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Troubleshooting FAQs

ThinSTAR terminal and ThinPATH Software

ThinSTARs and Win2003
The 'FD' (Factory Default) command fails
ThinSTAR Connection/Recovery
Resetting a ThinSTAR 200/232/332/300/400/500 to Factory Default
Resetting ThinSTAR 532/564 to Factory Default
Monitor Support
ThinSTARs don't receive RDP audio from Win 2003 Terminal Services
Upgrading ThinSTAR’s to support Windows 2003 Terminal Services
ThinSTAR is unable to connect to Terminal Services
ThinSTAR software Updates
ThinSTARs running UNIX/Linux X11 GUI
ThinSTAR Software Recovery
VNC support on ThinSTARs
16/24 bit color on Terminal Services
Printing to LPT Network port from Windows 2003 Terminal Services
ThinSTAR Com ports with Terminal Services
ThinSTARs unable to power up & Corrupt O/S files on Flash memory
Using the USB ports
ThinSTAR ICA client updates
Using ThinSTAR serial & Parallel ports with Terminal Services
Managing ThinSTARs through a firewall
ThinSTARs communicating to the NCD TMS Management Server
Additional NCD ThinSTAR Documentation


ThinSTARs and Win2003

The ThinSTAR 450/400/300 will work connected to Windows 2003 Terminal Services but there are limitations:

  • The RDP audio channel does not work and
  • Only up to 256 colors are supported.

These limitations are based on the Version 5.0 of the RDP client used in the ThinSTAR 450/400/300 which runs Windows CE O/S Version 2.12. Microsoft does not offer the newer RDP client for Windows CE V 2.12 and a newer version of Windows CE O/S was never made available on the TS450/400/300 products. The Version 5.0 RDP client does not support higher than 256 colors and other new features found in the Microsoft 5.2 RDP client for windows CE V3 or V4.x which was released with Windows 2003.

The TS450/400/300 is an obsolete product which NCD no longer sells. NCD has no plans to offer any software updates to enhance the TS450/400/300 product.

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The 'FD' (Factory Default) command fails

This indicates that you have an old version of the ThinSTAR O/S that does not support the "FD" Factory Default command.

The Forced Recovery method requires you to have a DHCP server and the ThinSTAR O/S (TMS service) running on the same local network as the ThinSTAR. You need to download and install the latest ThinSTAR O/S to get the ThinSTAR TMS Service running.

The other option would be to follow the procedure to delete the password outlined in the following document: Recovering ThinSTARs via TFTP.

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ThinSTAR Connection/Recovery

In an effort to help you reduce downtime of your NCD terminals, NCD wants to help avoid a trip to our service depot. Our service department finds approx. 50% of returned ThinSTAR units for warranty repairs do not have hardware related problems. Reducing the "no problem found" percentage helps your company on unit downtime as well as NCD’s ThinSTAR warrantee repair costs. There is a procedure that reloads the Windows CE software that corrects many problems thought to be hardware related, much like reloading the O/S on a PC. This procedure takes only a few minutes to perform on a ThinSTAR.

When the ThinSTAR is first tuned on, normally it displays the NCD ThinSTAR logo screen and the progress bar. This usually indicates the hardware is working fine. You may relate this to getting to a BIOS screen on a PC. Prior to the logo screen, ROM based hardware diagnostics are run and if a hardware diagnostics error message appears or the display remains blank, there is a hardware related problem and an RMA would be issued.

The ThinSTAR is running software Operating System Windows CE V 2.12 from Microsoft which can get corrupted. No software O/S is perfect; this is why NCD has built into the ThinSTAR product family software reloading procedures that can easily be performed by anyone with basic network and PC training. These procedures are different from loading a normal Windows O/S on a PC but are much easier to learn. This procedure is performed on every ThinSTAR before it is repaired by the NCD Service department. Details on using this procedure can be found in a document linked to in step 7 below.

