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Dynamically Addressing a CD-ROM drive

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench

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Posted: 15 Nov 2000

Recently we published the following Q&A.


Matt W. wrote: I am looking for a solution that will make my application objects a little more portable between different types of PC setups.

Here is my scenario. I have software that is a single user license that can't easily be run across our network from either my NetWare server or my CD-Tower. So the solution I have is to make a burned copy of the software but leave the installation software off of the burned copy. I give this to the professors that I support and they use it in their classroom computer.

The problem that I run into is that the CD-ROM drive letter may be different on another computer in another classroom that they need to use.

Question: In my app object is there a way to dynamically address the CD-ROM drive so that it will automatically change with the current computer's settings? If at all possible I would like to not have to remap the CD-ROM drive, but I am willing to do anything necessary.


One way is to have an environment variable set on each computer that is the drive letter of the CD-ROM. That way you could address the environment variable using a macro in the path.

Another way is to use a prompted macro. With a prompted macro you can request the user to put in the drive letter of the CD-ROM drive. This will then be used as the variable for your application object.

Anyone know another way to do this? Let us know.

Of course someone knew another way. You guys are the best. Here's what we got:

Brian Baillie

Application fault tolerance may be used for this solution. Create a few application objects with the execution path pointing to different drive letters (like D:, E:, F:). Enable the "Fault Tolerance" feature and add the application objects that were created to the original application object. This will ensure execution of the application if not found on any of the other drives.

Another way to do this is to do the software install to a specific drive letter such as "R:" which is a fake root mapping on a server. Create an application object that will map a drive to the CD-ROM as the original install source location of the CD-ROM (like D:, E:) and map another drive to the specific drive letter (such as R:) and set the path to the executable as "R:%application_name%", and voila. The majority of CD-ROM based applications when presented with a local drive letter such as D: or E: assumes everything is OK and will execute in total ignorance of the environment. This will not require the burning and distribution of the CD-ROMs.

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