Learn Windows XP Professional in 15 Minutes a Week: NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol

Learn Windows XP Professional in 15 Minutes a Week: NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol


October 24, 2002

by Jason Zandri
www.2000trainers.com


Welcome to this week's installment of 'Learn Windows XP Professional in 15 minutes a week,' the 17th article in this series. This article will cover the NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol.

NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol

The NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol is Microsoft's implementation of Novell's Internetwork Packet Exchange/Sequenced Packet Exchange (IPX/SPX) protocol.

Windows clients can be configured to use NWLink to access client and server applications running on Novell NetWare servers or on intranets where IPX/SPX or NWLink is the protocol of choice. Windows clients running NWLink and the Client Service for NetWare or NWLink and Gateway Service for NetWare can connect to NetWare servers and use their file and print services.

NetWare clients can access client and server applications running on Windows 2000 servers by using the protocol as well. NetWare clients running IPX with NetBIOS, Named Pipes, or Windows Sockets can connect to systems running Windows 2000 with NWLink installed and use applications and services on those systems. NetWare clients running IPX can also connect to systems running Windows 2000 Server with NWLink and File and Print Services for NetWare installed for file and print services.

NWLink supports Winsock and NetBIOS over IPX networking application programming interfaces (APIs), which provide interprocess communication (IPC) services.

Winsock supports existing NetWare applications written to comply with the NetWare IPX/SPX Sockets interface and NetBIOS over IPX supports communication between NetWare clients running NetBIOS and systems running Windows XP Professional and NWLink NetBIOS

In order for any of this to occur on an intranet, the NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol must be installed and properly configured on the Windows XP Professional system.

[NOTES FROM THE FIELD] - NWLink is not installed by default during the installation of any of the current Windows client and server operating systems. By default, you must be a member of the Administrators group to install protocols on any given system.

Windows 95 installed NWLink by default during the operating system installation.


Page 2: Installing NWLink



Installing NWLink

There are a number of different ways to go about beginning the installation of NWLink on a Windows XP Professional system. All of the methods end up bringing you to Network Connections.

The easiest way to go about it is to right click My Network Places from the Start Menu and select Properties.



[NOTES FROM THE FIELD] - I'm sure long time readers are sick of this, but I can't mention it enough -- what your Start Menu options look like all depend on how you have the menu set. If you are using the Classic Start Menu, you would not see My Network Places as a selection to right click on.

I seem to continually repeat this from article to article, but it is important to stress, the Windows XP Professional exam rarely tests you on Classic anything. You need to know how to get from Windows XP Professional settings to Classic and back, but in 90% of the cases you're going to find instructions laid out in the Windows XP Professional vein. I will do my best to point out alternatives in the [NOTES FROM THE FIELD] section as I have done here.

Once you have opened the Properties of My Network Places, you will see the Network Connections box, as shown below.



In order to add the protocol from here you would need to right click the installed LAN adapter and select Properties.



Click on Install to open the Select Network Component Type. Since we want to install a protocol, we will select Protocol and click Add.



Next you will see the Select Network Protocol window where you will be able to select NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol. Once you have done this and clicked OK, the protocol will be installed.



[NOTES FROM THE FIELD] - Windows XP does not require you to restart the computer after you install new protocols MOST of the time. What you may find that you need to do is Disable and then Enable the network adapter to finalize all the settings. When it is practical, you should restart the system. If you have connectivity issues with the newly installed protocol, or even the currently installed ones, you're not going to be able to be sure where to start troubleshooting if you haven't rebooted the system.


Page 3: Configuring NWLink



Configuring NWLink

Once NWLink has been installed you need to properly configure it. By default, NWLink automatically detects the frame type used on the LAN because it is set to auto detect the network frame type. If NWLink detects no network traffic or if multiple frame types are detected as in use, NWLink sets the frame type to 802.2.

Each frame type on a IPX network formats data differently for transmission and the different types are incompatible with each other. Multiple frame types can be used, but in order for all computers on a network to successfully communicate with one another, they must use the same frame type.

You can determine which external network number, frame type, and internal network number your routers are using by typing ipxroute config at a command prompt.

