ID:PX DESQview/X: Troubleshooting IPX Remote Computing
Quarterdeck Technical Note #253 Filename: DVXIPX.TEC
by Heather Kratt CompuServe: DVXIPX.ZIP
Last revised: 7/10/92 Category: DVX
Subject: Troubleshooting remote computing and file transfer with DESQview/X
and Novell's IPX transport.
THE DESQview/X TO DESQview/X NETWORK MANAGER
The DESQview/X Network Manager controls the remote computing aspects of
DESQview/X. It allows users on a DESQview/X-supported Novell Netware IPX/SPX
network to use programs and resources located on other systems, make programs
and resources of your machine available to other users, and transfer files
THE LIMITATIONS OF DESQview/X WITH IPX
With the IPX/SPX implementation, DESQview/X machines can only communicate with
other DESQview/X machines. TCP/IP implementations of the DESQview/X network
server allow you to communicate with non-DESQview/X machines.
It is required that communicating DESQview/X workstations be on the same
network segment, or concentrator. IPX/SPX consists of two protocols that make
up one driver. Since the release of Novell IPX/SPX version 3.1 the SPX
protocol can no longer communicate across concentrators whereas IPX still
can. DESQview/X uses the SPX protocol and, therefore, cannot communicate
Verify that your system and the remote system are on the same network
concentrator. To verify this type the following command after logging into
The following is an example of the information that will be displayed:
User Information for Server SUPPORT
Connection User Name Network Node Address Login Time
---------- -------------- -------- ------------ -------------------
1 WJONES [ 1CDFA] [ AA00107182] 7-10-1992 8:00 am
2 RSMITH [ 1CDFA] [ C0FE8528] 7-10-1992 8:30 am
The entry in the Network field represents the concentrator. The entries must
be identical in order for two systems to communicate with each other.
DESQview/X is limited to the use of 10 IPX connections, or sockets. This is
the default number of available connections for IPX. Although it is possible
to increase the number of connections for Netware IPX/SPX DESQview/X cannot
take advantage of it.
Although DESQview/X Setup is part of the Install procedure it is a distinct
program and you can run it at any time. The following Setup procedures should
be completed for both the local and remote systems before continuing with the
troubleshooting section of this document.
Run Setup outside of DESQview/X at the DOS command line. From the DVX
directory, type SETUP and press the ENTER key. Select "Advanced Setup" and
then select "Network Setup."
ENABLE NETWORK MANAGER:
Select "Type" and choose "Novell Netware IPX/SPX." You are then asked a
series of three questions:
1. Are remote users allowed to run programs from this machine?
2. Should remote users be able to transfer files to and from your machine?
3. Allow programs running on other machines to display on this machine?
Answering YES to these three questions enables the network services described
DESQview/X NETWORK SERVICES:
A service, also referred to as a daemon, is a resource that your computer
makes available to other computers and users on the network. To see what
services have been enabled, you may select "Advanced Network Setup" and then
select "Enable/Disable Services."
Are remote users allowed to run programs from this machine?
In order to allow a remote user to run a program on your system and display
the program on their system, you must answer YES to this question. The
service, or daemon, that will be enabled in Advanced Network Setup will be
"Run Program (No Password) shell."
Should remote users be able to transfer files to and from your machine?
In order to take advantage of the file transfer capabilities of DESQview/X's
File Manager, you must answer YES to this question. The service, or daemon,
that will be enabled in "Advanced Network Setup" will be "Transfer Files
Allow programs running on other machines to display on this machine?
In order to run a program from a remote system and display it on your system,
you must answer YES to this question. The service, or daemon, that will be
enabled in Advanced Network Setup will be "Display Remote Programs XServer."
You can specify which users have access to your system and their rights. In
order for a remote system to be able to run a program from your system, have
file transfer capabilities or be able to display a program on your system, you
need to add that user to your system users list.
From the Network Setup screen, select "Add or Update System Users." Before
adding any users, you must first enter your user name. Then enter the user
name that you would like to add to your system and press ENTER. By default,
any new user that is added will have access to all available DVPs and file
THE HOSTS FILE:
When you installed the DESQview/X Network Manager, Simple Setup was run. You
were then asked to assign a hostname to your system. The hostname is the name
that others will use to contact your system. This established the first line
in your HOSTS file.