Here are the questions Tech Support would normally ask to determine the type of network problem you're having and to determine if it is hardware related:

  1. Do you see the ThinSTAR logo screen and the progress bar on power up?
  2. After boot does the Connection Managed window appear?
  3. Is the ThinSTAR configured to get an IP address via DHCP?
  4. Was the ThinSTAR able to get an IP address from the DHCP server?
  5. If the Connection Manager window is present, press F2 to display the Terminal Properties window.
  6. In the Terminal Properties window you can "Ping" other hosts to verify the network connection and verify the IP address has been correctly assigned to the ThinSTAR. Does the "Ping" fail? Are the IP values correct (local address, subnet mask,& gateway)?
  7. If everything above is Okay then the recovery procedure should be run on the ThinSTAR to correct any local software problems. This procedure is documented in this document: Recovering ThinSTARs via TFTP

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Resetting a ThinSTAR 200/232/332/300/400/500 to Factory Default

Here are the instructions for resetting a ThinSTAR to factory default:

  1. Power cycle the ThinSTAR
  2. At the NCD splash screen, while the "blue load bar" is moving, hit the key combination 'shift+F5' You should get a message of "Diagnostic Mode Enabled"
  3. When you get to a command prompt, type 'fd' and hit return. At least one file will be deleted, if not more.
  4. Next type 'rs' and hit return at the prompt to reboot the ThinSTAR.
  5. When the ThinSTAR reboots, you will be prompted to go through the setup wizard and then recreate your connections. The old password will be gone, and you may add a new one.

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Resetting ThinSTAR 532/564 to Factory Default

Here are the instructions to clear out the password on a ThinSTAR 532.LX.

Clearing the Password

  1. Boot the terminal and hold down the shift key which brings you to a boot prompt at which you can enter: >software single. This will boot the OS in a single user mode.
  2. The progress bar will appear and then press Alt+F2 to get to the single user prompt.
  3. Type: cd /etc
  4. Unlock the file system by typing: /sbin/fsunlock
  5. Copy the shadow.default on top of the shadow file by typing the following:
  6. cp shadow.default shadow)
  7. Lock the file system by typing: /sbin/fslock
  8. Type exit and the terminal will boot up normally and the password should be cleared.

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Monitor Support

NCD does not support using NCD monitors with PCs. The monitors are made for NCD by other companies to work with NCD's Unix X-window and Thin-Client terminals.

You may want to try another company called MonitorWorld at www.monitorworld.com for further assistance. They provide information on monitor specifications. For drivers, try www.driverguide.com. NCD monitors do not require separate drivers when used with our terminals, as the driver code is incorporated with the operating system image.

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ThinSTARs don't receive RDP audio from Win 2003 Terminal Services

Q- We recently upgraded our servers to Win 2003 TSE. We have audio redirection working on all PC's on the system, but the ThinSTAR terminals will not recognize audio. The internal test under terminal properties/management/audio works ok, but when logged on, opening control panel/sounds/audio/default device says RDP driver. Clinking on advanced, error message says "Direct Sound Settings Not Available"

A- The TS450/400/300 will work connected to Windows 2003 Terminal Services but there are limitations. The RDP audio channel does not work and only up to 256 colors are supported. These limitations are based on the Version 5.0 of the RDP client used in the ThinSTAR 450/400/300 which runs Windows CE O/S Version 2.12. Microsoft does not offer the newer RDP client for Windows CE V 2.12 and a newer version of Windows CE O/S was never made available on the TS450/400/300 products. The Version 5.0 RDP client does not support higher than 256 colors and other new features found in the Microsoft 5.2 RDP client for windows CE V3 or V4.x which was released with Windows 2003. The TS450/400/300 is an obsolete product which NCD no longer sells and is no longer serviced at NCD. NCD has no plans to offer any software updates to enhance the TS450/400/300 product.

NCD is now selling software that converts any existing or new PC into a manageable Thin Client device. NCD ThinPATH PC provides users with a simple to used UI like today's Window Based Terminals or a Windows like UI. It also provides administrators with a PC lock down tool and a simple to use desktop management tool. NCD ThinPATH PC allows administrators to choose if/which PC applications are run locally or from the Terminal Server host. Download NCD ThinPATH PC and Portal from the Download Center to fully test all the features. This product includes a free no restriction 2 user licenses. It is provided upon download of NCD ThinPATH Portal/PC software.

