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Support FAQs

Table of Contents

  1. How do I convert DOS to UNIX ?
  2. How do I install an IntelliPort II driver in SCO UNIX 5.0x ?
  3. How do I TFTP a driver for SCO UNIX ?
  4. How do I TFTP in Windows NT ?
  5. What do I do if I lose my password to my IntelliServer?
  6. How do I upgrade the IntelliServer kernel?
  7. How do I save IntelliPort II settings when I want to remove and re-install drivers?
  8. What does the error message mean: ST_HWfail
  9. Can I extend the length of the cable from an IntelliPort II Card to the EX Box?
  10. What are three common problems that can lead to a printer losing data on the IP2?
  11. What do I do when my Sun System SPARC reboots connected to a RAS 2000?


How do I convert DOS to UNIX ?

  1. Copy the file from Windows PC to floppy
  2. Insert diskette in Unix machine
  3. Cd /tmp
  4. Doscp a:*.* .
  5. Uncompress file
  6. Copy file
  7. Format floppy:
  8. Format /dev/rfd0135ds18
  9. Copy to disk:
  10. dd if=file of= /dev/rfd0135ds18
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How do I install IntelliPort II drivers in  SCO UNIX 5.0x ? 

  1. At the command prompt type "custom"
  2. Scroll over to Software
  3. Scroll down to Install New
  4. Make sure diskette in drive and press enter
  5. After install process is complete it will ask you if you would like to relink the kernel? Answer yes and reboot when prompted.
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How do I TFTP a driver for SCO UNIX ?

  1. Open the DOS window in Windows
  2. Change to root directory.
  3. type ftp (space)
  4. Log in as "anonymous" ENTER
  5. Password "any generic email address" ENTER
  6. Change format from ASCII to Binary. Type bin ENTER
  7. Type cd pub
  8. Type cd products
  9. Type cd intelliport2
  10. Type cd sco
  11. Type cd beta
  12. Type get File name
  13. Type quit
  14. Close DOS window
  15. Open Windows Explorer
  16. Look in root directory and find File name
  17. Copy to standard DOS floppy
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How do I TFTP in Windows NT ?

  1. Open the DOS window in NT 4.0
  2. Change to root directory.
  3. Type ftp (space)
  4. Log in as "anonymous" ENTER
  5. Password "any generic email address" ENTER
  6. Change format from ASCII to Binary. Type bin ENTER
  7. Type cd pub
  8. Type cd products
  9. Type cd intelliserver
  10. Type cd kernels
  11. Type cd beta
  12. Type get File name
  13. Type quit
  14. Close DOS window
  15. Open Windows Explorer
  16. Look in root directory and find File name
  17. Right mouse click on the File name. Click cut.
  18. Create a tftp folder and paste File name in it.
  19. Close Explorer
  20. Open the installed TFTP software on your system.
  21. Set IP address and location of File name in the TFTP software.
  22. Do not close TFTP software. Open any terminal program.
  23. Create a new connection. Direct to port. 9600,8-N-1, hardware.
  24. Type menu
  25. Administration-Network-Bootstrap
  26. Set primary ftp host: Host IP address.
  27. Set primary ftp boot file: File name
  28. Save and go to command line.
  29. Type save
  30. Remove power cable from Intelliserver and reconnect.
  31. Upgrade is automatic.
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What do I do if I lose my password to my IntelliServer?

If you are unable for any reason to get control of the IntelliServer, you can user the following procedure to force the IntelliServer to load the factory default configuration . You may need to do this if the root password was lost or corrupted, or if the IntelliServer is disconnected from the network while booting.

  1. Shut off power to the IntelliServer
  2. Attach a terminal to port 0. Set the terminal to 9600bps, 8 data bits, no pairty, and one stop bit.
  3. Power up the IntelliServer and repeatedly press the ESC key on your terminal until you see messages similar to the following:


IntelliServer, Release 1.0.0
Version 93072215.08
Kernal Text/Data/Heap = 320K/49K/452K
Directory = 328K
Memory Size/Available = 2048K/844K
Internet Address =
Ethernet Address = 00:80:69:80:08:1d
Serial Ports = 16


Set factory defaults

init:need ip address to start network
816 KB available memory


At this point, the IntelliServer is running under factory defaults.  You are logged in as root. The network software is not active at this time. The configuration stored in non-volatile RAM is available but not loaded.