The HOSTS file contains the IP addresses and hostnames of users on the
network. The hostname, or alias, is simply another way to refer to a system
rather than by its IP (Internet Protocol) address.
To edit the HOSTS file, select "Manage Host List" from the Network Setup menu
and then select "Edit Local Host List." This will display the host file that
is being used by the Network Manager which is, by default, located in the
\DVX\NETWORK directory. The hostname and IP address of the remote system
should be in this file. There should also be an entry with your hostname and
IP address followed by "localhost" in this file. If not, you may correct it
at this time. The following is a sample HOSTS file:
* 22.214.171.124 wjones localhost
The entry for your local system must be followed by "localhost." There can
only be one entry in the HOSTS file with "localhost." The entry preceded by
an asterisk (*) represents the local system's IP address and hostname.
Exit DESQview/X Setup and save changes.
TROUBLESHOOTING REMOTE COMPUTING PROBLEMS:
Before reading this section, you should have already completed the procedures
described in the DESQview/X Setup section above.
Before proceeding with the following troubleshooting procedures, it is best to
remove any unnecessary drivers and TSRs from both your CONFIG.SYS and
AUTOEXEC.BAT files. This will insure that your system boots with no potential
device conflicts and makes troubleshooting your network setup easier. Please
note that the changes to these files are only temporary.
The following is a sample CONFIG.SYS file:
DEVICE=C:\QEMM\QEMM386.SYS RAM ST:M
The following is a sample AUTOEXEC.BAT file:
Reboot the system and continue to Step I.
Step I: TEST THE UNDERLYING NETWORK
Because IPX will not usually give an error message when it loads if it is not
working correctly you need to test this. To do this you should be able to
log on to your server and run programs from it reliably. This test should be
completed while DESQview/X is NOT running and should be completed for both the
local and the remote systems.
DESQview/X has no requirements for the communicating systems to be logged on
to the network, so if you wish, you may load only the IPX/SPX layer and do not
then need to load the Netware shell.
After you have verified that you can log on to the server, unload the NET
driver by typing LOGOUT at the DOS prompt. Do this for both the local and
You may continue to Step II.
If you are using IPXODI, verify that you are not using the "A" option. This
stops IPXODI from providing SPX connectivity. In order to work with IPXODI
you must remove the "A" parameter from the IPXODI line in the batch file that
is used to start the network. By default, this batch file is called
If you were not able to log on to the server successfully you should contact
either your network administrator or the network vendor's technical support.
Step II: THE QCONNECT COMMAND
Start DESQview/X by typing DVX and pressing Enter.
Before attempting to run a program from another system or display a program on
another system, you should first verify a connection. DESQview/X's QCONNECT
program can be used to prove that a remote DESQview/X system is up and running
and prepared to accept X-Server connection requests. In order to use
QCONNECT, Select "Open Window" from the main DESQview/X menu. Select "DOS
Window." From the DVX directory, type:
where RSMITH is the hostname of the remote system.
If the remote system is running DESQview/X and the XServer daemon, mentioned
above, has been enabled in Network Setup, QCONNECT will report "Available".
You may continue to Step III.
If the remote system is not running DESQview/X or the XServer daemon,
mentioned above, has not been enabled in Network Setup QCONNECT will report
"Unavailable or Busy". Verify the following:
A. The remote system is running DESQview/X.
B. The IPX driver is loaded on the remote system.
C. The Network Manager is enabled in DESQview/X Setup on the remote
D. Both systems are on the same network logical segment.
If you receive a message stating "Unknown Host", verify the following:
A. The IP address and hostname of the remote system should be in the HOSTS
file. Verify the connection using the IP address, rather than the
hostname, as follows:
where 126.96.36.199 is the IP address of the remote system.
If you are able to establish a connection by using the IP address in place
of the hostname, then there is most likely no entry for that remote system
in your hosts file, or the entry is incorrect.
This file can be edited through DESQview/X Setup. Refer to the DESQview/X
Setup section above, titled THE HOSTS FILE, for more information.
