Equisys technical notes

Technical guidance, explanations and fixes for our products

PRB: ZSUBMIT error Unable to contact server



ID: ZTN1033

This Zetafax technical note applies to:

  • Zetafax 5 and later


When starting the Zetafax server the process ZSUBMIT reports 'Unable to contact fax server' in the message window, and will not then process any submitted files.  However, the other Zetafax server programs are running correctly.

Note that in earlier versions of Zetafax, ZSUBMIT could report this error on start-up but would then report; "Server contact re-established" a few seconds after all the server programs had started.  This technical note does not apply in that case.


ZSUBMIT determines whether the server is running by attempting to open the lock file zfax\REQUEST\ZETAFAX.LOK file where 'zfax' is the name of the directory where the Zetafax server files are installed.  The server keeps this file locked while running, so access should be denied.

If there is a network problem or the network drivers do not treat locked files in the correct manner the program may be given access to the file, in which case the error message "unable to contact the server" is displayed.


This has been known to happen if the 'zfax' directory has been installed on a Netware share and the Zetafax server computer accesses the share using the Novell Netware client drivers, which appear to behave differently to other network drivers.

To resolve the problem, try one of the following:

  1. Change the Zetafax server computer to the 'Microsoft Client for Novell networks' (preferred solution)
  2. Upgrade to the latest version of the Novell client drivers,
  3. Configure ZSUBMIT not to check for the Zetafax server by adding the following line to the [ZSUBMIT] section of file zfax\SYSTEM\Z‑ DB\SETUP.INI:
  4. CheckServer: NO

  5. Then restart the Zetafax server.  Note that this corrects the symptom, not the underlying problem.


Please notify Equisys technical support of occurrences of this problem, giving details of the Novell client and server versions being used.

Last updated: 12 January 2000 (GC/GW)

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