Upgrading Domino Server? Beat the JS32.DLL error!

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Frequently, an error will display when upgrading Domino server (for example, from 5.0.8 to 5.0.11) on Windows 2000. The installation will fail at 70% complete with an error message: \...\...\lotus\domino\js32.dll error number -115

Some administrators have found limited success moving js32.dll to the WINNT directory and renaming other .dlls, while others have had to unload Domino performance counters and modify the registry. In fact, IBM published a Technote explaining how to perform these specific tasks.

A reliable workaround that involves nothing more than pressing a key during boot utilizes a simple feature of Windows 2000. Microsoft has made the process of booting with a minimal set of device drivers and services as easy as pressing F8 when prompted during boot to enter Safe Mode. Once Safe Mode is invoked, a Windows Advanced Options menu will display a listing of different Safe Mode options available. Selecting an option depends on where the Domino install media is located. If a CD-ROM is being used, choose Safe Mode. If installing from a network share, choose Safe Mode with Networking. Behind the scenes, Windows 2000 dynamically adds switches to the boot.ini arc path such as "/safeboot: minimal" for basic Safe Mode or "/safeboot: network" for the networked Safe Mode option. Two caveats for administrators planning to access a Novell Netware volume or use a modem during the install: Safe Mode with Networking does not start Gateway (GSNW) or Client (CSNW) for Netware, nor does it load modem drivers. The benefit for upgrading Domino with this method is js32.dll is no longer a locked file and the installation will run to completion as designed. Once the upgrade is finished, reboot the server and allow the Windows 2000 operating system to start normally.


I have found that stopping all non-essential services on a Windows 2000 server will allow you to upgrade Domino with out re-booting your server twice. Just stop them, apply the upgrade and restart them. No long restarts required.
—SearchDomino.com member


To eliminate guesswork and experimentation on what services must be stopped, using Safe Mode ensures only the minimum drivers and services are started.
—Doug Drewry, tip author


Had this problem for over four years! Very simple solution -- just modify the Environment path that contained the location to this JS32.dll by taking it out and putting it back in after the installation. Hope this will help someone.
—Charles L.


I found that JS32.DLL is locked by WMI. I restarted the WMI service and had no issues upgrading.
—JR W.

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This was first published in February 2003

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