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Display of Drive Letters in Drop Down Boxes

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Patrick Farrell

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Posted: 24 Feb 2004
 

Here's something that most users have griped about forever. Drive letters appear on the right side of the network name in the list. While this is not a problem generally in Windows Explorer, when someone picks a drive from a drop down in a dialog box, the drive letter is often chopped off on the right because the box isn't wide enough to display it, so they have to remember it's something like "Shared on Server\Volume.....". That's not always very user friendly.

There is a Windows registry key that will change the behavior so that the drive letter appears on the left. I have tested this against Windows 98, 2000, and XP. I assume it will work with Windows NT as well but I haven't tried it personally.

There are two ways to easily push this out to people. One is with a .reg file someplace public on the server.

Create a registry file such as drivelet.reg containing

REGEDIT4

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer]
"ShowDriveLettersFirst"=dword:00000004

If you are writing one for Windows 2000 or XP you can change the first line to

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

But it should work just fine with REGEDIT4 for any OS. The latter will fail under 98.

In the login script, you would do something such as

IF PLATFORM = "W95" OR PLATFORM = "W98" THEN
@regedit /s T:\Registry\98\drivelet.reg
END

IF PLATFORM = "WNT"  THEN
@regedit /s T:\Registry\2KXP\drivelet.reg
END

Again, you should be able to use the same 4.x registry script for all platforms and eliminate the IF THEN lines entirely, but I haven't tested this completely, so this is playing it safe.

The other easier way to do this would be to build a simple ZENworks app that had only this registry change, and set it to force run for all machines.

Once the registry is changed, it will take effect on the next reboot. Your users will love you.

Editor's Note: This tip originally appeared in School Cool Solutions. Check out the forums over there - they're full of great advice like this.


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