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Using Drive Letters when Assigning Workstation Apps

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By Dave Banen

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Posted: 14 Oct 2004
 

We associate hundreds of apps to workstation groups. These apps have a drive letter as the SOURCE_PATH, because the drive letter is mapped to different servers at different locations. Upon changing to Windows XP desktops, these apps stopped working. According to Novell, assigning workstation apps with drive letters is not supported because drive mappings are only visible to the user environment space, not the workstation space, which is what workstation associated apps use.

Solution

In the login script, the following entries have been added

IF (NETWORK_ADDRESS >= "0A517800" AND NETWORK_ADDRESS <= "0A5179FF") THEN BEGIN
   @n:\batch\localzen\localzen.bat bcserver
END
IF (NETWORK_ADDRESS >= "0A059000" AND NETWORK_ADDRESS <= "0A05AFFF") THEN BEGIN
      @n:\batch\localzen\localzen.bat cran01
END

etc... an entry like this for each of our campuses (the IP address ranges are different for each site, hence this is the easiest way to tell where a user is logging in from).

The localzen batch file does the following:

regedit /s n:\batch\localzen\%1.reg

The reg files (one for each campus) have the following registry key:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment]
"localzen"="\\\\bcserver\\vol1\\snapshot"

The above key sets the *system* environment variable "localzen" to be a local server.

The workstation associated snapshot then has a SOURCE_PATH of %localzen%\blah

This seems to work beautifully for us, making it possible to associate apps to workstations but still have the source files from different servers without the need to create multiple app objects for the same application.

If you have any questions you may contact Dave at dave@chisholm.vic.edu.au

Suggestions

Roland Kool

To get a situation where you can re-use applications associated to workstations where you don't have drive letters available and you don't want to change the UNC path, you can use a common DNS name as the UNC path. Have the DNS name resolve to the local ZEN server containing the snapshot files. Just keep the DNS name the same across your different sites.

EXAMPLE: We use "snapshotsrv" which resolves to a local server containing all snapshot files. UNC path looks like this:

\\snapshotsrv\volumes\path

which we use as the SOURCE_PATH macro in application object.

If you have any questions you may contact Roland at R.Kool@horizoncollege.nl


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