B. It is also possible that there is an entry in the HOSTS file which is
incorrect that is causing a problem. There can only be one entry in the
HOSTS file with "localhost" and that should be the entry for your local
In order to avoid conflicts, rename the HOSTS file to HOSTS.OLD. The
HOSTS file, by default, is located in the \DVX\NETWORK directory. Create
a new HOSTS file. This HOSTS file should only contain two lines: one
entry for the local system and one entry for the remote system. Refer to
the DESQview/X Setup section above, titled THE HOSTS FILE, for an example
Step III: TESTING LOCAL SERVICES
To open a DOS window on your machine via the network process, type the
following command at the DOS prompt from within your current DOS window:
RSH WJONES DOS
where WJONES is the hostname of your local system and DOS is the DVP for the
program that you would like to run. DVPs are DESQview/X's program information
files. For more information on DVPs refer to the DESQview/X User's Guide.
Please note that Appendix A of the DESQview/X to DESQview/X Network Manager
contains a misprint. The syntax for the RSH command is incorrect. All
references to "other machine name" should actually be "user name".
If the DOS window opened successfully, type EXIT and press ENTER at the DOS
prompt. This will close the window and return you to the original DOS window.
You may continue to Step IV.
If the DOS window fails to open, verify the following:
A. Both of the following Network Services should be enabled in
Run Program (No Password) shell
Display Remote Programs XServer
Repeat these same steps on the remote system. Once both systems have a DOS
window running you have verified that the DESQview/X network process is
operating correctly on both systems.
If the DOS window still fails to open type the following command at the
ICO -DISPLAY RSMITH:0
where RSMITH is the hostname of the remote system and ICO is the DVP for the
X program that you would like to run.
This will eliminate the RSH daemon from the test by running an X program and
piping its display to the other machine. If this works then the problem lies
in the RSH daemon itself.
Use DVPMAN to edit the DVP for RSH and increase the memory size. From the
\DVX\DVPS directory type the following command:
After pressing Enter, the program information file for RSH will appear.
Increase the "Memory Size" field to 60k (the default is 30k) and press Enter
to save and exit. Repeat the procedures in Step III.
Step IV: TEST NETWORK CONNECTIVITY
Run a DOS window on your system and display it on the remote system by typing
the following command from within your current DOS window:
RUN DOS -DISPLAY
RUN DOS -DISPLAY RSMITH:0
where RSMITH is the hostname of the remote system and DOS is the DVP for the
program that you would like to run.
If the DOS window opened successfully, you may continue to Step V.
If you are unable to establish a connection, check the following:
1. AVAILABLE SOCKETS:
The Network Manager diagnostic screen will help you to determine the
number of sockets in use and the number of sockets available. To display
the diagnostic screen:
Select Open Window from DESQview/X menu.
Select DESQview/X Setup.
Select Advanced Setup.
Select Network Setup.
Select Advanced Network Setup.
Select Control Network Manager.
Enter the name of the Security Administrator.
Choose Select Diagnostic Settings.
Press the SPACEBAR to toggle setting to ENABLED.
The Network Manager diagnostic screen will appear.
Each of the lines on the grid represents a dedicated network connection.
Lines with the "Service" field specified indicate connections dedicated to
network services. Lines with the "Peer" field specified indicate
connections currently dedicated to a network connection.
The "Open/Total" field on this screen indicates the number of network
connections currently dedicated and the total number of connections
available. An asterisk (*) present in this field indicates that the user
has reached the network resource limit. Connections may have been lost
due to insufficient resources.
If all sockets are in use you will not be able to make any new network
connections. If this is the case you should try to increase the
available connections by disabling any unneeded network services. Every
network service enabled allocates network resources that may result in
fewer available network connections. For testing purposes we only need
to enable three services at this time: shell, ftp, and XServer.
Repeat the procedures in Step IV.
2. NO NETWORK SETUP:
Exit DESQview/X. Type "Setup" from the DVX directory. Select "Advanced
Setup" and then select "Network Setup." Select type and choose None. Exit
DESQview/X Setup and save changes. Start DESQview/X by typing DVX and
pressing ENTER. Select "Open Window" from the DESQview/X main menu and
choose "DOS Window." From the \DVX\NETWORK directory, type:
NSSPX /D1 /C.
This may give you more memory and more sockets. It will give you a live
diagnostic screen which will update itself anytime there is activity. If
you are able to establish a connection use DVPMAN to increase the memory
in the RSHSTRT DVP. Repeat the procedures in Step IV.
