With the rapid oncoming inevitability of Windows 7 and having completely skipped Vista as a viable Enterprise OS I've been doing a bit of testing.

I have had Windows 7 x64 Build 7232 running as my primary OS for a bit over a week now and I have to say that it's quite an accomplished presentation. Using the Novell Client 2 for Windows Vista/2008 I have managed to set up my desktop in a thoroughly usable manner with a fully working GroupWise 8 client, properly mapping drives (after an initial odd process of having to re-enter my Tree and Context a couple of times it now goes in an maps all drives seamlessly), and up until yesterday when I allowed my machine to sleep overnight a fully working ConsoleOne.

It appears that the Novell Client, Groupwise and especially ConsoleOne do not like being recovered out of Sleep as all the network connections are dropped and do not recover gracefully. Groupwise and the drive mappings were not an issue as rebooting and logging in again resolved that issue without much fuss. ConsoleOne on the other hand has not recovered gracefully at all. Now when attempting to make a change to a user I get communication errors and when trying to change a users password I get the following error:

(Error 0x8801) A request was attempted with and invalid or nonattached connection handle.

Further investigation (i.e. clicking on Details :) ) produces this:

Client Services
An attempt by an application to request a connection failed. If a connection is closed, it becomes invalid.
Possible Cause
The connection handle that is being used by the requesting application no longer refers to a given connection slot in the requester's connection table. In this case, the application, such as an executable file or driver, might be out of date.
Possible Cause
An application might request that a connection be closed without any regard to other applications that point to the open connection.
Try the task again. If the error persists, contact the developer of the application for the latest version of the application.
Possible Cause
The server ran out of connections.
To free a connection, have a user who is connected to the server log out. Or, to increase the number of connections allowed for that server, go to a workstation where a user is connected to the server and has Supervisor rights, and increase the number of connections allowed.
Possible Cause
The software might not allow more connections for the client. For example, in some of the NetWare 3.12 utilities, like MAP and CAPTURE, this error will be returned if the workstation is attached to 9 or more servers. In NetWare 3.12, these utilities were designed to provide functionality for only 8 servers.
If you desire to increase the number of connections that a workstation can have, use a version of the software that will allow more connections. The utilities in NetWare 4 and later versions allow this number of connections.
Possible Cause
The connection might have been closed at the server, such as by an administrator clearing a connection using MONITOR.
If desired, have the user log in again to the network.
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Error Codes Contents
So - a little ambiguous in the Possible Cause/Action scenarios. I did try uninstalling my Novell Client and re-installing without NMAS as this has been known to cause issues.

The other thing I would've liked to have tried was re-installing ConsoleOne - but there is the small issue of C1 checking for an up to date version of the Novell Client being present and as was entirely expected C1 doesn't recognise the Beta Novell Client 2 for Windows Vista/2008 as being a viable up to date Windows client and promptly boots you out of the install siting that version 4.91 is a much more up to date client and that I should install that instead before trying to update C1... Nice...

You might ask how I got C1 working on Windows 7 in the first place - well it was fairly straight forward - I copied the installation off the network rather than trying to do a local install as I have seen many instances of people having to do registry hacks to get it installing - this doesn't make much sense to me as the reality is that the majority of enterprise environments use Windows and within the next 6-12 months Windows 7 is going to start having a level of penetration making our having to administer to it inevitable.

Not being able to administer to your environment because the tools don't work is not really acceptable. Granted W7 is in RC1 at the moment and as such is not strictly a released OS and as such isn't 'supported' surely it's better to start looking into this stuff sooner rather than later. I'd use iManager but it is an utterly painful and woefully non-intuitive tool when compared to C1. There is a HUGE amount of work left to go toward making that one a viable admin tool.

So rant over - my questions:

1. Is ConsoleOne a dead admin tool and is it something that we as network administrators should be fogetting in favor of iMangler?

2. Does anyone have a more definitive idea what might be causeing the 0x8801 CONN INVALID error and what might be a way of fixing it as for now ConsoleOne is a significantly better admin tool for us.

3. Are the any plans for Windows 7 support and when is Novell going to start making this support available to the end users?

4. As far as Novell admin tools go - am I missing something? Is there a super intuitive clever admin tool out there that nicely centralises our workload?

Many thanks!