Please use the following link to download the latest ThinSTAR O/S TMS software: Download Center. To upgrade the software on a TSxxx to the most current software does not require the use of NCD ThinPATH Manager, which requires a license at installation. You only need NCD ThinSTAR O/S software which is free. On the page Download Center select the link “NCD ThinPATH Manager 2.31 and NCD ThinSTAR Operating Software, v2.31" under Miscellaneous Software. During software installation only install “NCD ThinSTAR Operating Software” which does not require a license. Please note, this download includes V2.2 for TS200 and V2.31 for all other ThinSTAR products.

NCD ThinPATH Manager and NCD ThinPATH Portal provided the ability to change and manger the configuration of the TSxxx remotely and automatically during boot. Once you register an evaluation license is automatically provided if you wish to try out these licensed products from the download page.

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Upgrading ThinSTARs to support Windows 2003 Terminal Services

Q- We have a customer who is using the ThinSTAR client and we would like to upgrade the RDP client to support Windows 2003. What programs do we need? And how should we do it?

A- The TS200 by default includes RDP V4.0. This client will work connected to Windows 2003 Terminal Services but there are limitations. The RDP PRINTING, RDP audio channel does not work and only up to 256 colors are supported. These limitations are based on the Version 4.0 of the RDP client used in the ThinSTAR 200 which runs Windows CE O/S Version 2.12. Newer NCD ThinSTAR products included RDP V 5.0, but this update was never offered on the TS200. Microsoft does not offer the newer RDP clients for Windows CE V 2.12 and the Windows CE O/S was never made available on the TS400/300/200 products which would support the V 5.2 RDP client. The Version 4.0 & 5.0 RDP clients do not support higher than 256 colors and other new features found in the Microsoft 5.2 RDP client released with Windows 2003. The TS400/300/200 products are obsolete which NCD no longer sells. NCD has no plans to offer any software updates to enhance the TS400/300/200 product at this time.

Please use the following link to download the latest ThinSTAR O/S TMS software: Download Center. To upgrade the software on a TSxxx to the most current software does not require the use of NCD ThinPATH Manager, which requires a license at installation. You only need NCD ThinSTAR O/S software which is free. On the page Download Center select the link “NCD ThinPATH Manager 2.31 and NCD ThinSTAR Operating Software, v2.31" under Miscellaneous Software. During software installation only install “NCD ThinSTAR Operating Software” which does not require a license. Please note, this download includes V2.2 (includes RDP 4.0) of TS200 and V2.31 (includes RDP 5.0) for all other ThinSTAR products.

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ThinSTARs unable to connect to Terminal Services

Q- I have a customer that is running Windows 2000 SP4, but the ThinSTAR is only being allocated a temporary license and not a permanent license by the server. There are over 70 licenses available on the server its self which are all free. I have reset the ThinSTAR and set it up from scratch but it still won’t connect.

A- All NCD TSxxx products are assigned a unique ID number assigned by the Microsoft CE O/S which is written by Microsoft and not controlled by NCD. This ID number is not changeable and is sent to the Terminal Server during the initial RDP or ICA connection. This ID number is then entered in the Terminal Server licensing data base. All the control for managing the licensing for CE devices connecting via RDP or ICA is by Microsoft software on the server. NCD and Microsoft support has documented incidences where an entry for a particular license entry in the Terminal Server licensing data base associated to a ThinSTAR was corrupt causing the ThinSTAR to not be able to get a valid license and connect. This was noted by an error in the Event Log on the Terminal Server running the Terminal Server Licensing service.

There are patches to Windows 2000 SP3 which are included in SP4 that were to correct some of theses types of problems, but it required you install SP4 and then reinitialize the TS License data base by removing and reinstalling the Terminal Server Licensing service from add/remove windows components and reinstalling/activating the Terminal Server licenses. The solution Microsoft support provided to past customers with a ThinSTAR, was to rebuild the Terminal Server Licensing Data base using the steps in the previous sentence. At that time this was the only way to remove a corrupted entry in the licensing data base. In the past year there may be new tools available from Microsoft. Please refer to the Microsoft article to help resolve the licensing issue. Microsoft Knowledge Base Article ID 827355

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ThinSTAR software Updates

Q- What is the highest possible version of CE the NCD ThinSTAR's will support and where do we get it?

