NetWare Connectivity in Windows

The configurable elements of the NWLink protocol break down into three main areas. The frame type to be used, the network number, and the internal network number can all be configured, with each described below.Frame Type: This element designates the format in which packets should be sent. The reason this must be configured is that different versions of NetWare can use different packets types which are incapable of communicating with one another. By default, Windows 2000 is configured to automatically detect the frame type used on the network. However, it does this by configuring itself to use the first frame type it comes across. If you have a NetWare network that uses multiple frame types, Windows 2000 would not be capable of communicating with both unless it were manually configured to use both frame types (since it would auto-configure itself to use only the first type that it would come across by default). As an example, NetWare 3.11 used ethernet 802.3 as the standard frame type, while versions 3.12 and later used 802.2 as the default. Frame types can be configured manually by choosing the ‘Manual frame type detection’ option in the NWLink Properties.

Network number: The NWLink network number (also sometimes called the external network number) is very similar to the network portion of an IP address, in that is represents a network or a subnet. This number is actually a 32-bit number, but is represented as an 8-digit hexidecimal value. The network number must be the same in order for computers on the same network segment using the same frame type to communicate.
Internal network number: The internal network number is used for internal routing purposes, to designate the most efficient route to a program or service (for example, one that uses the Service Advertising Protocol, SAP) running on an IPX-based server. By default this number is all 0’s (it is also a hexidecimal number), and can remain as such, unless the system is running a SAP-based application, File and Print Services for NetWare, or as an RRAS-based IPX router. The Internal network number is configured in the properties of NWLink, as shown below.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.