IPXroute.exe is a command-line utility that allows Administrators to modify the NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol (NWLink) settings that affect routing. The Ipxroute utility provides the same functionality as the Route.exe command-line utility that is supplied by Novell for its MS-DOS-based clients.

The Ipxroute utility manages the source routing variables of NWLink and is installed only if the NWLink transport protocol is bound to a network adapter.

Any changes made with IPXroute are valid for the current session only. When you log off, the settings are lost. To permanently change NWLink settings, you must set them in the registry.

H:\>ipxroute config

NWLink IPX Routing and Source Routing Control Program v2.00


Num Name Network Node Frame
================================================================
1. IpxLoopbackAdapter 1234cdef 000000000002 [802.2]
2. Local Area Connection 00000000 006097dead6b [EthII]
3. NDISWANIPX 00000000 9a2f20524153 [EthII] -

Legend
======
- down wan line

NWLink IPX Routing and Source Routing Control Program v2.00 is included in Windows 2000 and Windows XP displays and modifies information about the routing tables used by IPX.

H:\>ipxroute

NWLink IPX Routing and Source Routing Control Program v2.00

DEFault Node (Unknown) Addresses are sent SINGLE ROUTE BROADCAST

Broadcast (FFFF FFFF FFFF) Addresses are sent SINGLE ROUTE BROADCAST

Multicast (C000 xxxx xxxx) Addresses are sent SINGLE ROUTE BROADCAST


IPX Routing Options
-------------------

IPXROUTE servers [/type=xxxx]


Servers displays the SAP table for the specified server type. Server type is a 16-bit integer value. If no type is specified, servers of all types are shown. The displayed list is sorted by server name.

IPXROUTE ripout network


Ripout discovers the reachability of "network" (specified in host order) by consulting the IPX Stack's route table and sending out a rip request if necessary.

IPXROUTE resolve guid|name adapter-name


Resolve resolves the name of the given adapter to its guid or friendly version.

Source Routing Options
----------------------

IPXROUTE board=n clear def gbr mbr remove=xxxxxxxxxxxx
IPXROUTE config

  • board=n - Specifies the board number to check
  • clear - Clears the source routing table
  • def - Sends packets that are destined for an unknown address to the ALL ROUTES broadcast (default is SINGLE ROUTE broadcast)
  • gbr - Sends packets that are destined for the broadcast address (FFFF FFFF FFFF) to the ALL ROUTES broadcast (default is SINGLE ROUTE broadcast)
  • mbr - Sends packets that are destined for a multicast address (C000 xxxx xxxx) to the ALL ROUTES broadcast (default is SINGLE ROUTE broadcast)
  • remove=xxxx - Removes the given mac address from the source routing table
  • config - Displays information on all the bindings that IPX is configured for

All parameters should be separated by spaces.


Page 4: Configuring NWLink (Continued)



You can manually configure the frame type you wish to use by right clicking the adapter you want to configure and going to the properties page.




On the General tab of the property page for the adapter you would select the NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol and click the Properties button.



On the General tab of the property page for the protocol you can manually select a frame type from the drop down window in the Adapter section.

[NOTES FROM THE FIELD] - Windows XP does not require you to restart the computer after you change the frame type MOST of the time. What you may find that you need to do is to Disable and then Enable the network adapter to finalize all the settings, as the system may not have "let go" of the auto-configured frame type. When it is practical, you should restart the system. If you have connectivity issues with the newly set frame type, or even other currently installed protocols, you're not going to be able to be sure where to start troubleshooting if you haven't rebooted the system.

On Ethernet networks, the standard frame type for NetWare 2.2 and NetWare 3.11 is 802.3. For NetWare 3.12 and later, the default is 802.2.

The different network topologies and the frame types supported by NWLink are outlined in the table below.

Ethernet supports Ethernet II, 802.3, 802.2, and Subnetwork Access Protocol (SNAP), which defaults to 802.2
Token Ring supports 802.5 and SNAP
Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) supports 802.2 and SNAP

That's a wrap for this week. Be sure to check back next week for the next article in this series.

In the meantime, best of luck in your studies and please feel free to contact me with any questions on my column and remember,


"Married people may in fact live longer than single people, but it seems that they are more willing to die."


Jason Zandri
www.2000trainers.com