be sure to read the documentation (usually a readme file) before upgrading.

Set Parameters in Software

When buying a network interface card (NIC), try to find one that can be configured with a software utility such as Intel's SoftSet or SMC's EZStart. It's much easier to configure cards via software when you have to make changes such as adjusting IRQs and I/O addresses.

Share the Wealth

To share your CD-ROM drive with other users, use MSCDEX.EXE 2.21 or later (which ships with WFWG). Make sure MSCDEX is in your AUTOEXEC.BAT with the /S switch.

Yes, LanMan Can

You can use LAN Manager with Windows for Workgroups because WFWG is compatible with LAN Manager clients. To make Windows aware of LAN Manager, add the line: LMAnnounce=yes to the [network] section of SYSTEM.INI.

Problem Peripherals

With Windows 95, you can easily determine whether or not you have a resource conflict. But with Windows for Workgroups, it's not so simple and the conflicts can prevent you from running in 386 Enhanced mode. To troubleshoot a resource conflict problem, remove all devices from your computer. Boot your system; if it starts up without trouble, put one peripheral back and boot again. Continue to do this until the problem appears and you'll be able to identify the peripheral that's causing the conflict.

Power Browser

You can use the MaintainServerList= line in the SYSTEM.INI to expedite the browsing speed of shared resources. You set this line to yes, no or auto. Auto makes your system the Browse Master for the workgroup. Yes maintains a browse list independent of the Browse Master's. No does not maintain a list, but uses less RAM.

Quicker Connections

If you frequently connect to the same resources, you may want to uncheck "Always browse in the connect network drive" dialog box. The dialog box will come up more quickly with your MRU (Most Recently Used) connections listed in a drop-down list under the Path combo box.


Pinging is a great way to troubleshoot TCP/IP problems. From a DOS window type PING ip-address. If the remote host replies, you know the connection is clear all the way to the host. Next, try PING DNS.NAME (such as FTP.MICROSOFT.COM). If that fetches a reply, you know your DNS (domain name server) is configured properly.

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