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configuring network cd-rom to replace local cd-rom

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by mrfrench, Jul 9, 2006.

  1. mrfrench

    mrfrench Private E-2

    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?
  2. foogoo

    foogoo Major "foogoo" Geek

    If you can get your other PC to make images (ISO, or otherwise) and install on the 98 machine something like Daemon Tools or Slysoft and mount the images and install (so the drive reference is right for the game) - then when you want to play just remount that image locally on the 98 machine.
    You can't just put a cd in the network drive and mount that.. you have to have an image of that disc. So the images for every game do not have to be stored locally. I mount images from my NAS server all the time and do installs via Daemon tools...

    If this doesn't work drop me a note.
  3. mrfrench

    mrfrench Private E-2

    As I said in my first message, I don't have the space on the local machine for disk images of all the game disks.

    Besides, it shouldn't matter - when you put a cd in a local cd-rom drive, it's read just fine. The cd is/has an image of itself. What I want is for a networked cd-drive to behave exactly the same way. It should be possible, theoretically at least. A networked cd-drive shouldn't behave differently from a PCMCIA drive, or a USB drive, or a SCSI drive... I just don't know the right magic to set it up.
  4. foogoo

    foogoo Major "foogoo" Geek

    I didn't say you'd have to put the images on your local machine.. they can be stored in a share on the Linux box, then mounted locally (when needed - not using your limited local storage) via Daemon tools ect. But you have to have an image file to do that - physically putting the disk in the drive and attempting to mount to a virtual drive doesn't work... that is the magic. A cd is not an image an ISO, IMG, CCD, BIN, and so on are images..
    Granted you may need to image several disks to do the install but you only need one to make most games run.

    Another suggestion is you accept PMs so I can help you further...
  5. mrfrench

    mrfrench Private E-2

    I'm not online enough to do PM. As for the rest... a cd *is* an image. When mounted, the OS reads that image and converts it into a readable format which can be a number of different things depending on how the image was created on the disk and for what purpose. IMG, CCD, BIN are all file *types* that *can* be images but not necessarily. ISO is a standard.

    Like I said, I don't have disk space. I only need to get the networked cd drive to appear as a native cd drive. From what I gather from the Windows manuals I've plowed through, it's a matter of changing the DriveType from "4" representing a networked drive to "3" representing a native drive but I cannot find software to do it. VB allows you to read the setting but not change it. That's probably a security feature.

    In any event, it looks like there's no solution for now.
  6. cat5e

    cat5e MajorGeek

    If these games look for a CD as part as the copy protection routine you are out of luck, it time to upgarde to a better Laptop.

  7. foogoo

    foogoo Major "foogoo" Geek

    check megagames.com.

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