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Where I'm at we have an a few people still using an old program that requires dos/win98 to run, and so we still have a few windows 98 pcs scattered around. Long term I will get rid of the program, but as that's not possible right now I want to at least get rid of the old windows 98-powered hardware.

To do this I'm trying to create a virtual appliance with virtual box to replace the 98 machines. I'm going with FreeDOS for licensing reasons and because I don't want users to wait for a virtual 98 to startup.

The problem, though, is that I can't figure out how to get DOS to talk to the Novell server. I'd like to be able to just have a net use command, but the net command doesn't exist on the box as far as I can see. I've been able to get a basic driver installed for the network card that seems to work (using the intel card option). In fact, I can get it to print Attached to server AAAA using the NETX command and IPX protocol, where it must have pulled the name "AAAA" from the network since it's not configured anywhere. But I don't see how to actually do anything with it after that.

Any ideas appreciated.

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Maybe this one should be on ServerFault? – Damien Jan 6 '10 at 14:56
I did consider that, and a novell-specific question may yet go there, but at the moment this is still more about getting a basic DOS system to use a network. – Joel Coehoorn Jan 6 '10 at 15:28
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I vaguely recall the magic incantations required running a few programs in sequence like:


The Link Support Layer, loading the ODI driver for the card, running IPX over ODI drivers, and then finally NETX to connect to the Netware server. The trick would be to find DOS/Netware drivers for one of the five cards emulated by VirtualBox. Also apparently on Mac and Linux hosts, IPX is supported only through the wired (not wireless) interface.

EDIT: I see that you have everything up through NETX working. The server would appear mapped to like drive F:? Did you have to play with LASTDRIVE in CONFIG.SYS to get the redirector working?

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I had added a lastdrive command to config.sys and a first network drive to net.cfg, but I don't see any drive mappings. – Joel Coehoorn Jan 6 '10 at 15:16
Haha, thanks to your post I checked the config file again and I while I did have a lastdrive in there I noticed another (wrong) lastdrive above it that must have been added by another program. Still have work to do because I need a few specific folders mapped, but that solves one part. – Joel Coehoorn Jan 6 '10 at 15:22
If you need to use IP, there is Client32 for DOS still possible. NETX was first replaced with VLM that could do NDS logins not just bindery and finally was replaced with Client32 for DOS which could do NCP over IP. – geoffc Jan 7 '10 at 12:51
If lastdrive=e is not working for you, try drive letter [: (Not a smiley, open square bracket, and a colon). That is the letter after Z according to DOS. – geoffc Jan 7 '10 at 12:52

You can map NetWare folders in DOS with a NetWare requester loaded with MAP command, like


The utility itself is located in SYS:\PUBLIC

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