Sunday, October 27, 2013

Windows 95/98 On A Windows Server 2012 Domain

First, the laptop came, it’s awesome and I’m using it to migrate a network for a friend who has had the same setup for going on 14 years. The server is an IBM RAID5 on a 3 drive array, for those of you that understood that you’re probably thinking right now WHAT?? Yeah me as well. It’s running Windows Server 2000 Small Business Edition and has been running the entire 14 years with NO hardware or hard drive failures. It does almost nothing, there are only a few users so the system has lasted that long on luck and a prayer, oh yeah and DNS works but isn’t set up properly, it’s very strange.

I have probably put more strain on that server in one day than it has seen in 14 years. Anyway, aside from the worry that a drive will die mid migration I have a quandary… There are two machines, a Beam Saw and a CNC that run Windows 98 and Windows 95 and they are very happy connecting to the Windows 2000 Server. They are clueless on how to log onto anything above Windows Server 2003 (and even 2003 is sketchy but doable). I have installed the Windows 2000 DSCLIENT (makes 95/98 site aware) and tried everything else in my bag of tricks and can only get them to see the Domain, they refuse to participate in it and that was a minor miracle.

I’m blogging this because I’m hoping that while writing this blog I might think of something and also that maybe during the day Big Matt or somebody like him might see this and have an idea as well. Here is what I can’t do, upgrade the 95 or 98 machines to Windows XP or higher, the software that runs those machines is designed for 98/95 and both have serial port dongles that aren’t supported above these versions.

I have tried lowering security on 2012, tried SMB modifications and a host of other things only to get nowhere so this is what I’m going to try and do today. Install VMware on the 2012 Server, then install Windows Advanced Server 2000 and put it in workgroup mode with a share on one of the 4 NIC cards so it will have it’s own IP and configuration and then I’m going to pray and see if that works. Server 2012 requires all servers be at minimum 2003 for full participation but this might work… if not then I for the very first time in my 24 years of doing this have no idea what to do next, find a way to get those machines on XP or something else not supported…

I think, stay tuned I’ll post back later…


Big Matt said...

So, there's no windows 2000 support for the dongles, right?

The problem is 95/98 were never meant for domain use, usually they had to run a separate client to do a net login.

Around this time Windows NT was also in existence, which was designed for use for working on domain style logins, but they may still not work because of the client generational difference.

Erik's RV Blog said...

Matt - 0_o Dude... that was like.... no help... 0_o

Here's the problem, both machines are using 14 year old licenses and are paid for so upgrading to new ones was outside the scope of the migration and also the budget.

So, I ran my brain through the ringer trying to make it work and the thing is I got those bastards to see the domain, they just lack the ability to authenticate to it.

NTLMv2, modify SMB, I tried it all...

I'm going to take a spare box I have in the basement, install Server 2003 on it and hang that sucker on the network and then see what I can do with 95 and 98 this weekend...

Otherwise I am out of options. Windows Server 2000 is out as well as the lowest participant in a 2012 Domain is a 2003 server.


Big Matt said...

Unfortunately, I cannot supply a working solution that would keep the hardware in the Windows setup that would fall under standard licensed solutions.

Shy of switching to an old Netware domain system and using the netware domain management system, I'm short of suggestions.

Usually when I encounter a win95/98 system, it's about time for it to retire to the scrap pile, or be repurposed to a Nix box of some kind.

A number of my old PII/Celeron generation systems ended up this way, running stripped down Debian derivatives.

My suggestion was to look into a NT OS version of a similar generation to replace 95/98/ME, if you have one handy, but given the age, you're really pushing luck with anything pre-XP playing nice with Windows 8.

Are the nics on the systems attached via serial port? Because I'm curious what the old com ports are being used for that their continued use would still be needed.

Big Matt said...

Okay, missed what was up.

Yeah, these things are old. Are you simply trying to map a file share to these machines?

Big Matt said...

Sorry, I'm sick and my cold medicine is making my head problematic.

Anyway, if your goal is to simply setup a NAS for these machines to connect to, why not setup Hyper-V on the server and host a sub server via the 2012 box that can be a part of the domain, but also share on a more basic level so that the older boxes can connect to that VM vs trying to be a part of the newer domain?

Big Matt said...

Yeah, just re-re-read, what you said. Cold medicine in large quantities is never good.

You basically already covered what I suggested :p. Though, I don't know why you'd use a third party hypervisor when Win2k12 x64 Standard already has Hyper-V as an available role.

If the adapters are new enough and the hardware is new enough you could even setup SR-IOV and assign the file server several virtual functions and team them together if there is really a worthy amount of demand.

Ronda said...

lol! Big Matt, this is Erik's wife Ronda. You cracked me up! :-) Thanks for putting a smile on my face this morning. Hope you feel better soon. ;-)

Big Matt said...

Thanks Rhonda, I hope to feel better soon, it's getting in the way of final preparations for Dawn's move in in our new 5th wheel "home", granted, the stress from trying to get things in good shape for her move in were also part of the cause of the sickness, so it's kind of a Catch 22.

Just be glad when all is settled down. :)

Ronda said...

Best of luck to you! It is very stressful to move from one thing to another...but when you're not feeling doesn't help. My prayers are with you and Dawn!

B14CK_H4WK said...

I just ran into the same issue.. Client has a windows 98 machine running a machine that punches holes in steel. We replaced all servers to server 2012 and all computers to windows 8.1 but the windows 98 machine would not connect to SMB 3.0, on server 2012, FTP would not work natively for the software and WebDAV running on IIS 8.0 is too new as well for windows 98. What I had to do was create a shared folder on the windows 98 machine, and then go to the server and create a scheduled task to run a batch file to synchronize the data on itself to the windows 98 machine. In the batch file I'm just using a simple xcopy /d /y

I hope this helps someone out!