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Thread: IPX/SPX Network Card on TCP/IP Network

  1. #1

    Default IPX/SPX Network Card on TCP/IP Network

    I am guessing the answer to this is no, but is there any way to use a IPX/SPX network card on a TCP/IP network? I have a Danpex EN-2500BT ISA network card with a RJ-45 jack. When I install the drivers Novell Netware is installed. I know nothing about network protocols but after googling, it looks like NetWare was based on IPX and modern networks are based on TCP/IP. Is there some kind of driver or way to get this card to talk on a TCP/IP network or is it just not possible?

    Any advice would be appreciated.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    New Jersey, USA


    IPX and IP are just two different protocols for putting data into packets. In this case, Ethernet packets. An Ethernet switch won't care what kind of packets you use, it just forwards them from one port to another. As far as the network is concerned, Ethernet is Ethernet. Even on a TCP/IP network it's common for non-IP packets to be present on the network (notably ARP packets, which are related to IP but not technically IP packets themselves). Of course for two computers on the same network to be able to talk to each other, they both need to be using the same protocol, and nowadays TCP/IP is what most people are using.

    I've never heard of an IPX/SPX-only network card. What you probably have is an Ethernet card that comes bundled with a driver setup disk that assumes that you want IPX/SPX drivers. If it's installing ODI drivers then you can install Novell's TCP/IP stack for PC's (iirc it was called "LAN WorkPlace") and be able to use both IPX/SPX and TCP/IP at the same time. Also check the driver disk to see if there are any other drivers there. Maybe the auto-installer assumes you're using NetWare but there are other drivers there for non-NetWare users.

  3. #3


    Thanks for the reply. I started figuring out some of the points you noted. I found this file below in the drivers which indicates there are multiple types of drives. The setup program lets you choose different configurations for the card. There is a configuration a and b. There are options like thick ethernet, thin ethernet, 10 t-base, etc. The setup program also lets you install Novell's ODI NetWare. Not sure if this is the program you were referring to and if this does both IPX and TCP or just IPX. When you install the Novell Netware it updates the autoexec.bat file and creates a NWBOOT directory with what looks like various drivers one with IPX in the name (LSL.COM, NE2000.COM, IPXODI.COM, and NETX.COM). My guess is these are just setting up for Netware and not TCP???

    I also tried using the driver in the PCTCP directory called I seems to load but haven't been able to recognize the network with the diagnostic software that came with the card or with mTCP. I think I am close but don't know enough about configuring these so I am just shooting in the dark.

    You may select the corresponding directory and follow the instructions
    described on the READ.ME file of the selected directory to complete your LAN
    driver installation.
      The file and directory tree structure on this diskette are listed as below:
      READ.ME                 ;----This file, a brief description of the contents
                                   of this diskette
      SETUP    <DIR>          ;----Setup & diagnostics program
      NWSERVER <DIR>          ;----Directory for NetWare Server drivers
      NWCLIENT <DIR>          ;----Directory for NetWare Client drivers
      PCTCP    <DIR>          ;----Directory containing packet driver conforming
                                   to FTP Software's public domain specification
      PCNFS    <DIR>          ;----Directory containing SUN PC-NFS driver
      NDIS     <DIR>          ;----Directory containing NDIS driver for Microsoft's
                                   LAN Manager and Windows for Workgroups, IBM's
                                   LAN Server.
      WIN95    <DIR>          ;----Directory for Windows 95 driver
      WINNT    <DIR>          ;----Directory for Windows NT 3.5x/4.0 driver
      MSLANMAN.DOS <DIR>      ;----Directory containing NDIS driver for LAN Manager
                                   DOS environment.
      MSLANMAN.OS2 <DIR>      ;----Directory containing NDIS driver for LAN Manager
                                   OS/2 environment.
     Note: EN-2XXX LAN drivers support the Network Operating Systems as the
                   * NOVELL NetWare v3.X and v4.X
                   * NOVELL NetWare Lite
                   * MICROSOFT LAN MANAGER
                   * MICROSOFT Windows for Workgroups V3.1 & V3.11
                   * MICROSOFT Windows NT 3.5x/4.0
                   * MICROSOFT Windows 95
                   * ARTISOFT Lantastic/AI version
    Last edited by Heatvent; October 23rd, 2019 at 06:27 PM.

  4. #4


    OK, so I got it to work. I went back to the setup program and noticed that the first option for each setting appeared to be the default. The IRQ of the card was set to 10 so I set it to the default of 3 and "Thin Ethernet" was selected which I changes to 10 T Base. I used the EN2000.COM driver in the PCTCP folder. The driver takes arguments for the packet driver interrupt, hardware interrupt and I/O address. I set these all of these to the defaults of 0x60, 3, and 0x300, respectively. When running mTCP's DHCP.EXE, I made sure the CFG file had 0x60 for the package interrupt which is the default.

    After changing the above settings, all worked perfectly and I have to say it's pretty amazing to be able to access the drives from a modern PC. Only todo is to move the hardware interrupt from 3 to something that won't conflict. I believe COM2/4 and/or the mouse port use IRQ3 so I will need to move to something else.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    New Jersey, USA


    It sounds like you're on the right track. With mTCP you'll definitely want to use the packet driver rather than the ODI driver.

  6. #6


    For a typical NE2000 card, which you seem to have, the most common settings use an I/O base of 0x300 and IRQ 3 (XT-class) or IRQ 10 (AT-class). Packet Drivers are the drivers of choice for DOS.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    New Zealand
    Blog Entries


    I use IRQ10 and Address 0x340 on all my Dos set ups. Works perfectly.
    Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."


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