Procedure for Installing NetBEUI for Windows XP

How to Enable NetBEUI Protocol in Windows XP

  1. Download files
    • a.  Download Nb4Xp.ZIP from this CSS website. (Contains Nbf.sys and Netnbf.inf)
    • b. Unzip files
  2. Make hidden subdirectories viewable:
    • a. Click Start + My Computer + Tools + Folder Options + View Tab
    • b. Under Advanced Settings, click Show hidden files and folders
  3. Copy Files
    • a. Copy Nbf.sys to your C:\WINDOWS\System32\Drivers  subdirectory
    • b. Copy Netnbf.inf to your C:\WINDOWS\Inf  subdirectory   (normally hidden)
  4. Enable NetBEUI
    • a.  Click Start + Control Panel + Network Connections + Local Area Connection +  General Tab
    • b.  Click Properties + Install + Protocol + Add + NetBEUI  Protocol + Ok

Download NetBEUI (56 Kb)

Why we Need NetBEUI Protocol

Normally we communicate with Excellon, TruDrill, and some Hitachi machines through their paper tape reader connectors. These are 8 bit parallel, not serial, ports. While the drill or rout programs are being loaded to a machine, a new byte of data must be delivered by the computer to the machine approximately every 3 milliseconds. If the new byte is not available precisely when needed, the machine will stop and display an error message. Worse yet, it may scrap the panels by drilling a hole in the wrong place before it stops!

The Microsoft Windows operating systems are designed to appear to the user that the PC is able to do several tasks simultaneously (multitasking). For example you can be writing a letter, playing music from your CD, and downloading a file from another computer on your network or from the Internet – all at the same time. However, the computer is not really working on everything at once. It is actually jumping from one task to another approximately every 20 milliseconds. The 20 millisecond intervals are referred to as “time slices.” The problem is, a computer running Windows can not consistently deliver a new byte of data to a drill or routing machine every 3 milliseconds if it’s jumping to a different task every 20 milliseconds. This is the fundamental reason why Windows should not be used to drive machines in “real time.”

DOS is designed to do one single task at a time. It does not use time slices. DOS 6.2 is an excellent operating system to drive printed circuit board drills and routers in real time. However, no networking capability is built into DOS. Microsoft developed “Work Groups For DOS” which uses NetBEUI protocol to solve this problem. A DOS computer running “Work Groups For DOS” can communicate over a network with any Windows computer which is also running NetBEUI protocol.

Microsoft has included NetBEUI in all versions of Windows OS including 95/98/Me/2000 and NT until the release of XP. Now a standard installation of XP only includes TCP/IP protocol which is required for the Internet. This means if you add a new computer running Windows XP, or upgrade an existing workstation to XP, then  it can no longer communicate with the computers connected to your drills and routers. To solve this problem you must enable NetBEUI protocol in Windows XP.

Contact California Software Systems if you have any questions in regards to networking your drill and fabrication department machines. We have the solution for you.

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