A- Windows CE V2.12. You will find the latest software updates for the ThinSTAR products on our website at: http://www.ncd.com/support/files.html. Please use the following link to download the latest ThinSTAR O/S TMS software: Download Center. To upgrade the software on a TSxxx to the most current software does not require the use of NCD ThinPATH Manager, which requires a license at installation. You only need NCD ThinSTAR O/S software which is free. In our Download Center select the link “NCD ThinPATH Manager 2.31 and NCD ThinSTAR Operating Software, v2.31" under Miscellaneous Software. During software installation only install “NCD ThinSTAR Operating Software” which does not require a license. Please note, this download includes V2.2 for TS200 and V2.31 for all other ThinSTAR products. NCD ThinPATH Manager and NCD ThinPATH Portal provided the ability to change and manger the configuration of the TSxxx remotely and automatically during boot. Once you register an evaluation license is automatically provided if you wish to try out these licensed products from the download page.

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ThinSTARs running UNIX/Linux X11 GUI

Q- I have ThinSTAR 200/300/400 clients and want to set them up with XDMCP X11 services. I have been reading a lot about how to do this but cannot seem to find a good solution. Please inform me of what I need to do to connect to my Linux/Unix Servers using X windows.

A- NCD Sells the "X11 server" software component for the TS200/300/400 enabling you to display "X11 client" applications on a ThinSTAR device from a typical UNIX or Linux server. NCD also sells a model NC900 which is an X Terminal device running an X11 server and a X11 Server for PC's called NCD PCXware for Microsoft Windows 98/2000/XP/2003.

If the (NCD ThinPATH X Windows) X11 Server software is installed on the TS200/300/400 then follow these instructions to configuring the XDMCP settings. Open the Terminal Properties window (press F2 with the connection manager window showing) under Management/Clients. Choose X11 server from the dropdown box and click on Configure Client.

If the X11 server is not installed on the TS200/300/400, you must purchased the necessary licenses (1 license per TS200/300/400) to use NCD ThinPATH X Windows software? The ThinSTAR by default only provides the ability to open a session to a Windows NT/2000/2003 Terminal Server host using either ICA or RDP protocols.

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ThinSTAR Software Recovery

Q- During the bootup process on my TS200/300/400 the progress indicator goes to 100% but it never displays the connection manager screen. I've installed the latest operating software on the server to try and update the terminal but they receive an error RE000008 during the upgrade process.

A- Recovery procedures on TS200/300/400/500

Try first...

On boot (when displaying the boot progress bar) press "Shift" "F11". This requires that a DHCP server and the NCD TMS server be running on the same subnet as the ThinSTAR. If this fails, then the next procedure will always work. It may take some time to set it up the first time.

Try second...

Perform the recovery procedure (Recovering ThinSTARs via TFTP) on the ThinSTAR 200/300/400/500 to reload the flash memory when the procedure above (try first) fails.

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VNC support on ThinSTARs

Q- Is it possible to run VNC on the ThinSTAR 200/232/300/400 terminals to view their screen remotely.

A- No, VNC is not supported; however NCD has a software product called NCD ThinPATH Mirror which performs the same function. Please see our web site for more details.... ThinPATH Executive

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16/24 bit color on Terminal Services

Q- Can the ThinSTAR 232/300/400/500 support greater than 256 (16 bit) colors?

A- Greater than 256 color support is only currently provided using ICA connections. The ThinSTAR 232/300/400/500 will work connected to Windows 2003 Terminal Services but there are limitations. The RDP audio channel does not work and only up to 256 colors are supported. These limitations are based on the Version 5.0 of the RDP client used in the ThinSTAR 232/300/400/500 which runs Windows CE O/S Version 2.12. Microsoft does not offer the newer RDP client for Windows CE V 2.12 and a newer version of Windows CE O/S was never made available on the TS450/00/300 products. The Version 5.0 RDP client does not support higher than 256 colors and other new features found in the Microsoft 5.2 RDP client for windows CE V3 or V4.x which was released with Windows 2003. The TS450/400/300 is an obsolete product which NCD no longer sells and is no longer serviced at NCD. NCD has no plans to offer any software updates to enhance the TS450/400/300 product.

