In-Depth

Peers Helping Peers

We solicited readers to provide us with their technical problems, and we were inundated with letters. Here are some of the more provocative problems that we put to you—the readers—to solve.

To offer your answer, click the link following each problem; you'll be taken to the IT/Certification Discussion Forum where you can post possible solutions to each answer. (Readers can view other posts in the forum, but posting requires registration, which is free.)

Password Problems
Here are the specifics for my problem: Novell 5.0 and Windows NT 4.0 SP6a all on IBM equipment.

My company recently put in place a new security password format that requires nine or more characters/digits; before that it was eight characters/digits. Since that time many of our users have received the message, "Failed to change the windows NT/2000 password to match NetWare." (There's more to this message, but that's the heart of it.)

More Troubleshooting

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The workaround I have come up with is to log on to the machine, do a Ctrl-Alt-Del for each resource and change the password. This seems to be working fine, but it's a confusing process for our users. I've spent hours online looking through articles on the Novell and Microsoft sites plus using TechNet and have found no reference to this issue.
—Larry Gross
Bismarck, North Dakota

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What's an IN2 File?
Every time we create a document, especially in Word, we get an extra file with the extension IN2. So every morning I go to the server and delete all the IN2 files; otherwise, people can't save their original documents or their documents open as read-only. Can you help?

We have an H drive for everyone and a P drive and an S drive. We're running NT 4.0 SP5 and Office 97.
—Angel Cordero
Louisville, Kentucky

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An Index Server Problem
I'm working with Index Server to supply a Search page for our Web site. I copied the necessary files to a folder called HTML_BOOKS. Then I created a Web server on IIS, which contains the HTML_BOOKS folder. I created a catalog with the HTML_BOOKS directory. However, when I use the Indexing Service's "query the catalog" feature, it only says "There are 5 results" but doesn't display the necessary properties (doctitle, vpath, etc.) for the files. What am I doing wrong?
—Uluc Efe Ozturk

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Giving Users Power for Plug-ins
We have a customer who intends to migrate from Novell NetWare 4.11 to Windows 2000. Client machines will also be migrated from Windows 98 to Windows 2000 Professional. Users always have to use Macromedia Shockwave and Seagate Crystal Report Viewer in IE5 to view reports. I want users to have enough access rights so that when they browse Web pages containing ShockWave or Crystal Report files, no download box will display. I tried to use the option, "administrator approved controls" in Group Policy to enable the ShockWave plug-in. But I still can't install it after refresh. I don't want to assign users to the Power User Group. But I do want users to be able to install and update those plug-ins by themselves. Is there another workaround for this through Group Policy?
—Franky Ho
Hong Kong

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Getting Permissions Figured Out
Domain users can list login names and group memberships for all accounts, even for administrator. For a person who wants to obtain more permissions than he or she usually has, half the problem is resolved. This happens when a user reads permissions for a resource (for instance, a file) or when he or she reads information from Active Directory using the proper tools (such as the tools from Windows 2000). If I try to restrict Read permission (not deny) for certain users some problems appear:

  • Those users can't read some properties even if they have read/execute file permission (for instance, icons from files which contain icons).
  • Windows can't create profiles for users copying the Default Users profile, when those users try to log in locally. You simply have to give Read permission for ...\Documents and Settings\... directory.
  • If you try to restrict access to AD objects for Domain Users in order to restrict access at login names of accounts, Domain Users can't read e-mail addresses, Web addresses or phone numbers for those accounts.

Please excuse the writing errors; I'm not an an English speaker or writer.
—Bornaz Lucian

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How Does DHCP Differ on NT vs. Win2K?
I'm migrating to Windows 2000 SP2 from Windows NT 4.0 SP6a. I have a 3COM Core Builder 3500 (REV AA) with Firmware 3.0.5 that provides us with a central switch, where eight class C subnets converge. I have a working NT 4.0 DHCP server singled NIC with the following configuration: eight scopes, one per subnet with the range of IP addresses used by our clients. I have a Win2K Advanced Server singled NIC with DDNS, Active Directory, and DHCP. The DHCP server only works with the scope where the server is located.

I read the On Line help about the Superscope needed to accomplish this. It didn't work as I expected.

  • What are the differences between NT and W2K when I'm implementing DHCP?
  • Are there any restrictions that don't allow me to distribute IP addresses to my clients from other subnets?
  • Are there any compatibility issues?

I would really appreciate all your help.
—Carlos Llanos

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REG Dilemma!
An old client called me after two years. They wanted to move critical functions to a new server. They ordered a Dell PowerEdge with Windows 2000. I added the server to the NT 4.0 network and everything seemed fine. A month later, files were being generated on the PDC running NT 4.0, with the names REG0000, REG0001,REG0002, etc.

Opening the files in Notepad, I saw that they were a mess of characters and text. Some of the text was alarming. There were paths to programs in the default users folder and Web site names. I shut the www service off and they weren't generated for a week. Then they started again. The firm is behind a Microsoft Proxy Server and has a DSL connection to the Internet. What are these files? I think I've seen them before, but I can't find anything about them in the Knowledge Base.

I have spent too many unbillable hours looking for an answer. Thanks in advance for any direction on this matter.
—Curt Spanburgh
San Diego, California

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Backup Snafu
My systems is a Windows XP Pro on a 650 MHz Dell Inspiron 7500 laptop with 256MB of RAM, a Buslink USB external hard drive (1.0 Yellow, 20 gig) and the latest XP drivers for the Buslink and the latest version of PowerSync 5.0. I had been using PowerSync 4.0 to back up my hard drive to the Buslink using Windows 98. (My data is backed up often, but every couple of weeks I backup my entire hard drive).

Everything worked great. I then installed Windows XP Pro (a fresh install on a reformatted hard drive). The latest versions of PowerSync and Buslink drivers for XP were also installed.

The Buslink now crashes each time I do the backup. By "crashing" I mean that the backup gets to a certain point, and then the computer reboots itself, then goes through a ScanDisk process. When the computer restarts I get the message that a serious error has occurred, etc. I tried using XP's backup process to the Buslink. The same thing occurred; the system rebooted.

I again tried XP's backup process, but this time I didn't include the WINDOWS directory, fearing that there might be some kind of copyright because of the fact that we're not supposed to use more than one copy of Windows on one machine at a time.

The backup worked to a network drive, but not to the Buslink drive! Strange!

Here are my questions:

  • Why won't the backup allow me to include the Windows directory? Does this have anything to do with XP's protection scheme?
  • Why can I do a backup to the network, but not to the Buslink?
  • Does this mean that now people can no longer backup their entire hard drive without having to remember not to include the Windows directory?

Has anyone else had this problem with the backups and or the Buslink drive? Buslink says that they have tested their product with XP over the network, but not with a USB device, which I think I proved by being able to do the backup to my other box and not to the Buslink. PowerSync says that they have tested their product with both versions of XP with no problems.
—Schroeder

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(Problems visiting the links? You can see these problems in the "Need technical help?" section of the General Technical Discussion forum.)

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