3. DESQview/X COMMON MEMORY:
Common memory is used in DESQview/X to store system and window
information. A larger reserved common memory pool will allow you
to open more DESQview/X windows. To examine how much common memory
is in use, select "Toolbox" from the DESQview/X Open menu. Select
"Memory Status." If the "Largest Available Common Memory" field
reports less than 2048 (2Kb), you should increase the size of the
common memory pool. To do this select "Open Window" and then
select "Toolbox." Select "DESQview/X Setup." Select "Advanced
Setup." Select "Tune Performance". Select "Common Memory". The
default amount on common memory is 30k. Increase the amount to
40k. Repeat the procedures in Step IV.
4. DESQview/X NETWORK BUFFER:
The network buffer is used only when virtualizing networks. The
default size of the network buffer is 20k. If you have decreased
the size of the buffer in order to save memory you should set it
back to 20k. Increasing the size of the network buffer can improve
performance of network specific applications.
5. THE XHOST PROGRAM AND XHOSTS FILE:
By default if you have enabled the ability to use remote programs any
remote system can send the display of a program to your system. You may
restrict this feature without disabling the use of remote programs. This
can be done with either the XHOST program or XHOSTS file. To enable or
disable any or all users from displaying a program on your system you
could use the XHOST command during any DESQview/X session. If you
were unable to connect to the remote system, verify that the user
has not restricted your access rights. You can re-enable your
rights by typing the following command at the \DVX\BIN directory on
the remote system:
where WJONES is your hostname.
You could also create a text file called XHOSTS which is located in the
\DVX\SERVER directory. This file contains a list of hosts that have
access to your display. DESQview/X reads this file at startup. Verify
that the remote host that you are trying to connect to does not have an
XHOSTS file. If they do you will need to add your user name to that list
and restart DESQview/X on the remote system before you can display any
programs on that system. Repeat the procedures in Step IV.
Step V: CONNECT TO A REMOTE HOST
Contact the remote system and request it to start a DOS process and direct the
resulting display output to your system by typing the following command from
within your current DOS window:
RSH RSMITH DOS -DISPLAY WJONES:0
where RSMITH is the hostname of the remote system, DOS is the name of the DVP
for the program you would like to run, and WJONES is the name of your local
If the DOS window opened successfully, type EXIT and press ENTER at the DOS
prompt. This will close the window and return you to the original DOS window.
You may continue to Step VI.
If the DOS window failed to display on your machine, check the following:
1. USER LIST:
If a user has not added you to their user list in DESQview/X Setup you
will not be able to run a program on their system and display it on your
system. You also won't be able to display a program on their system.
You will get an error message similar to the following:
"Access denied. 'hostname' is an unknown user."
Refer to the DESQview/X Setup section above, titled Adding Users, for more
Step VI: FILE TRANSFER
File Manager is a DESQview/X Companion and allows you to transfer files
between remote systems.
To transfer a file from your local system to a remote system do the following:
Select Open Window from the DESQview/X menu.
Select File Manager.
Enter the Remote Host Name and your user name.
The local drive is now displayed in the left box, and the remote drive is
displayed in the right box. Select a file from the local system that you
would like to transfer to the remote system. Select Move. The file has now
been transferred to the remote system. For more information on File Manager
and its capabilities refer to your DESQview/X Companions manual.
The FTP command line option is not included with the standard DESQview/X
package. This program is part of the DESQview/X to Other X systems Network
Manager (which provides support for Novell's Lan Workplace for DOS, and FTP
Software's PC/TCP product). If you have purchased this option, FTP will work
with IPX/SPX networks as well.
If you still experience remote computing problems with DESQview/X running
IPX/SPX, verify the following:
1. Both machines must be running DESQview/X and IPX/SPX.
2. Both machines must be on the same logical segment of the network.
3. Both machines must have the Network Manager enabled by selecting a
network type in DESQview/X Setup.
4. Both machines must have a hosts file which contains their
localhost name and IP address and the remote machine.
5. Both machines must give remote users access by adding them to their
user's list in DESQview/X Setup.
6. Both machines should be able successfully to log on to the network
server and reliably run programs from it before attempting to do
remote computing with DESQview/X.
If you are still experiencing problems after following the troubleshooting
procedures in this document you should contact Quarterdeck's Technical Support
for further assistance. Before contacting us please have the output of
USERLIST /A for the local and remote machines. Also make note of which step
you were at in the troubleshooting procedures when you experienced a problem.
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*This technical note may be copied and distributed freely as long as it*
*is distributed in its entirety and it is not distributed for profit. *
* Copyright (C) 1992 by Quarterdeck Office Systems *
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