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Printing to LPT Network port from Windows 2003 Terminal Services

Q- Will the ThinSTAR 232/300/400/500/532 support printing to the local LPT printer port when connected to a Windows 2003 Server?

A- Printing to a LPT printer port is not supported however there are three methods you can use to print using NCD ThinSTAR products under Windows Terminal Services. Select only one of the three methods of printing and disable the other two. Disabling RDP printing or ICA printing involves settings on the Terminal Server Host, not on the ThinSTAR. Enabling more than one method will cause problems when printing to the ThinSTAR.

Printing using NCD ThinPATH Plus:

  • The serial and parallel ports are accessible using NCD ThinPATH Plus from the Terminal Server computer on the network. NCD ThinPATH Plus is a separate client server program that makes virtual ports on the Windows Terminal Server that are connected over the network to a ThinSTAR or PC's local serial or parallel ports. NCD ThinPATH Plus can be used with either RDP or ICA connections. This software can be downloaded for evaluation from our Download Center. On the same web page please see the links to the documentation for NCD ThinPATH Plus.

Printing Using Citrix ICA:

  • Citrix ICA supports com port mapping. The latest ICA client V 7.x from Citrix Systems for the ThinSTAR 300 is available on our web site at: http://www.ncd.com/support/files.html

You can contact Citrix for full details if you are using ICA.

Printing using Microsoft Terminal Server RDP client:

  • The current version of RDP V5.0 on the ThinSTAR also supports printing. From the local Terminal Properties window (Press F2 on the ThinSTAR) you can define the local printer driver that is used for the RDP client software. When you make the RDP connection a printer will automatically be defined on the Terminal Server host for that user. Select Management/Client


Click on Configure Client


Select local Port LPT1:, Com1 or Com2 and select Printer Driver.

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ThinSTAR Com ports with Terminal Services

Q- We are unable to activate a second com port on our ThinSTAR 200/232/300/400/500 using NCD ThinPATH Plus. Are there any limitations to do this or is there a trick to have two com ports active at the same time?

A- We have seen problems when you are using ICA to connect to Terminal Services and NCD ThinPATH PLUS at the same time on the ThinSTAR, Please make sure that com port mapping is disabled in Citrix Meta Frame on the Terminal Server host. Both the local ICA client and ThinPATH PLUS client may be trying to access the same serial device on the ThinSTAR. This is also true if using RDP to connect, the RDP com port mapping must also be disabled on the Terminal Server

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ThinSTARs unable to power up & Corrupt O/S files on Flash memory

Q- I have a faulty ThinSTAR 200/232/300/400/500. On boot I receive the error Fault: Missing System Files. I this covered under the ThinSTAR Warrantee?

A- NCD wants to make sure your ThinSTAR does have a hardware related problem so it is back into service in the timeliest manner. Our service department finds over half of returned ThinSTAR units for repairs are not hardware related problems. Reducing the "no problem found" percentage helps your company on unit downtime as well as NCD's ThinSTAR warrantee repair costs. There is a procedure that reloads the Windows CE software that corrects many problems thought to be hardware related, much like reloading the O/S on a PC. This procedure takes only a few minutes to perform on a ThinSTAR.

When the ThinSTAR is first tuned on, normally it displays the NCD ThinSTAR logo screen and the progress bar. This usually indicates the hardware is Okay. You may relate this to getting to a BIOS screen on a PC. Prior to the logo screen, ROM based hardware diagnostics are run; a hardware diagnostics error message would have been displayed or the display would have just stayed blank. If this is the case, it is for sure a hardware related problem and an RMA will be issued to you promptly.

The ThinSTAR is running software Operating System Windows CE V 2.12 from Microsoft which may get corrupt. No software O/S is perfect; this is why NCD has built into the ThinSTAR product family, software reloading procedures that can easily be performed by anyone with basic network and PC training. These procedures are different from loading a normal Windows O/S on a PC but are much easier to learn. The lowest level recovery procedure ThinSTAR's have, is referred to as Bpup & Ceup which is documented on our web site. This procedure is performed on every ThinSTAR before it is repaired by the NCD Service department. Once a PC is setup correctly with a TFTP service and the Bpup & Ceup load files for the ThinSTAR, it only takes a minute to load the Windows CE O/S. See the pdf document link below.

