Is running the Lotus Notes client with the Notes.ini and/or the Notes data directory on a file server a supported or recommended configuration?
While some users have successfully implemented this configuration, others have encountered significant problems due primarily to network interruptions, performance issues and other problems that only occur with the \Data directory on a network location instead of locally. Use of this configuration is done at the customer's own risk and can result in lost, non-recoverable data. IBM Support will provide assistance with Notes client problems encountered in this configuration to the extent that the problem is determined not to be loss of connection to the network or required file servers, as well as performance degradation with remote data files vs Local, and other issues that only occur with files on a network drive/file server.
Note: For Macintosh platforms, the same support statement holds true regarding the placement of the Notes Preferences file on a file share. The Notes Preferences file acts in a similar capacity as does the notes.ini on Windows 32-bit platforms.
Errors such as "Error: Reached End of File" can occur when closing the Notes client. Also, an "Invalid File Handles" error message can occur when closing a document. This error message occurs when the Notes.ini and/or the entire Notes data directory are stored on a network drive and the network connection is (temporarily) disconnected.
While Notes is involved in the scenario that produces the error, the error is generated by the operating system; not Notes. It can also occur randomly, while you are working in Notes.
Also, when Notes.ini files and data directories are on a file server and the file server runs out of space, one customer found that the Notes.ini files were being corrupted when attempting to update the NewMailSeqNum. Without sufficient space to write out the full .ini file during the update, the file was getting a "partial update" of the NewMailSeqNum pre-pended to the .ini file with a single right square bracket on the line following the number. This left the .ini file uninterpretable. This is further reason not to have the Notes.ini files (and data directories) out on a file server.
Another issue that has been reported when the Notes.ini and/or the Notes data directory is located on a network file server is a dialog box with the error, "Lotus Notes." This error appears intermittently when opening a server-based database. Moving the specified file and directory to a local drive, which is the standard setup, has resolved the issues stated above. Quality Engineering is aware of this issue, but has not been able to reproduce it.
This problem can also manifest itself if the owner of the file in Novell is different than the Notes user. In one case, a customer had created a "consultant" user in Novell and limited the "consultant's" allotted disk space. It was the "consultant's" job to set up the directory structure and files for each Notes user on the network. When the "consultant" was close to the limit of his allotted disk space the Notes user was unable to launch their Notes client. They received the error, "Out of disk space writing Notes.ini" when launching Notes and were unable to start. When the NetWare administrator checked the Notes user's allotted disk space there was always more than enough. The problem was corrected when the Notes user was made the owner of all his own personal data files in Novell.
Lotus Notes Client
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