Attaching an OS/2 PC to a Windows Network

Attaching a PC running OS/2 to a network of Windows PCs is not a great deal different from the setup of the Windows PCs on the network in the first place.

The most difficult part of the setup is locating a network card for the OS/2 PC that has suitable OS/2 drivers available so that it can be configured for OS/2 to use the card. The best thing to do here is to purchase a card that has the required OS/2 drivers in the box with the card. Other cards may have drivers available that can be downloaded off of the internet but there are a few traps here as cards are not always what they seem, for example there are two different versions of the D-Link DFE-530TX card but only the earlier version of the card will work with the only available driver that I could find. Obviously, whatever card that you get will need to support the same physical networking protocol as the existing network (Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, or Token Ring).

The next thing to keep in mind is that OS/2 only supports file and print sharing using Netbios so the Windows PCs will need to have the NetBEUI protocol installed if they are to share files and/or printers with the OS/2 PC. You may also want to have TCP/IP protocol installed on the windows PCs as well as you will need this if you intend to install internet services. Each of these services (along with a few others) can be separately installed onto the OS/2 PC from the system setup, install networking option. You will need to have the original OS/2 install disk to carry out this installation and will also need to reapply any fix packs that were previously installed after the installation.

OS/2 (like Windows NT/2000) requires that you logon to the network in order to be able to access files on the OS/2 PC. Unlike NT, OS/2 does not require that you logon in order to run OS/2 locally but OS/2 does require that you logon if attempting to access files across the network.

You can logon to the network from the OS/2 PC from Connections, Network, and then start the services that you require. Once you have logged on for file and printer sharing you can make files shareable by right clicking the file, folder, disk, or printer and selecting sharing from the menu. To access disks or folders on another PC you will need to assign them a drive letter (which you can do when you log on to the network), the other user must have first made the disk or folder shareable before you can attach to it.

Sharing can be set to read/write, read only, or can be customized by user. Note that if you have logged on to both the OS/2 PC and another PC using the same userid and password that the other PC will have full read/write access to the shared disks or folders even if they have been set to read only for other users.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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