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Providing Server-based CD Access without a CD Tower

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By Curtis Parker

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Updated: 28 Apr 2005

Still dealing with CD Towers? Do you need to provide server-based CD access to your users? NetWare 6.5 SP2 can do it.

There is a way to do so without a CD-ROM drive or tower on the server. There is an NSS option that allows you to mount an .ISO CD or DVD image file as a volume on NetWare 6.5 SP2. The command is:

NSS /MountImageVolume=volume_name:\path_to_iso_image

To dismount the volume:

NSS /RemoveImageVolume=volume_name:\path_to_iso_image

Users can map drives to the volume and access the files in the image as if it was an actual CD mounted as a volume. Add the /UpdateCDToNDS switch to create a volume object in NDS. This allows you to map drives through an NDS volume object (if that's how you like to map your drives). The /UpdateCDToNDS option only needs to be run one time when you mount the volume to create the NDS volume object. Dismounting the volume doesn't delete the NDS volume object. The volume object must be deleted manually.

Create the image files with CD/DVD burning software such as Roxio or Nero or K3B on Linux.

Other useful information about this feature:

  1. Requires NetWare 6.5 with SP2.
  2. Install n65nss2a.exe after NW65SP2 to prevent abends when mounting ISO images.
  3. The .ISO image file must be on an NSS volume on the server.
  4. Any file access on the .ISO image file while mounted will dismount the volume. So make the ISO files read only.
  5. All access to the mounted volume is read-only.
  6. The volume name becomes the volume label of the CD in the image, not the image file name.
  7. You should use the NSS /RemoveImageVolume command to deactivate and dismount the volume, not the DISMOUNT command.
  8. Put double-quotes around the full path to the ISO file if there is a space anywhere in the path. Example: nss /mountimagevolume="VOL:\Linux Stuff\sles8-x86-united-cd1.iso" (New: Thanks to Brian Schonecker for that tip.)


To mount an image of the NetWare 6.5 OS CD as a volume and create an NDS volume object:

NSS /MountImageVolume=VOL1:\ISO\NW65OS.ISO /UpdateCDToNDS

To dismount the volume:

NSS /RemoveImageVolume=VOL1:\ISO\NW65OS.ISO

If you have any questions you may contact Curtis at cparker[at]

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