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Accessing Novell File Services


There are three different ways to access and use files on Netware file servers.


The first and most transparent occurs when a client starts their computer and responses to the Novell login dialog.   Various drives are mapped to the computer via a login script based on the client’s properties.  For instance, drive H: is normally mapped to the client’s home directory.  Other drive letters can be mapped to other locations either permanently or only for the current session using the file explore tool.  This facility also works for those off site, if the client enters the server’s full DNS name into the server field in the advanced option tab, while logging in.  For example, most central site clients should enter “” into this field.  As for onsite clients, the Novell login script will map the appropriate volumes to drive letters.


A second approach to access files is called NetStorage.  In this case, using Win98 through XP, the client can configure access to Netware Volumes.  Access to home directories and group-shared information is supported.


The third method to access files is called iFolder.  It operates quite different then the above three methods.  Its purpose is to synchronize data that is accessed and updated from many locations.  This data is not part of a client’s home directory and is not sharable.  The data is encrypted and backed up (all Novell data is backed up) however restores cannot be done for a subset of files.  It is necessary to restore all data for a particular client.


  1. Mapping a Drive Letter (requires Novell client on PC or Mac)

If a login script does not map the desired folder, then the client can use the “Explore” option after right clicking on Network Neighborhood to select the desired server and volume.  Using “Explore”, open “Network Places”- “Entire Network” – “Netware Services” – “Netware Servers” – and select the desired NetWare server.  In the right panel, the volumes on the server appear.  Right click on the volume and select Novell Map Netware Drive.  Select the drive letter to associate and whether it should be remapped at when you start Windows.  Note: the exact wording above depends on the version of the windows OS and the Netware client.  Rights to files are granted based on the client’s login, no other authentication or passwords are required.


  1. Netware NetStorage

Using a web browser the following URL is entered:


  1. iFolder (requires Win98/NT/2K/XP)

Setting up access to iFolders requires installing the iFolder Window Client.  It is available from the following URL:  Follow the directions for its installation, including accepting the licensing agreement.  The installation will require rebooting the computer at its conclusion.  When the client logons on, a prompt appears which a User ID, password and server.  Click Login and enter a pass phrase.  If you accepted the defaults, an iFolder icon will appear on the desktop.  This iFolder installation process must be used on each PC in which you wish to access the data in the iFolder.





When would you choose to use “Mapping a Drive Letter”?

This method is the best alternative for general access if you have the Novell client installed and can reach the server.  It is faster, mappings can be automated, and it is the more natural for both the PC and the Mac.  Since the Mac currently uses IPX, it only works on LBLnet.  For PC’s wishing off site access, use the DNS name of the Novell server in place of the server name (i.e.  Mapping a drive is the best method and easiest to use.  This method should be tried before any other.

When should you use the “Netware NetStorage”?

This is the appropriate method should you wish general file access and do not have the Novell client installed.  It can be used locally or over the Internet.  Its not as fast as “Mapping a Drive Letter”. 

So when is iFolder a good choice?

iFolder is quite different than the other alternatives.  It should be used to synchronize files among several of your computers.  It is not designed to allow file sharing with other

people like the  access methods above.  This method compares the data at the local computer with that on the server.  It updates the local data and then keeps it coordinated.  This introduces a delay that might be considerable if large files or there is slow network access.  The data is encrypted and stored on a server different then the client’s home directory.  Thus no access or coordination is available for this data and the client’s home directory.  It might be the right choice for maintaining bookmarks and address books between multiple computers in multiple locations or other similar small but continually changing files.  All PCs accessing iFolder must have Internet access.


Copyright 2002 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Page Owner:  Dan Denton
Last Updated:  June 25, 2003