Here are the questions I would normally ask to determine if the problem you're having is hardware related.

  1. Do you see the ThinSTAR logo screen and the progress bar on power up?
  2. During boot was the ThinSTAR able to get an IP address from the DHCP server?
  3. Did the Windows CE O/S fail to find file(s) during boot?
  4. If everything above is yes then it is most likely not a hardware problem. Just perform the recovery procedure (Recovering ThinSTARs via TFTP) on the ThinSTAR to correct any software related problems.

Please note: software related problems are not covered under the ThinSTAR hardware warrantee repair agreement.

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Using the USB ports

Q- How do I use the USB ports on my ThinSTAR 300/400/500?

A- All NCD ThinSTAR products run O/S Microsoft Windows CE V2.12. This version by default had no support for USB ports. The more costly NCD ThinSTAR products came with USB ports, but have always been un-useable. NCD had plans to offer newer windows CE O/S that included support for USB ports, but before completing the port to a newer CE for ThinSTAR’s the product line was sold to Neoware Inc and this update for the ThinSTAR was never completed.

All ThinSTAR’s running the latest ThinSTAR software V 2.3.1 from NCD is unable to (Download Center) recognizes any device connect to the local USB ports. To NCD’s knowledge there is no third party software available which would enable USB devices on the ThinSTAR’s.

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ThinSTAR ICA client updates

Q- What’s the latest ICA client for NCD ThinSTAR 300/400/500 and how you update them? The latest ICA client in the ThinSTAR O/S is only V6.2 and I need V8 of the ICA client.

A- Citrix Systems has not yet released ICA client V8 for the Windows CE 2.12 O/S which is used on the ThinSTAR 300/400/500. Please see our web site for newer ICA clients. http://www.ncd.com/support/files.html

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Using ThinSTAR serial & Parallel ports with Terminal Services

Q- How can I access the serial and parallel ports on my ThinSTAR 300/400/500 through Microsoft Terminal Services? What is NCD ThinPATH Plus Com/LPT port mapping?

A- NCD ThinPATH Plus provides a way for users on Windows NT/2000/2003 Terminal Server hosts to map virtual COM & LPT ports back to a local COM/LPT port on client PC’s, Embedded NT & XP Thin Clients, CE legacy ThinSTAR Window Based Terminal’s and Neoware CE Eon’s & Capio’s.

This is intended to help with first time setup and troubling problems using NCD ThinPATH Plus COM/LPT port mapping Once you understand how to configure NCD ThinPATH Plus and how it makes TCP/IP connections from the server to the remote PC or WBT’s you will understand how to resolve any related problems.

ThinPATH Plus COM/LPT Basics

NCD ThinPATH Plus is a client/server application requiring a running program on each the Terminal Server host and the user’s client PC. On the server side, it is launched by an application program connecting/opening the NCD virtual port. On the users client PC it is started from a control panel applet. The NCD control panel applet causes the program “NCDserialD.exe” to run. On the remote PC the only requirement is this program must be running. There is no configuration UI, INI file or registry associated with NCDserialD.exe. The configuration is only controlled at the server when setting up the Virtual ports.

NCD ThinPATH Plus COM/LPT port mapping communicates over TCP/IP using a number TCP ports. The selected local serial/parallel port on user’s client PC NCD ThinPATH Plus uses the following TCP/IP ports.

ThinPATH Plus Port Usage
Local PC/ThinSTAR TCP Port Direction In/Out
Serial port 1 6461 Both
Serial port 2 6462 Both
Parallel 1 6464 Both

NCD ThinPATH Plus from the Client/Server point of view

The NCD ThinPATH Plus server component initiates a connection to the client PC using TCP/IP network sockets. The key to resolving any problem, is knowing how NCD ThinPATH Plus initiates the network connection. When creating Virtual ports, under NCD ThinPATH Plus there is one setting that controls this, “Use Client Services”. When this box is check the IP address is derived from one of two environment variable created when the RDP connection is established, CLIENTNAME or CLIENTADDRESS.

