Invisible Software

What Happens When You Run the SETUP30 and NET30 Programs?


Among the various technical aspects of the InvisibleLAN Network Operating System, perhaps the least understood is what actually goes on "behind the scenes" when the SETUP30.EXE and NET30.EXE commands are run. This Technical Document will explain, in much detail, what processes actually occur and, thus, how you can load the network component by component should you have the need or desire to.

The information in this document pertains to the DOS and Windows 3.X version of InvisibleLAN. The Windows 95 version of InvisibleLAN has completely different installation and startup procedures.

The SETUP30.EXE Program

Long before typing the NET30 command for the first time on a given machine, you will be using the SETUP30 command to copy the files to the hard drive of the machine, create an Initialization File, add and/or change the configuration information, modify the CONFIG.SYS file, and save your Initialization File. No attempt will be made to explain every aspect of these processes, but some relatively obscure items will be discussed.

Copy Files to Hard Disk

This is really a very simple program, but there are a few points that are noteworthy:

Load/Create Initialization File

This option loads the Initialization File or creates one of the specified name if it does not already exist. This is the data file from which the network pulls specific configuration parameters as it loads. The default filename here is always NET30.INI. You can load or create a file with any valid name here, even one on a different computer, provided that you have an active mapping to that system. For technical support purposes, we highly recommend that the default filename be used for all computers in the network.

Note that the .INI file can be edited with any text editor. An explanation of each of the parameters in the .INI file is contained in the NETINI.TXT file in the README subdirectory. Use caution when editing the file manually -- errors may cause the NET30.EXE program to fail to run properly.

Easy Configuration / Advanced Configuration

The obvious differences between these two options are covered in the Installation Manual. These programs offer different choices according to the option files in the NET30 directory. In either the Easy Configuration screen, or in the Advanced Configuration, General Network Parameters screen, two fields are affected by the option files:

The NET30.EXE Program

The NET30.EXE program is essentially an intelligent batch file or program loader. An optional parameter can be added to the NET30 command line as follows:

NET30 <name> (such as in NET30 STEVE)

This command structure will load the network software using the parameters in the <name>.INI file. If no <name> file is specified, the NET30.EXE program will use the NET30.INI file in the same directory as the NET30.EXE command itself.

When NET30.EXE runs, it loads the various components in the Initialization File in a specific order. The load order is as follows:

Each of these components may also be loaded at the DOS prompt. The method of doing so will be discussed in the following sections.

The DOS SHARE command

Since SHARE is not an Invisible Software program, the provision for loading SHARE.EXE is provided as a convenience.

Early versions of DOS had no memory managers and, thus, no inherent ability to load programs into "shadow RAM" (upper memory). InvisibleLAN software provides the LSHADOW command for doing just that, which will be discussed later.

The SHARE command must be loaded:

When this option is chosen, NET30.EXE command will load the copy of SHARE.EXE found in the \NET30 directory (SHARE.EXE was copied to this directory by the SETUP30 program during installation -- this can also be done manually). Because of this, you must always copy the new version of SHARE.EXE to the network directory should you upgrade your DOS version. Failure to do this will result in an "Incorrect DOS version" error when the network attempts to load SHARE.

SHARE can be loaded manually by using the following syntax:

[LSHADOW] SHARE.EXE /F:<value> /L:<value>

If you decide to load SHARE manually, be sure this is done before loading any other components of the network.

Three factors decide the syntax of the command line parameters used, when NET30 loads the SHARE command. These are found in the Share Parameters screen (Advanced Configuration) of the SETUP30 program. They are:

The NetBIOS/TransBIOS Network Interface Adapter driver overlay

Though the name sounds rather forbidding, this overlay file is simply the portion of InvisibleLAN that allows the network card to communicate with the network software and the cards of the rest of the network. The loading of the driver also initiates a rudimentary test of the network card.

The NET30.EXE program chooses the appropriate overlay file from the network directory based on the choice made in "Network Hardware", either in the General Network Parameters screen of the Advanced Configuration (or in the Easy Configuration screen). It loads the overlay using the parameters of the Initialization File specified on the NET30 command line (or NET30.INI if none was specified). A complete list of supported network adapters along with the names of their associated overlay files can be found in the FLOPPY.TXT file, found in the README subdirectory of the network directory.

To load the NetBIOS/TransBIOS driver overlay file manually, do the following:


E2000YB (uses the NET30.INI file)

E2000YB STEVE (uses the STEVE.INI file)

The NetBIOS/TransBIOS driver will load and, if successful you'll see a line of data indicating the current operating parameters the card is using. Do not use a "load high" command with TransBIOS, because the TransBIOS automatically copies itself into shadow RAM if the "Use Shadow" parameter is set in the .INI file.

The InvisibleLAN Disk Cache overlay

When the Disk Cache is loaded by the NET30 command, the parameters are passed to the overlay by the NET30 command itself. The disk cache overlay does not gather its parameters by virtue of an Initialization File passed on the command line. Thus, in order to manually load the disk cache with other than its default parameters, you must issue any parameters on the command line.

When NET30 loads the cache, it selects from one of five overlay files, depending on choices made in the Initialization File. The questions (both from SETUP30) are:

As with the NetBIOS/TransBIOS overlays, in order to manually load the disk cache, you must copy the applicable overlay file to an executable. The names of the cache overlays, along with the conditions under which each is used, are as follows:

The optional parameters are as follows:

Further description of these parameters can be found under Cache Parameters in the Advanced Network Configuration Section of the InvisibleLAN Installation Manual.