You can restore the IntelliServer configuration from internal non-volatile RAM (you cannot restore from the host since the network software is not running) by typing restore at the # prompt.

Then make any necessary changes to the configuration, save the configuration to non-volatile RAM and then reboot.

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How do I upgrade the IntelliServer kernel?

The latest IntelliServer kernel files are available on the Computone ftp site. Use your  e-mail address for the password. The IntelliServer kernel files are located 

The cnx prefix files are for the IntelliServer, and the rac prefix files are the PowerRack IntelliServer kernels. The latest recommended kernel version is 1.7.2.  Please be aware that this is not a flash-ROM update, but is the actual kernel data file, which must be installed to a host system which has the tftp service installed and active. See the readme for Release Notes.

You will need to point the IntelliServer to tftp boot to the host system under the IntelliServer Bootstrap configuration menu. Additionally, we have made a shareware Windows 95 and NT tftp file available, which is also in the pub/other/iserver/tftp directory.  We make these available as a service to our customers, and assume no further responsibility for them, although they have been tested, and qualified to function correctly. It is also possible to have the kernel burned into an EPROM chip, and have it shipped to you. There is generally a fee associated with this service. Should you wish to obtain the EPROM, please call us directly at (770) 625-0000 or (800) 241-3946. Dial out to the operator, and ask to be connected with the Sales Associate for your state or region.

In regard to upgrading the Intelliserver kernel, bear in mind that it does not have a hard disk drive to store the new kernel, nor is the PROM chip in the PowerRack engine card flashable.  For these reasons, if you want to boot from our new kernel, you will need to download the kernel to a host machine on your network, and then point the PowerRack to boot from that host machine.  This letter will outline the steps that should be taken to get the PowerRack to boot from a host machine.

  1. Verify that the host machine is on your local network and can be seen from the PowerRack.  If you are at the command line shell in the PowerRack, you can enter the command "ping -t IP", where IP is the ip address of the host which you want to boot from.  If the ping command returns the address of the host machine, this means that the PowerRack can see that machine.

  2. Verify that the host machine is running TFTP server.  TFTP is the protocol that will be used to transfer the information from the host machine to the PowerRack at boot time.  If you do not have tftp or are not sure if your machine has TFTP, you can get TFTP software from our ftp site. The site is  The directory is /pub/other/iserver/tftp In this directory, we offer tftp software for Win95 and Win NT 4.0. You can download this software onto a Win95 or WinNT machine, and then install the software, and this machine will then be running TFTP.

  3. Download the new kernel from our ftp site,
    The directory is and the kernel is rac172 for the PowerRack and cnx172 for the slimline.  Be sure to note which directory on your host machine you are downloading this kernel into.  You may decide to create a directory  /TFTP for this kernel. Be sure to download the kernel in Binary form.  If you download this file in ASCII format, it will not work properly.,

  4. Go into the menu of the PowerRack.  From the main menu, go to Administration - Network - Bootstrap.
    Set the Boot type to TFTP
    Set the Maximum Network Boot Tries to 5
    Set the Primary TFTP host to the IP address of the host machine. 
    Set the Primary TFTP boot file as the file pathname from root.  (ex: if the file name is rac151i and was downloaded into the /TFTP directory, then you would enter "/TFTP/rac151i" in this field.
    Set the Primary TFTP Config File as the file pathname of the config file. The config file is a file on the host machine where you will be saving the PowerRack configurations.  This can have any name and be in any directory. Ex: If you want to name the config file 'rackconfig' and put it in the TFTP directory, you would enter "/TFTP/rackconfig"

  5. If you have a second host machine which you wish to use as a backup TFTP host, you can configure this the same way you configured the Primary TFTP host.

  6. Press the Esc key, and choose to save the changes.

  7. Then press Esc until you get back to the Main Menu.  At the Main Menu, go to the Command Line Shell.  Then enter "save" to save the configurations again.

Once you have followed these steps, the PowerRack will be able to boot from the host machine.  If you reset the PowerRack, you should see that the new kernel says 1.5.4d.

Please understand that the PowerRack has no way of storing the new kernel, and that the host machine needs to be up each time you wish to reboot the new  kernel.  If the host machine is not up and you reboot the PowerRack, it will try to find the host 5 times and then boot from its original kernel.

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How do I save IntelliPort II settings when I want to remove and re-install drivers?

