Q: I recently took your advice and purchased a 4GB Quantum Atlas drive. I put it on an Adaptec 2940 SCSI card and found that I can't low-level format it. What gives?

It turns out that the 2940 is looking for one thing in the initialization string of the drive, and the drive is coming back with something else. Boot from a DOS floppy, and run the SCSIFMT.EXE program from Adaptec.

Q: Whenever we sign on to a Windows for Workgroups (WFW) system, a message appears that reads: "No domain server was available to validate your password. You were logged on without a password validated." What could cause this?

It could be several things:

1. Make sure that the frame types match. On the WFW machines if you're using an IPX/ODI driver, check the frame types in the Link Driver section of the NET.CFG file. The NetBEUI protocol uses the Ethernet_802.2 frame type, and the TCP/IP-32 protocol uses the Ethernet_II frame type.

2. Make sure that the domain name specified is valid. On the WFW machine, go to the Network item on the Control Panel. Choose the Startup icon from the Microsoft Windows Network dialog box, and verify the domain name listed in the Domain Name field of the Startup Settings box (i.e., check to see if spelling and capitalization, etc., are OK). Also, make sure that "Log On to Windows NT" is selected.

3. On the Windows NT Server, start the User Manager for Domains. Choose User Rights from the Policies menu, and assign the "Access this computer from the network" right to Administrator and Everyone.

4. If there's a space included in the WFW computer name, remove it or enclose the name in quotes.

Q: I'm confused as to how NT handles long file names (LFN). Can I customize this?

It's relatively easy to work with LFN in NT. You do need to use the Registry Editor, though. Start the Registry Editor, and go to the following path: \\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem

Win31FileSystem: REG_DWORD

Range: Number

Default: 0 (for false)

These settings control whether the File Allocation Table (FAT) will allow creation, enumeration, opening, or querying of LFNs and whether extended time-stamp information (CreationTime and LastAccessTime) is stored and reported. Set the value shown as default to 1 (for true) to revert to basic Win3.x (and Windows NT 3.5) semantics.

Changing this value doesn't change any disk structures. It simply changes how the system behaves from now on. You must reboot the system for a change to this value to take effect.

Q: Is it possible to manage an NT Server from a Windows 95 machine? This would be most convenient for us.

There are Windows 95 client-based server-management tools available for NT Server. You can use them to manage your server from the 95 system. You can find these tools at the following FTP site: ftp.microsoft.com\peropsys\WinNews\FreeSoftware\nexus.exe.

Q: What's the difference between a Service Pack and a Hot Fix?

Excellent question, by the way! Hot Fixes are supplied by Microsoft to premiere clients and are designed to fix specific problems. For example, there were problems with WINSRV.DLL prior to Service Pack 1 for 3.51. There was a Hot Fix released to solve this problem. I wish Microsoft would make more use of the Hot Fix utility.

\[Editor's note: For more information on Service Packs, see "Loading Service Packs" on page 24.\]

Q: I've noticed that NT uses a slow drive for my print spoolers. Should I change it to a faster and bigger drive?

An alternate path to the spool file can be specified for all printers or for each printer individually. By de-fault, NT uses the %systemroot%\SYSTEM32\SPOOL directory. To specify an alternate spool path for all printers, use REGEDT32.EXE to add the following REG_SZ Registry entry (set to the new path):

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Current ControlSet\Control\Print\Printers\DefaultSpoolDirectory

To specify the spool path for a specific printer, use REGEDT32 to add the following REG_SZ entry (set to the new path):

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Printes\printername\SpoolDirectory

You must restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

Q: How can I set up the Remote Access Service (RAS) to write to the event log? I need to see what's going on.

With Registry Editor, go to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\RasMan\Parameters and set Logging to 1. You need to restart RAS for it to take effect.

Q: I've discovered that RDISK doesn't update the SAM and Security hives. Is there any kind of a workaround for this?

Indeed, the repair disk utility (RDISK.EXE) doesn't save the Windows NT Registry SAM and Security hives. I would hope that you always back up your Registry with Windows NT Backup or some other similar backup program.

There's an undocumented switch with RDISK (RDISK-s) that allows it to update the SAM and Security hives along with the Software, System, and Default hives.

Q: I have some files that I cannot delete. What do I need to do to get rid of them?

Why don't you try the RM.EXE utility in the Windows NT Resource Kit. It's a POSIX utility that will--usually--delete any invalid DOS filenames.

Q: RAS refuses to start and gives me service-specific error 1066. What does this error mean and how do I fix the problem?

This error occurs if RAS is configured as "Dial Out Only." The fix is fairly simple:

1. In the Control Panel window, choose the Network icon.

2. In the Installed Network Software box, select Remote Access Service.

3. In the Remote Access Setup box, choose Configure; then choose Configure again.

4. In the Port Usage box, make sure either the Receive Calls Only or the Dial Out and Receive Calls option box is selected.

5. Choose OK, shut down Windows NT, and restart your system.

Q: In an attempt to install NT again, I get the following message: "An error has occurred; External library procedure NtPathToDosPath reported the following error: Unable to open the specified symbolic link object."

This message typically means that the path to the installation is no longer accessible. Have you changed hardware between NT installations? Try one of these:

1. Use the WINNT/B command to install from DOS.

2. When you're installing over a previous version of Windows NT, make sure you have the same hardware configuration. In other words, do not run Setup for Windows NT 3.5 after you have added any new devices for which drivers weren't installed in the previous version.

Q: We have recently been getting the infamous Stop error message:IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUALAddress. What does it mean, and how can I determine the cause?

A kernel-mode process (NTOSKERNL.EXE) tried to access a memory address for which it didn't have permission. Unfortunately, many things can cause it. Try the following common solutions:

1. During Setup, select a standard PC configuration instead of letting Setup autodetect it.

2. Disable both the CPU Cache and the External Cache.

3. Simplify the machine as much as possible: Remove all cards--especially Network Interface Cards (NICs)--not necessary to run NT. Disable Shadow RAM/Shadow ROM, l2 cache options, virus programs in CMOS, and daylight savings times options in CMOS.

If none of these works, try a low-level format of the drive, and run Setup again. If nothing seems to work, call the vendor who sold you the machine.