MS LAN Manager NDDK Anyone?

For R&D purposes, I would very much like to get my hands on the circa 1991 Microsoft LAN Manager Network Device Driver Kit which was meant to support the development of NDIS 2.0 drivers. While it is obvious that some kind of development kit for NDIS 2.0 drivers must have existed, the exact name is actually known thanks to the Q80562 KB Article.

That same KB Article also mentions MTTOOL, a test tool that sounds very useful, but unfortunately I’ve not been able to find it anywhere. The tool itself would be helpful even without the rest of the kit.

The closest thing I could find is a 1993 NDDK (Network Device Development Kit) that supports NDIS 3.0 drivers for the Windows for Workgroups 3.11 environment. While the NDDK is valuable on its own, it is quite different and not immediately useful because it is oriented towards Windows NT and 32-bit environments, unlike the 16-bit NDIS 2.0 which supported DOS and 16-bit OS/2.

The old LAN Manager NDDK seems to have fallen through the cracks of the post-IBM-divorce chaos at Microsoft. It wasn’t documented in the older Microsoft Programmer’s Library and by the time MSDN was rolled out, the NDIS 3.0 NDDK was current. And because OS/2 had been disowned by then, Microsoft probably saw no need to widely distribute the older NDIS 2.0 kit.

Which is ironic because although NDIS 2.0 development might be finally dead now, it was not a few years ago, with Intel offering an updated DOS network driver package as late as 2019. The newest NDIS 2.0 driver in the set is dated December 28, 2015, which means NDIS 2.0 survived even past the Windows XP era, leave alone Windows 9x or Windows 3.x!

Update (June 23, 2021): Less than 3 months later, the 30+ year old NDDK popped up. It is now available here.

This entry was posted in Development, DOS, Microsoft, Networking, OS/2. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to MS LAN Manager NDDK Anyone?

  1. Michael Casadevall says:

    Intend reference PXE implementation uses a NDIS2 driver last i checked which is why you can find a surprising number of them

  2. Michael Casadevall says:

    Intel even. Autocorrect strikes again…

  3. Michal Necasek says:

    Very true. The PXE 2.1 spec from late 1999 refers to NDIS 2.0, and it is written in a way that suggest it never occurred to the authors that anything other than NDIS 2.0 is even out there on DOS.

  4. Andrew Bird says:

    I’m not sure if this is what you are looking for but there’s a post on vcfed that at least shows a picture of NDDK (1990), see comment #5 at https://www.vcfed.org/forum/forum/genres/pcs-and-clones/1213064-early-windows-programming

  5. Michal Necasek says:

    That does look like exactly what I’m looking for. I contacted the poster. Thanks for letting me know!

  6. Andrew Bird says:

    I’d be very interested in a link to it if he archives it online, as I have an interest in writing a NDIS 2 driver shim for Dosemu2 see https://github.com/dosemu2/dosemu2/issues/1479 and any info within could be very useful.

  7. Michal Necasek says:

    The NDIS 2.0.1 specification text has been around forever, but it’s not hugely useful on its own. There are also various NDIS2 drivers with source code around, though not necessarily easy to work with. I am fairly sure there was a sample NDIS 2 driver provided by IBM for OS/2, but of course it can be built for DOS as well. Sadly the sample driver was Token Ring because IBM. The Microsoft NDDK would definitely be useful.

  8. Michal Necasek says:

    See updated article.

    Sadly, even Microsoft only offered a Token Ring sample driver, so using it as a starting point for development is probably not ideal. But all the test tools are there, and in fact there is a complete assembler/compiler/tools package (MASM 5.1 + MSC 5.1).

  9. Andrew Bird says:

    Thanks for the link Michal, I hope to get some time in the coming days to check it out fully.

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