If you have to reload your IntelliPort drivers, you should follow these directions. Before you go to all the trouble, try running fipinst. If you are only trying to re-install a driver, fipinst will work. The only time you should have to remove a driver is when you are running the 2.17 driver, or earlier. 

To save the current configuration of an IntelliPort II, you must save the following files.

  • etc/default/fip.d/intellicap

  • etc/default/fip.d/

  • etc/default/fip.d/intellitype

  • etc/inittab

  • etc/ttytype

You can accomplish this by creating a directory called " save" or what ever you want to call it and then use the cp command to copy all of these files over to this directory . Uninstall the Computone IntelliPort drivers, reboot and then reinstall the drivers, and copy these files back into the appropriate directories. After you reboot, your ports will be configured as they were before.

 The following installation process is for IntelliPort drivers version 2.2.1 and below.

This is a step by step guide for accomplishing this.

 You must first create a directory called "safe" using the following commands.

mkdir safe

mkdir safe/default

mkdir safe/default/fip.d


Once the directories have been created begin copying existing IP2 files into it with the commands below.

cp -R /etc/default/fip.d/* /safe/default/fip.d/.

cp /etc/inittab /safe

cp /etc/ttytype /safe 

When you finish copying the files above go into "custom" and begin the driver removal process. You must re-link the kernel and reboot for the process to complete. When the sytem boots back up once again in "custom" add the newer version of the IP2 driver. You must now copy the files from the "safe" directory back into the /etc directory.

cp -R /safe/default/fip.d/* /etc/default/fip.d/.

cp /safe/inittab /etc

cp /safe/ttytype /etc 


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What does the error message mean: ST_HWfail

 The error you are seeing can be caused from any one of the following.
1. Loose cabling between the board and the external boxes.
2. Defective board.
3. Defective box.
The error message is generated by a small subprogram in the driver that writes a specific pattern to a UART and then reads that information back from the UART. If it doesn't get back what it had written it complains. Sometimes the units will continue to work fine for years to come after such an occurrence. Other times it will just never work at all.

To check these error messages on Unix machines, go to the /usr/adm directory and look at the messages file. This file may be quite large, because  it will contain the boot logs from every time your machine has booted. Search for ST_HWFAIL and you will see every occurrence, and any other problems reported. Look for Interrupt conflicts. Note that Unix will call these "vectors".  

Even so, the cause of the error is often specific to the cable. Further, the message can be generated from causes such as the cable being jostled, moved, rolled over, electro-magnetic transduction, vibrated, etc. In other words, make sure that the cable is secure at the connection, and that it is not being subjected to motion when being used. If the cause of the trouble is such motion, the error is not an indication that the hardware needs to be replaced, but that is should be more carefully secured.

If you decide you would like to have your hardware replaced. Computone offers what is called an Advance Replacement Program. For a nominal charge Computone will ship via Federal Express replacement hardware needed to get your system functioning again. Once you have installed the replacement product, you ship us the defective product back. For more details about this program as well as our standard repair policies; please call the RMA department at (800) 241-3946 ext. 1170.

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Can I extend the length of the cable from an Intelliport II Card to the EX Box?

You really can't extend the distance from the Card to the Board. What the cable and expansion box represent is an extension to the PC bus. This distance is limited to six feet by those standards written for PC buses. I would recommend that you investigate the possibility of using the IntelliServer line of products if distance is the problem. You can put an IntelliServer anywhere on your network, within the limitations of Ethernet, and you will have the serial ports that you need.

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What are three common problems that can lead to a printer losing data on the IP2?

There are three common problems that can lead to a printer losing data:

(1) Flow control improperly configured. In this case a short print job may appear to lose data only at the end, and a very short one may not lose data at all. A sufficiently long job will lose data throughout the report, not just at the end.

