Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 162 / MARCH 1994 / PAGE 68

Tricks your system administrator never told you about. (commands for Novell NetWare client server operating system) (Compute's Getting Started With: Personal Networking)
by Anne Fischer Lent

Finally, you're finding your way around the network by using the commands above to call up all kinds of information. Now what about venturing beyond the menus and using NetWare commands to actually perform some network tricks of your own? Understand, however, that this is where you're stepping over a fine line and into the world of the NetWare power user, which may instill fear in your network administrator's heart. Eight tasks you can perform on you own are listed below. Assuming that your network is set up with the proper security, you shouldn't be in any danger of impinging on any other network user's workspace.

Castoff and Caston syntax: Castoff all syntax: castron

When you're performing an operation on your computer that you really don't want interrupted by any kind of message, use Castoff. It will block messages sent from all network stations, including the file server if you type all, as shown above. If you want to block only the messages from other workstations and not those from the file server, omit all. When you're ready to accept messages again, type caston.


This is a menu utility that lets you view current directory information, including who the owner of the directory is, when it was created, what the directory attributes are, the rights, and the directory's trustees. You can make changes to directories and files with Filer only if you're the owner (the person who created them). For example, you may want to specify which directories and files won't appear when someone else lists the contents. This utility is also used extensively by network administrators to set or change access privileges.


Network users can use this menu utility to back up information on directories where they have the right to read and scan for files. Nbackup lets you change the server you're currently attached to and back up and restores files.

Ncopy syntax: ncopy path 1 file name to path2 /option

When you need to copy one or more files from one network directory to another Ncopy is the command to use. Unlike DOS's Copy, Ncopy preserves the NetWare file attributes and so is better to use on a network. When you type it, replace path 1 with a directory path leading to and including the file you want to copy. Replace path2 with a directory path leading to and including the volume, directory, or subdirectory you want to copy the file to. You can even rename the file at this time by just including the new filename in the path you specify.

Nprint syntax: nprint path option

Use Nprint to print DOS text or formulated files from outside an application to a network printer. When you type it, replace path with a directory path leading to and including the name of the file you want to print. Replace option with one of several options (see your NetWare documentation), including c = followed by the number of copies you want to print.

Purge syntax: purge-filenamel path/all

Erasing files doesn't completely delete them. In fact, you can use the Salvage utility (explained below) to bring erased files back to life. But Purge puts an end to them once and for all. Use great caution with this one, however, because you'll lose all recoverable files in your current directory if you use it alone or with * * Fortunately, Purge destroys only the files that you created or most recently modified.


If you've ever deleted a file and then regretted doing so, Salvage is the utility for you. From Salvage's main menu, you can choose to view all deleted files, recover or purge files that have been erased from your workstation, or restore files to their original directories or to the DELETED.SAV directory.

Wsupdate syntax: wsupdate source path destination drive destination filename /option

Network administrators are usually responsible for making sure that all copies of network software get updated, but sometimes you may find that your NetWare shell program or other files are out-of-date. You can remedy this yourself by using Wsupdate to update workstation files from the file server. Wsupdate makes sure you have the most recent copy of the required files. To use Wsupdate, just replace source path with a full directory path including the filename of the current file. Replace destination drive with the name of a specific drive, or you can type all to search all valid drives for the workstation. Other options are available. See your NetWare documentation for a complete list.