To view these values, open the Terminal Services Manager window, and select the connection name associated with your RDP connection in the left pain. On the right pain select the tab “Information”. If “CLIENTADDRESS” is defined this value will be used, otherwise it will use “Client name”. NCD ThinPATH Plus server uses this value to establish a connection. If there is an IP address in “CLIENTADDRESS”, that address must be reachable through whatever is between the NCD ThinPATH Plus server and the NCD ThinPATH Plus client on the remote PC or WBT. If there is only a “Client name” value established the name must be resolvable by the PC using DNS or a host file lookup where NCD ThinPATH Plus Server is running. On the Server use the command “ping” from a “DOS command window” to verify the name is resolvable.

NCD ThinPATH Plus allows you to also hard code the IP address or host name to a specific value when creating the virtual ports. This is selected by un-checking “Use Client Services” box. Here the specified IP address or host name is directly used by the NCD ThinPATH Plus Server to connect to the NCD ThinPATH Plus client on the remote PC.

Installation

After downloading from our Download Center, “NCDThinPATHPlus.exe” must run on the server PC and the client PC to install the server components and client components. The installation process will automatically determine the PC operating system and will install the correct ThinPATH Plus components. See document ThinPATH Plus Install Guide for full installation details.

Configuring Virtual Ports on the Server PC

A virtual port defined under NCD ThinPATH Plus is used to create a virtual serial or parallel port for any existing Terminal Server application to attach. The virtual port definition includes the network address and specific local port to use on the client PC or WBT.

  1. Open ThinPATH Plus Configuration window (Start ->Programs->Administrative Tools (common)->NCD ThinPATH Plus->ThinPATH Plus Configuration).
  2. Select COM(n) and click on “Edit Port”, where (n) is COM port number.
  3. Select “Use Client Services” or “Use Specified Client Hostname”. Enter the Client PC’s IP address if the latter was selected. Press Next to continue.
  4. Select the Serial Port that will be used for the serial device connected at the Client PC. Press Next to continue.
  5. Set the appropriate serial port parameters that match the settings for the serial device that will be used on the Client PC. Press Next to continue and press Finish.

This newly created virtual port will now be accessible for applications on the server PC to open as if it were a local COM port, but there are some limitations. Applications that open virtual ports will not be able do get status from serial port status lines and will not be able to set specific serial port parameters. If this is a requirement of the application, then it may not work through the NCD virtual port. The application should only try to open the virtual port to access in/out data.

If using a virtual LPT port two-way communications is not supported. Some printer drivers require two-way communications over the parallel port. If this is a requirement for the Printer on the client PC and the printer driver on the server PC then printing will not work.

Starting ThinPATH Plus COM/LPT Client

On the users client PC, from the control panel open the NCD Plus Controls applet. Select “Enable NCD Plus Com/lpt ports” and press “OK”. This causes the program “NCDserialD.exe” to run.

NCD ThinPATH PLUS Printing from Dos applications through Terminal Services

NCD ThinPATH Plus provides the ability to print from DOS application that can only print to LPT when the application is running on a remote connection to Windows Terminal Services.

  1. Create virtual port under NCD ThinPATH Plus Configuration say LPT5. Make sure “Use Client Services” is checked. Map LPT 5 to Hardware port Parallel port 1
  2. Create Printer using local port NCD-LPT5 logged in as Administrator on the console and set printer for sharing
  3. Login in as a user through a RDP session and map DOS device LPT to printer share name; use LPT: \\servername\printerShareName. This will map LPT to the printer created in step 2.
  4. Test from a DOS window by typing; “type somefile.txt > lpt:”

This should send the file “somefile.txt” to the DOC LPT device and then to the print spooler defined in step 2. The Print spooler will send it to the Virtual port NCD-LPT5 which will direct it to the IP address defined by the RDP session environment variable “CLIENTADDRESS”. The NCD Thin Path Plus establishes a TCP/IP network socket Port 6262 connection to the local PC and the local PC’s ThinPATH Plus (NCDserialD.exe) client sends it to the local parallel port 1.