(2) Port-close flushing. Under Unix, when a port is closed, the OS does not expect to wait indefinitely for data to drain. It asks the driver to "resume" sending that may have been stopped by flow control, and afterward to "flush" any remaining output. This is how serial ports work as a matter of design; it is not driver-specific. Because of this, it is common for spooling scripts to include the command "drain_output" (I think it is called). This command performs a certain ioctl() on the standard output, the effect of which is to wait _INDEFINITELY_ for output to drain, before continuing. This is typically the last command in the script, so by the time the script exits (and the port is closed) the output has already drained. In some circumstances, this solution is not practical, so there are two other solutions available. Correctly placing NOFLUSH=y! in the intellitype entry for this port, or in the corresponding intellicap entry, will prevent the driver from issuing the "resume" and "flush" commands and should prevent any loss of data from that cause. In this case, the port would be closed before the buffered data had drained, but this data would be sent in due course. Since this solution allows the close to complete before data is sent, it may be that another process may re-open the port and begin to use it. This would not ordinarily be a problem, since any additional data would naturally follow what was already buffered. If this new process performs any deliberate flush or drain operations, it could of course affect any buffered data, even data buffered by earlier jobs. Also remember, whenever you make a change to intellitype/intellicap files, you must run fip_reinit or restart the system before the change takes effect. Another solution, similar in effect to noflush=y!, is to use a "hold open" script on the port. This will eliminate ALL side-effects of closing the port by preventing it from being closed at all. (The driver's "open" function is called when any process opens the port, but the driver's "close" function is called only when the _last process to still have the port open, closes it. If there is always some process with the port open, the driver's close function is never called.

Typical hold-open script:

while true;do

sleep 3000

done < /dev/ttys05 &

(in this case, port 5 is being held open)

You will typically write a script containing these lines, use chmod to give the script execute permissions, and arrange to have it automatically run at startup (by appropriate manipulations of the rc scripts, for example). Or, as an experiment, you can simply type the script at the console (it runs in background) just before attempting to use the port for printing a job that is known to lose data.


Data-set signal anomalies. Another side effect of close(), depending on stty settings, is that the DTR signal may be dropped. Depending on your printer, and what printer pin (if any) the DTR signal may be connected to, this action may in itself cause some printers to toss data. In such case, a change in cabling or printer configuration, or using a hold-open script, may remedy the problem.

* * * * *

It is important to note the _exact character of the data loss. Is the missing data _always at the end of the job, or is it sometimes a missing piece shortly before the end, while the actual end of the job does appear?

* * * * *

Another interesting note: when you have flow control problems, increasing the baud rate (with a fixed rendering speed) will tend to make the problem _worse, while if you have an end-of-job flushing problem, DECREASING the rate will tend to make it worse.

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What do I do when my Sun System SPARC reboots connected to a RAS 2000?

SYNOPSIS: Preventing an IntelliServer reboot from halting the Sun system

When using an IntelliServer (connected to the system serial port) as
the console of a Sparc system, if the IntelliServer is rebooted or
has a power failure, the Sparc system could receive a break signal
from the port causing the system to halt (drop to the ok prompt).

When using a terminal server (connected to the system serial port) as
the console of a Sparc system, if the terminal server is rebooted or
has a power failure, the Sparc system could receive a break signal
from the port causing the system to halt (drop to the ok prompt).

This problem is documented in bug 4147705: Provide a method other than <break>
for entering the debugger.  The bug is fixed in Solaris 8.

Patches for Solaris 2.6 and Solaris 7 are available:

        Solaris 2.6: patch 105924-10
        Solaris 7:   patch 107589-02

The patches do not describe how to implement the alternate break signal.
To implement the alternate break signal, edit the /etc/default/kbd file to
remove the # from the entry:

The following procedure will enable the alternate break signal.

Step 1.  Install patch 105924-10 on Solaris 2.6 or patch 107589-02 on Solaris

Step 2.  Modify the /etc/default/kbd file, by removing the # from the entry:


        and changing it to:


Step 3. Reboot the IntelliServer.

Now only the alternate break sequence

        # ~^b

will be recognized as the abort sequence.

The bug report also offers the following commentary:

    A proposed solution is quite straightforward and simple: when the
    customer wants BREAK capability and still wants protection against
    "false" BREAKs a BREAK will be initiated by a character sequence
    CR ~ ^b which is similar to a familiar pattern used on Sun servers
    by the Remote Console. The Aux Break Sequence will be controlled by
    an /etc/system set variable and this could be easily disabled. When
    Aux Break is enabled the standard BREAK signal will be ignored for
    console input. It will be handled in the normal way for a serial port
    driver though. The Aux Break Sequence is recognized only when entered
    from a true Console device.

    In order for this change to provide the same high level interrupt
    functionality and minimal use of system resources, the changes
    are delivered in two binaries: The common SPARC zs serial driver
    and the sun4u specific UNIX module. Separate patch streams are
    maintained by use of dynamic symbol lookup at initialization time.

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