On Monday, a user called me to report that she was seeing "Unable to obtain IP address via DHCP. Network initialization failed: the DOS-mode client cannot proceed." messages on one of her company's PCs. Rebooting the system did not help. When I booted the system this evening, I saw the following appear on the system's screen during the boot process:
MS-DOS LAN Manager v2.1 Netbind IBM Netbind Version 2.1 Microsoft (R) Mouse Driver Version 8.20 Copyright (C) Microsoft Corp. 1983-1992. Copyright (C) IBM Corp. 1992-1993. Mouse driver installed Network initialization failed: the DOS-mode client cannot proceed Unable to obtain IP address via DHCP Network initialization failed: the DOS-mode client cannot proceed Unable to obtain IP address via DHCP
The last two lines continued to repeat. I hit Ctrl-C to break
out of the loop, which yielded a
I realized then that the
Ghost backup process
that normally runs on the weekend encountered a problem. A Ghost 7.5 server
normally starts a backup of the system on the weekend by contacting the
Ghost client software on the system and instructing it to reboot into
a Ghost virtual partition. When the backup process completes, the system
will reboot into Windows. But, in this case, something went wrong.
Apparently, when the system rebooted into the Ghost virtual partition, it couldn't obtain an IP address from the Ghost server via DHCP and then just continually looped as it tried to obtain an IP address via DHCP. When I later checked the DHCP server, I found that it had exhausted its pool of available IP addresses for handing out via DHCP.
At the prompt, I typed
ngctdos -hide and hit Enter
to "hide" the Ghost virtual boot partition and restart the system normally.