Troubleshooting Common Problems

  1. Can you PING the client PC from the server PC using the WINS name of the PC? When selecting “Use Client Services” from the virtual port configuration, the RDP sessions value “CLIENTNAME” (which is a WINS name) is used to open a network connection. NCD ThinPATH PLUS COM/LPT uses the traditional “DNS & host file” lookup to resolve the IP address. If the client PC’s WINS name has not been added to a local host file or the DNS name server then it will not be able to connect. If this fails add the PC’s name to DNS or the local host file on the server PC.
  2. Is NCDserialD.exe running as a program on the client PC? Open Task Manager to see if the program is running. Open the control panel applet labeled “NCD ThinPATH Plus Controls” and enable COM/LPT port mapping to start the NCDserialD.exe program.
  3. Use the free Windows tool called “portmon” to monitor COM & LPT port activity by running applications on both the Server PC and Client PC. Download “portmon” from www.sysinternals.com.

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Managing ThinSTARs through a firewall

Q- Can you tell me what network ports are necessary for NCD ThinPATH Manager to manage NCD ThinSTAR terminals through a firewall?

A- NCD ThinPATH Manager uses random ports so it is not a good idea to place it on the inside and open all the ports required for it through the firewall.

One suggestion is to place a PC on the outside of the firewall and just have the two TMS services running on it. On the PC go into services and shutdown most services so the PC is not venerable to attacks through the many open windows TCP/UDP ports. Use this PC running TMS to manage all the outside ThinSTAR's.

Another solution is to place the TMS PC in the DMZ and set up your firewall box to only allow access to ports 128 & 300-1000 to the PC with the TMS software from the out side. If you know the address of the ThinSTAR devices on the outside you could also set up a firewall policy to only accept access from those ThinSTAR's.

Ports used By ThinSTAR’s and ThinPATH Manager
TCP/UDP Port # Direction In/Out Description
UDP 128 Both ThinSTAR Management Service (TMS) broadcast
TCP 128 Both Mgmt. Server (TMS) static defined address
TCP 300-10000 Both Communication and file transfer (TMS)
TCP 5998 Both ThinSTAR telnet diagnostic port
TCP 5999 Both ThinSTAR telnet diagnostic port
UDP 69 Both Software Recovery - bpup and ceup tftp file transfer
UDP 67 Output BOOTP or DHCP server
UDP 68 Input BOOTP or DHCP client
TCP 3389 Both RCP Client communication (Q258544)
TCP 1494 Input ICA Client communication
TCP 1023-65535 Output ICA Client communication
UDP 1604 Both ICA Client broadcast for Program Neighborhood
TCP 80 Both Local ThinSTAR httpd service
TCP-UDP 161 Both Remote ThinSTAR restart via SNMP Agent
TCP-UDP 162 Both SNMP Trap messages

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ThinSTARs communicating to the NCD TMS Management Server

Q- How do I configure the ThinSTAR 200/300/400/500 to contact the TMS management server?

A- The ThinSTAR 200/300/400/500 includes an intelligent client that automatically looks on the same subnet every time on power-up for the PC running the TMS service running as part of ThinPATH Manager. So there is nothing to configure on the ThinSTAR side unless they are not on the same subnet. There is a setting on the ThinSTAR where you can set the IP address of its TMS management server, but this is not required when they are on the same subnet.

There is nothing on the server management side you can do to detect the ThinSTAR. The ThinSTAR’s intelligent client registers it self with the TMS Management server each time it power’s up. The software/configuration on the ThinSTAR is broken into modules that are assigned version numbers. The ThinSTAR Management Server can control which module is updated, down graded or just removed from the ThinSTAR. A comparison of each module versions on the ThinSTAR and on the management server is made to determine what modules to modify. If there is nothing to update, the user just sees the ThinSTAR turn on normally. If an update is required the ThinSTAR displays a window indicating flash memory is being updated and to not turn the power off. In all cases you can view the log of the ThinSTAR which provides more details on what it did during power-up. The ThinPATH Management software provides many tools. For example you can control all ThinSTAR configuration settings and to control when the ThinSTAR’s are rebooted which indirectly controls when new configurations are installed.

To test the update process Just make a change under ThinPATH Manager and reboot the ThinSTAR, and look for the update window to appear on the ThinSTAR screen.

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