OS/2 Technical Support - General Networking

Things common to these help files:

The disk drive specification d: is used in all the examples. Replace d: with the drive letter of your OS/2 boot disk.

LAN = Local Area Network
MAC = Medium Access Control
MPTS = Multi-Protocol Transport System
NDIS = Network Driver Interface Specification
NIC = Network Interface Controller
WAN = Wide Area Network

The difference between PEER and TCP/IP

PEER is used for file sharing, printer sharing, and COM port sharing. With PEER you can map a drive on another system to a drive letter on your system. You can similarly map printers and COM ports. You can also setup ACL (Access Control Lists) that allow or disallow access to certain resources for certain users.

TCP/IP is the protocol used on the Internet. To actually transfer data other protocols are layered on top of TCP/IP. To access a file on another machine you would use a program called FTP and commands like GET and PUT to access the file. To transfer web pages you use a web browser which implements HTTP. There are programs that allow printing on remote machines (lpr) and executing programs on remote machines (telnet).

When you run MPTS (Adapters and Protocol Services) and install or configure an adapter, you have the option of installing several protocols. The two most common protocols for SOHO systems are NETBIOS and TCP/IP. (I do not recommend NETBIOS over TCP/IP.) PEER networking uses the NETBIOS (NETBEUI) protocol, so when you add the NETBIOS protocol, you are enabling PEER networking. The internet uses TCP/IP, so when you add the TCP/IP protocol, you are enabling TCP/IP and potentially Internet traffic. These two protocols are independent of each other, have nothing to do with each other, do not depend on each other, and do not affect each other. You can run one, the other, or both on an adapter. You could also install two adapters in your machine and run one protocol on the first adapter, and another protocol on the second adapter, or both protocols on the second adapter, or any combination.

Here is a list of some of the commands that relate to each protocol. This may help you identify which protocol stack you are accessing when you run the various commands.

net use
net view
net *anything*
Shared Resources and Network Connections
File and Print Client Resource Browser

When troubleshooting it is important to remember that just because one protocol works does not mean that the other will work. For example, just because you can successfully ping another machine does not mean that you can map a network drive or print to it using PEER. PEER (NETBIOS) is a completely separate protocol and ping has nothing to do with it. The only thing the two protocols may have in common is the adapter.

Installing a network card

Installing a new network card into an OS/2 system is really very easy. Only 2 files are required: The_Driver.OS2 and The_Driver.NIF. Unfortunately, finding these files can be somewhat trying. To make matters even worse, some vendors don't get the format of the .NIF file correct, So even if you have the files, the installation may not work because the format the .NIF file is wrong. Perhaps the vendor's install program is supposed to fix this problem, but many times that program is DOS based or won't run properly. I have found that it is better not to try to use it.

Finding the driver files

When looking for the OS/2 driver files, look on the supplied disk, or the vendor's web site for NDIS drivers or LANSERVER drivers, and then find the 2 files ending in .OS2 and .NIF. Normally I find these 2 files in 2 separate directories (who knows why they are not together, but so be it). Sometimes the .NIF file is not named the same as the driver. For example, on the Intel 100b driver disk, the driver is named E100B.OS2 and the .NIF file is named E100BEO2.NIF. I like the .OS2 file and the .NIF file to have the same base name so I can keep track of them. So I renamed E100BEO2.NIF to E100B.NIF.

Installing the driver files

Simply copy the .OS2 and the .NIF files to d:\IBMCOM\MACS. When you run MPTS, it reads all the .NIF files in this directory and uses the information inside these files to present a list of all the available drivers.

Installing the driver itself

Once you have these two files in place, you actually make the driver active by using MPTS, also known as "Adapters and Protocol Services" in the System Setup folder. ICON When this program starts, click on "Configure". When the next dialog pops up, make sure "LAN adapters and protocols" is selected and click on "Configure". In the "Current Configuration" window, you should have one adapter section for each physical adapter in your system. Then each adapter should have the appropriate protocols attached to them. The two protocols you are interested in are "IBM OS/2 NETBIOS", and "IBM TCP/IP". If you want to do PEER networking, you need the "IBM OS/2 NETBIOS" protocol. If you want TCP/IP (Internet) networking, you need the "IBM TCP/IP" protocol. On my system I do PEER networking and TCP/IP (Internet) networking on the same adapter, so my system looks like this:


When you have this dialog setup the way you want, click "OK", then "Close", then "Exit".

Setting up an Ethernet network

There are two basic types of ethernet media that the SOHO operator will encounter. 10base2, also known as "thin wire" or "coax", and 10baseT, also known as "twisted pair", or "unshielded twisted pair" (UTP). The twisted pair connections can run at 10Mhz (10baseT) or 100Mhz (100baseT). Most 100Mhz cards today auto switch between 100Mhz and 10Mhz depending on what you plug them into.

A typical coax network will look like this:
You must have exactly two terminators, one on each end of the cable.

With twisted pair, you need a hub if you are connecting more than 2 computers together:
Sometimes the hub has a coax connector on it so you can also connect to a coax network. If you are not using this connector it should be disabled (if possible on the particular unit) or properly terminated. This means it needs exactly 2 terminators connected to it as if it was actually connected to a real network. You can put 2 terminators on a "T" connector and plug it onto the hub. If you do not terminate this connection, you can get a lot of collisions (transmission errors) on your network. You won't notice any data errors, but your speed will be reduced because of the collisions.

For only 2 computers, you can connect them directly together using what is known as a crossover cable:

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