Contents of the PREFER.DOC file
On a network with several file servers any network workstation
can log in to any server on the same network, provided of course,
that they have an account on that server. One can get a list of
the available servers on the network by typing SLIST at the
prompt when in the LOGIN directory.
The design of Novell's Netware workstation software (NET3) is
such that when it loads into the PC, it scans its Ethernet
connection for any available server on the network, not
necessarily the server that is associated with that workstation.
This function, called "Get Nearest Server", allows the PC to
attach the least busiest server to get its LOGIN directory and
necessary login files. The user is not aware that the PC may be
attached to any server on the network at this point. In order for
the user to log in to the correct server, the server name must be
associated with the login command: LOGIN servername/username.
Problems with multiple-server networks
When a workstation attaches to the first available server, even
though the user may log in to another server, there still exists
a hidden connection to the first server. In most cases this may
never affect the user. But under certain conditions, if that
first server should halt or somehow become disconnected from the
network, it can actually crash any workstation that initially
attached to it, even though the user has no formal connection
with it any more.
With independent codes and departments sharing the same network,
the probability of different version servers can exist. In
NAVSEA's case there are two servers on the network that are two
versions older than the rest. If a workstation attaches to one of
these, and then tries to log in to a later version server, the
older version LOGIN program that the workstation will use may not
be able to understand some of the newer server's system login
script commands. Although this problem will not crash the
workstation, the login script will abort before completion and
may not completely set the workstation up for the newer server's
Both of these problems can be fixed with the use of the PREFER
program. It is a simple program that can be copied to the
workstation's network driver subdirectory and included in the
AUTOEXEC.BAT file immediately after NET3 is executed. PREFER
breaks ALL connections with the server that NET3 attaches to and
establishes new connections with a user specified server. From
that point on the login directory, login utilities, and all
dependent connections are from the desired server.
If it is the user's intention to ATTACH to other servers after
logging in, dependent connections will be established to that
server until it is logged out.
PREFER is simply used by entering the command "PREFER servername"
at the prompt or within a batch file, where "servername" is the
user's desired server.
If PREFER is invoked without a server name it will do nothing and
return to the DOS prompt.
If PREFER is invoked with a server name where the dependent
connections are already established, it will indicate such and
return to the DOS prompt.
If PREFER is invoked after the user has logged in, and the new
server name is different from the old server name, the user will
be logged out of the old server when the new connections are
The prefer program file is PREFER.EXE. It can be invoked at the
command line or in a batch file, but cannot be invoked from a
system or user login script.
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