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Old 07-09-06, 18:33
mrfrench mrfrench is offline
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Default configuring network cd-rom to replace local cd-rom

I have a problem that I hope is common enough that somone has solved it already.

I have an old laptop running Windows 98 First Edition. This is my only windows machine. It did not come with a cd-rom drive. The cd-rom drive was purchased separately as a PCMCIA drive. It has now gone to the great electronic heaven. I'm left without a cd-rom drive and that means I cannot install or play games any more. That's pretty much all I do these days since I'm disabled and cannot work any more. I also cannot afford to replace the machine.

I've also found, after months of talking to vendors of USB cd drives and PCMCIA cd drives, etc. that no one is marketing a drive that is compatible with windows 98. The OS is just too old for the manufacturers to make their current devices backwards compatible. Besides, I can't really afford it anyway unless they had an old unit that they were willing to sell at deep discount (i.e. for the cost of shipping).

I have an old box that is running Linux Redhat 7. I installed Samba on it and can access its cd-rom drive from the laptop over a LAN. I can do just about everything with the cd-rom drive EXCEPT play games. I can install them from the cd, read files on the cd, and do everything I need to except that when I go to run the games, the respective game gives an error message saying that it cannot find the game's cd.

Now, I've set the laptop to map the network drive as D: on the laptop but that doesn't seem to be enough. I've found that many utilities, including software that creates and mounts virtual cds won't see the networked disk in the same way it would see the local cd-rom drive. So programs that create virtual cd on the hard disk aren't going to help me since they can't read the networked drive as a cd-rom to read the image to create the virtual image on the disk. And, as if this weren't complicated enough, I don't have the hard disk space to make virtual disks of all the games I want to play. I only have about 300MB free...

So, what I need to know, is there anyway to fool Windows 98 into thinking the network drive is identical to a local cd-rom drive in all respects? That is, I want to make the networked drive indistinguishable from a PCMCIA or USB cd-rom drive.

Any suggestions?
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