Here's an example: suppose you want to load the disk cache for a Windows machine and have the cache data load to XMS memory, the code location to be Shadow, a cache size of 2 megabytes, and a write policy of Delayed-write. First copy the .OVL file to an .EXE and load the cache as follows:


WCACHE /E=2048 /S /W=2

As the cache loads, it will display its configuration information on the screen. Do not use a "load high" command with the cache, because the cache automatically copies itself into shadow RAM if the /S parameter is set.

An on-screen listing of the parameters can be obtained by typing the Cache executable name followed by "forward-slash, question mark" as in the following example:


Note that this will only function if the Cache is currently not installed.

The File Server Overlay

The InvisibleLAN File Server overlays are that part of the operating system that allow other machines to access the drives and printers of the machine its loaded on.

The Ultra Server is a special high-performance version of the file server that is loaded with its own overlay file. The loading of this overlay is similar to the loading of the other Server overlays and will be covered in the following sections. The special features and capabilities of the Ultra Server, however, will not be discussed here.

After the NET30.EXE program decides which Server overlay file to load, it considers three parameters in the .INI file.

The first parameter - the "Software Version" parameter found in either the Easy Configuration screen or in the General Network Parameters screen of the Advanced Configuration determines whether the Ultra Server overlay or one of the "standard" Server overlays is loaded. If Software Version is set to ULTRA_SERVER the USERVE.OVL will be loaded. If Software Version is set to STANDARD, one of the standard Server overlays is loaded.

If one of the Standard server overlays is to be run, NET30 checks three additional parameters in the .INI file:

The overlay filenames, and the parameters applicable to their usage, are:

As with the other overlays, to load a Server overlay manually (including the Ultra Server overlay), simply copy the .OVL file to an .EXE file and issue the name at the DOS prompt (or in a batch file) using the optional .INI filename. Do not use a "load high" command with the Server, because the Server automatically copies itself into shadow RAM if the "Use Shadow" parameter is set.

Special note on Ultra Server: because there can be no 386 protected-mode memory manager (such as DOS' EMM386) present when using Ultra Server, neither the USERVE.OVL or any other component of the network can be loaded "high" or into EMS memory when installing Ultra Server.

The Redirector Overlay

The InvisibleLAN Redirector is the component of the network operating system that allows you to "connect" to other computers' drives and printers.

When a redirector overlay loads, it "publishes" your machine name (found in the User Name field in Easy Configuration or the General Network Parameters screen of Advanced Configuration) on the network and attempts to establish any drive and/or printer mappings that you have entered in the Drive Mappings and Printer Mappings screens of Advanced Configuration.

There are six overlay files that can load the Redirector. When deciding which to load and how to load it, NET30.EXE considers four parameters from the Initialization file:

The files and selection criteria are:

Note that the Redirector cannot load to EMS memory when Windows is running, thus there are no EMS choices in the Windows versions of these overlays. This is a limitation of Windows and cannot be "fixed" by Invisible Software.

As with loading the NetBIOS/TransBIOS and Server overlays, to load a Redirector overlay manually, simply copy the .OVL file to an .EXE file and issue the name at the DOS prompt (or in a batch file) using the optional .INI filename. Do not use a "load high" command with the Redirector, because the Redirector automatically copies itself into shadow RAM if the "Use Shadow" parameter is set.

The Mail Overlay

The InvisibleLAN Mail overlay allows you to send and receive messages on the network, both from DOS and Windows. Note that the Bulletin Board (BBS) feature found in the Windows version of the product is always accessible - it does not rely on the Mail overlay being loaded to function.

There are four overlay files that can accomplish the loading of the Mail overlay. When deciding which to load and how to load it, NET30.EXE considers three parameters from the Initialization file:

The files and selection criteria are:

As in loading the NetBIOS/TransBIOS, Server, and Redirector overlays, to load a Mail overlay manually, simply copy the .OVL file to an .EXE file and give the command at the DOS prompt (or batch file) using the optional .INI filename. Do not use a "load high" command with the Mail overlay, because the Mail overlay automatically copies itself into shadow RAM if the "Use Shadow" parameter is set.

General Considerations

The ability to manually load the various components of the InvisibleLAN Network Operating System can be very helpful as a useful diagnostic tool.

Remember to be consistent when loading the overlays by hand. You need not choose all overlays that use EMS, nor use shadow RAM with every overlay you load. It is important that you use either all Windows or all non-Windows overlays. Failure to follow this recommendation will result in very unpredictable environments which may cause serious problems.

When passing the Initialization File name to an overlay that has been copied to an executable, be certain that the .INI file is in the same directory as the .EXE file -- there are no provisions made for including path information of the .INI file.

The NETDIAG command, which will not run under Windows 3.X, has an overlay file associated with it as well. If renamed to an .EXE, it will run in a DOS virtual machine of Windows, it is not intended, however, to be used in this manner. Do not run the NETDIAG.OVL file in Windows -- It will very likely destroy Windows' integrity.

The InvisibleLAN Memory Managers were originally provided as a feature of the InvisibleLAN software back when DOS provided no memory management of its own. These memory managers can not be loaded at the command line, but can be loaded using a DEVICE statement in the CONFIG.SYS. They do not take parameters from an Initialization File, but instead get their parameters either from the NET30 command or from the "DEVICE=" command line.


Notices: Copyright 1994 by Invisible Software, Inc. Invisible Software, InvisibleLAN, Ultra Server, and InvisibleLAN Remote are trademarks of Invisible Software, Inc. Other trademarks are the property of their respective holders.

This document was prepared on 08/10/94, and was believed to be accurate as of that date. Procedures, specifications, and compatibility may change without notice, and therefore this document may be out-of-date and/or inapplicable to current product versions. Invisible Software provides this document "AS IS" and without warranty of any kind. Under no circumstances shall this document be construed as creating or expanding any warranty of product performance.


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