I converted 2 MS-Dos 6.22 machines to virtual machines. Both computers have software that communicates over NETBEUI and IPX (I came to that conclusion after inspecting autoexec.bat - It loads IPX stack).

I followed this Vmware Forums post and installed the DOS amd_pcnet driver, configured it, and bound it to the required protocols. Also i installed the ODI driver for IPX/SPX did the same steps as above for it.

It seems they have NetBEUI communication, but I cannot PING between them using IPXPING.exe. I used the network address 00:00:00:00 and the MAC of the second computer when pinging.

How can I absolutely make sure there is NetBEUI and IPX communication between the 2 VM's?

UPDATE 1: I found that c:\net\ has an .ini files with the name of other machines on the network. I assumed that the files store connection configuration, and found that the file actually has a parameter netcard=DRIVER_FILE and changed it to the correct driver.

UPDATE 2: I ran Wireshark on the VMNet0 and I see that both VM's use IPX, NETVIOS, SMB and other protocols. I will inspect the packets and try to find more clues.

UPDATE 3: From the packet inspection I can see that both machines have successfully communicated over NetBIOS, established a session and transferred files using SMB. I think that is a solid indicator that NetBIOS is not the issue.

IPX, on the other side seems to have malformed packets. Both hosts broadcasted an announcement and both announcements were malformed.

A question: Is there a command to check connectivity over NetBIOS?

UPDATE 4: After much effort in both trying to solve the problem and trying to find an MS-DOS expert the client decided to discontinue the project.

  • 28
    Mother of god...
    – Ryan Ries
    Jun 18, 2013 at 15:50
  • 3
    Legacy software that controls equipment. They asked me to come up with a solution to preserve the dinosaur. With no hardware available, I thought to virtualize it.
    – Dean
    Jun 18, 2013 at 15:55
  • 3
    Godspeed Good Sir.
    – Jacob
    Jun 18, 2013 at 15:59
  • 4
    Unfortuntately, keeping dinosaurs alive with whatever method possible is often the only way when physical equipment is connected. Sometimes, replacements are prohibitively expensive, sometimes they are impossible as there is nothing on the market. I always thought this was much more fun then just herding the newest machines.
    – Sven
    Jun 18, 2013 at 16:00
  • 7
    If the source physical machines are still running then I would recommend an audit and a network capture to verify what communication protocols they're actually using. Troubleshooting IPX/SPX and NetBEUI based on the fact that they're being loaded from Autoexec.bat might be sending you on a wild goose chase.
    – joeqwerty
    Jun 18, 2013 at 16:11

1 Answer 1


I would try out Dosbox. It has ipx support and with a few commands you can activate it. In fact simple gamers are the target audience. Dosbox tunnels ipx in UDP packets.

  • Both VM's are used to run software that controls equipment, i have no idea how to configure it to work on new machine.
    – Dean
    Jun 18, 2013 at 17:58
  • Use Oracle's VirtualBox. It runs the older NetWare versions pretty well. Problems can arise at random on the newer NW, especially with SMP enabled (per the Vbox devs, NW does some weird things with SMP that they haven't figured out how to handle yet). I've managed to set up (for experimental fun) an IPX-to-IP gateway and successfully used NetScape 4.78 on a Win 3.11 VM that only has IPX support to connect to Google by tunneling IP/TCP inside of IPX. Google was obviously a bit confused at that User-Agent string.
    – Kumba
    Apr 4, 2016 at 1:07

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