Somerset County Council – Directorate of Lifelong Learning

SIMS set up on Windows XP workstation

Refer to end of document for version information



Guidance On Setting Up A New Windows XP Professional Workstation To Run SIMS


1.    Introduction.


These notes explain the process of setting up a new Windows XP workstation in a school to run SIMS. It explains the steps needed to ensure the workstation is set up correctly to run SIMS. This document assumes that the workstation is a Windows XP Professional workstation, and is already connected and functioning correctly on the schools administration network.


2.    System Requirements


In order to run SIMS, the following restrictions apply:


Minimum Hardware specifications (as at January 2002)

·        Pentium 166Mhz (Minimum.)

·        128 Mb Memory (Minimum.)


Operating Systems:  The following operating systems are suitable for running SIMS.

·        Windows 95 is acceptable ONLY in secure locations and such machines will have a limited lifespan.

·        Windows NT4 Operating System.

·        Windows 2000 Professional

·        Windows XP Professional


NOTE : Windows 98 and Millennium Edition (ME) are not supported by SIMS and must not be used to access administration systems.


Each workstation to be used to run SIMS must be uniquely identified by an environment variable LANID. If two or more workstations have the same LANID data corruption may occur. Section 4 explains LANIDs in more detail.


The user logged in to the network must have full permission to the SIMS data on the network. This is held in the SIMSAREA share on either PDCxxxx (Primary and Special schools) or SQLxxxx (Secondary and Middle schools) [where xxxx is the school DfES number]


A network drive mapping for the drive S: must be made to the SIMSAREA share.  This mapping is normally automatically made during the network logon process.



  1. Local Administrator Access


All users of SIMS need to have administrator privileges to the local machine.  This is set up as follows:

1. Log on as ‘Administrator' to the network on the new workstation.

2. Click on Start | Settings | Control Panel | Administrative Tools | Computer Management

3. From the navigation tree select : - Computer Management (Local) - System Tools - Local Users and Groups - Groups

. Double click the group 'Administrators' then click [Add..]
In the ‘Enter the object names to select’ box type 'Staff' then click [Add..] then Click [OK], [Apply], [OK]

4.    Identifying Workstations to SIMS


This section needs to be completed while still logged on to the network as ‘administrator’

·        Each workstation to be used to run SIMS must be uniquely identified by a setting LANID (an environment variable). If two or more workstations have the same LANID data corruption may occur.

·        Workstations are defined in the SIMS System Manager module (Via Route F – Workstation Definitions). The LANID setting on each machine is passed to SIMS on running SIMS Launcher, and corresponds with the Station Number in SIMS System Manager.


Setting the Environment Variable LANID


There are three steps to setting up a workstation (LAN)ID for using SIMS. These are:

·        Log in to SIMS on a workstation already capable of running SIMS as a user with full access to the System Manager module

·        Create a new Workstation within the SIMS System Manager module through Route F.

o       The next available free workstation number should be used. This needs to be a two digit number in the range 01 to 89, make a note of this number as it will need to be used in the next two steps.

o       The name should identify the machine & location e.g. SCC10124 – Main Office.

o       Remember to give this workstation access to the modules it needs to run by highlighting the workstation and selecting F5. Tag the modules that will be run on this workstation by highlighting the modules and pressing Enter.

·        Log off of this workstation

Back on the new workstation which is being set up to run SIMS


·        Add an Environment Variable for LANID in the AUTOEXEC.NT file by:

o       select Start | Run and in the Open box type:

o       EDIT  %SystemRoot%\system32\AUTOEXEC.NT

o       click ok

o       Page down to the bottom of this file, and on a new line add the text: SET LANID=xx  (where xx is the workstation number allocated in the previous step.)

o       Press the keys <Alt> then <f> then <x> then <Enter> to save and exit.


o       In the Variable Name box type LANID and in the Variable Value box type nn (where nn is the LANID of the machine)

o       Click OK.

o       In the System Variables section highlight the variable called Path and click on the Edit button.

o       Add the following to the END of the 'Variable Value' line: -

o       Click OK as many times as needed to exit to the desktop.


5.    The CONFIG.NT File.


·        Modify the CONFIG.NT file if necessary by:

o       select Start | Run and in the Open box type:

o       EDIT %SystemRoot%\system32\CONFIG.NT

o       Page down to the bottom of this file, and check the last four lines contain the following (correct them if necessary):


dos=high, umb






6.    Shut down and restart the workstation, logging in as a user who has access to SIMS and uses a windows XP workstation not a Windows NT workstation.


7.    Run The SIMS Workstation Setup Program.


Select Start|Run and type S:\SIMS\WSSETUP\WSSETUP.EXE<Enter> to run the SIMS Workstation setup. Follow the on screen instructions, which is normally a matter of clicking on the Next and Finish buttons. When prompted for a path for SIMS, ensure this is set to S:\SIMS.


If prompted to install a fresh copy of the BDE (Borland Database Engine) or use an existing version, select the option to use an existing version and ensure the path for this is set to S:\IDAPI.


Note: It is possible that the workstation will automatically be shut down and restarted at the end of this upgrade.


8.    The SIMS.INI File.


o       Select Start | Run and in the Open box type:

o       EDIT %SystemRoot%\SIMS.INI

o       Click ok


Add the following two lines at the beginning of the file if not already present:


SIMSPif=S:\SIMS\SIMSNT.PIF (Please note the SIMSPif is case sensitive)



  1. The SIMSNT.PIF File


This file is used by the system to determine how DOS modules run when selected from Launcher.  To check the details of this file:


Click on OK to save these changes.


If the are any problems or queries related to the information contained in these pages please contact

Version Information

Document Release 2.10 – Created: 16/06/03