IPX/SPX for Windows Vista & 7 x64:
Purpose: To learn how to install the IPX/SPX protocol on your 64-bit version of Windows Vista or 7.
Currently, there are no IPX fixes that work for Vista/7 x86/x64.
This is only an experiment.
Background: All Windows XP versions (x86 and x64) have integrated support for the IPX/SPX protocol that can be installed without loading external drivers. However, Microsoft has removed support for this protocol from all versions of Windows Vista/7 because Novell has terminated support for the protocol. Furthermore, the x64 version of Vista/7 prevents the installation of unsigned drivers.
Research: In looking for a solution, I discovered several documented methods of borrowing the IPX/SPX drivers files from an installed version of Windows XP x86, and then loading those files into Windows Vista x86. I could not find any methods for doing the same for their 64-bit counterparts. So I developed a method similar to the 32-bit technique using the 64-bit operating systems, and was able to reproduce the same results.
History: I had a need to run a legacy program that required IPX/SPX on a Vista x64 machine. After successfully installing the protocol, I attempted to run the program only to discover that the program in question was a 16-bit program with a 32-bit installer. I also learned that the inability for the 64-bit OS to run the 16-bit program is not controlled by the OS, but by the processor itself. It turns out that 16-bit instruction sets are disabled when the processor is in 64-bit mode; both for AMD and Intel.
Consequently, I was unable to test my solution and verify that this method works completely. If you try it, please report your results to me: Contact Me.
Alternative: Use of Virtual machines. Virtualization software is provided by VMware and Microsoft's VirtualPC. Also, "XP Mode" is available for Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate editions. I use VMware and XP Mode myself, both of which are quite excellent. VirtualPC is a good free alternative.
Method: The IPX/SPX driver files are copied from an installed copy of Windows XP Professional x64, and placed in the Windows Vista x64 installation. The enforcement of installing only signed device drivers is temporarily suspended to allow the installation of the protocol. The protocol is then installed like any other.
Download the Needed Files: WinXP x64 IPX/SPX Driver Files (425KB)
Do it the easy way and skip a step, read the instructions below, and use your Anti-Virus software! You may only download these files if you own a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) for the Windows XP Professional x64 operating system, or have downgrade rights to it.
Extreme Caution: (Disclaimer) You could really screw up your computer. If attempt to follow the instructions in this article, I am not responsible for any damage done to your computer systems or data. You should be qualified to service an operating system, and fully understand the technology that is being discussed. Do not do anything stupid. Do not attempt without full confidence. If you choose to try this, whatever happens, you fully accept that it's not my fault.
How to do it:
You need a running installation of Windows XP Professional x64 (64-bit). I installed it on a virtual machine, which works just fine.
On the XP installation, install the IPX/SPX protocol. It's built in, so it should be easy to do.
Go into the XP installation and copy off the following files and note the folder structure (typical location):C:\Windows\nwlnkipx.sys C:\Windows\nwlnknb.sys C:\Windows\nwlnkspx.sys C:\Windows\inf\netnwlnk.inf C:\Windows\inf\netnwlnk.PNF C:\Windows\system32\nwprovau.dll C:\Windows\system32\wshisn.dll C:\Windows\system32\drivers\nwlnkipx.sys C:\Windows\system32\drivers\nwlnknb.sys C:\Windows\system32\drivers\nwlnkspx.sys
If you download the Zip file above, it has all these files with the correct folder structure.
If you're familiar with the 32-bit method, you'll notice we're using fewer files in the 64-bit method.
Review my disclaimer above about doing irreparable damage to your system.
Go into the Vista/7 installation and paste the correct files into the matching folders. If you use the Zip file, just paste the Zip file contents into the root of the C: drive.
Reboot the computer and enter the OS' F8 boot menu.
Select Disable Driver Signature Enforcement which is for the current session only.
There are methods to permanently disable driver signature enforcement, but those methods are not recommended. Driver signature enforcement is a significant security feature.
Install the IPX/SPX drivers like you would for XP.
Start --> Control Panel --> Network and Sharing Center --> Manage network connections
Then, right-click on your network adapter and select Properties.
If prompted by the UAC (User Account Control), continue through it.
Click the Install button, then select Protocol and click the Add button.
Select the NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol, and click the OK button.
Wait a moment for the protocol to install.
A "Program Compatibility Assistant" warning will appear; ignore it.
The driver is now installed and you should see it listed in the properties for your network adapter.
Close all windows and reboot.
Your IPX/SPX protocol "should" now be completely operational and functioning perfectly. However, it isn't. This is where my part of the experiment ends, and the endless hours of you pulling out your hair begins. Good luck.
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