Generally speaking, computers don’t know how to access the various resources on your network. Each workstation OS (such as DOS and Windows 95/98, for example) knows how to access only its own local resources (such as local printers and local disk storage). For this reason, network operating systems use various methods to enable workstations to access network resources.
Windows 95/98 computers can use both the various built-in software clients and third-party client software to achieve network connectivity. As a network administrator, you’ll need to tailor the connection software to your network. This is known as proper client selection.
Once the client and the server are communicating, the PC can connect to network directories. Drive mappings allow reproducible connections from the local workstation to a network drive. Additionally, local print jobs on the PC are redirected instead of being sent out of a physical LPT port.
The job is then sent to a network printer. This is achieved through printer port captures. Let’s look at each of these in detail.
A workstation communicates with the server over a certain protocol using client software. The protocol might be IPX/SPX (Internet Packet eXchange/Sequenced Packet eXchange), TCP/IP, or NetBEUI. Protocols are separate from the client software, but in some instances, the installation of protocols is integrated into the installation of client software. In Windows 95/98, installed protocols and clients are listed together. To display a listing of the protocol(s) and client(s) currently installed, follow these steps:
Installed clients are listed in the Configuration tab, at the top of the list above installed protocols and network adapters.
Installing the Windows 95/98 and NT/2000 Client
Not surprisingly, Windows 95/98 comes with a client to connect to Microsoft servers and PCs. The Client for Microsoft Networks is the preferred client to access Microsoft networks. You also need this client to run the server tools for Windows NT/2000 on a Windows 95/98 computer to be able to perform domain administrative tasks. Additionally, the network administrator will also have to authenticate (provide username and password at a login screen) again when using the server tools versions of administrative utilities on a Windows 95/98 machine. Therefore, the best combination for a network administrator’s desktop machine is Windows NT/2000 Workstation or Server with the Client for Microsoft Networks.
Follow these steps to install the Microsoft Client for Networks on a Windows 95/98 computer:
Installing the NetWare Client
You have two options for setting up user workstations to connect to a NetWare network:
The one you select depends on your network and users. If you have a predominantly Windows NT network, the Microsoft client might better fit your needs. If you have a NetWare network or a hybrid network with a substantial Novell base, you need to use the Novell client; the latest version is available from Novell. Stay away from the clients distributed with Microsoft Windows 95/98 and NT/2000.
You can find the Novell Client for NetWare on the following:
What happens when you lose connectivity with your NetWare server and you need to install client software? If you are using IPX/SPX without a web proxy server, downloading the software from the Novell website is out. Many companies place software media under lock and key and require support staff to install from the network. If that is the case with your company, that cuts out installing from CDs and floppies. The SYS volume is useless if you can’t access the server. To avoid these problems, place a copy of the client installation software on your local PC the first time you connect to a NetWare server.
Don’t forget about yourself. The best combination for the network administrator’s computer is a Windows 95/98 or NT/2000 operating system with the Novell NetWare Client. Novell Directory Services (NDS) takes care of authentication, thus addressing network security. Use Windows NT/2000 if you want additional security on your local machine. As an administrator, you have no choice about the client. Without Novell’s client, you will not get the full functionality of the NetWare Administrator utility, and besides, Novell’s client is free.
To install the Novell Client for NetWare on a Windows 95/98 computer, follow these steps:
Installing the UNIX client
Windows 95/98 needs the client portion of the Network File System (NFS) to connect to the UNIX NFS. If a computer has this client installed,NFS Client—or similar wording—will appear in the listing in the Network dialog box.
The client portion of NFS is currently available only from third-party vendors. No NFS client is distributed with Windows 95/98 or NT/2000. Two popular NFS client vendors are Sun and NetManage. Sun Microsystems offers server and client products for connectivity from a UNIX server to a PC. Its client-based product is Solstice NFS Client. NetManage offers several products, including Chameleon UNIX Link. You should select the vendor and product based on your individual needs and budget and after evaluating the demo software. Since third-party options tend to be more popular than their primary vendor counterparts, we’re going to demonstrate the installation of NetManage’s Chameleon.
To install the NetManage Chameleon UNIX Link on a Windows 95/98 PC, follow these steps:
Selecting a Primary Client
Now you have connections to your NT, NetWare, and UNIX servers. Next, you must determine which one will be the primary client on your Windows 95/98 machines. The first question you must ask yourself is, Which servers do your users most often access? For your CAD/CAM engineers, it may be UNIX; for web design, it could be either NT or NetWare. Each user will want their favorite servers to appear first in the Network Neighborhood. As an administrator, you will want to gain quick access to the network you spend the most time managing. The network administrator can set a primary type of client to speed access and searches.
To set a primary client on a Windows 95/98 PC, follow these steps:
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