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ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver and related projects

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#1 Olof Lagerkvist

Olof Lagerkvist

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 07:07 PM

Welcome everyone to this new sub-forum. Here we will discuss the ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver and my related tools for disk images, backup/archiving and other system management tools that may be useful for this community.

About ImDisk.

ImDisk is basically a virtual disk driver for Windows NT/2000/XP/2003. Nothing special so far really, there are lots of those nowadays. But this one has some features that may be of certain interest.

Main features so far:

* It is possible to mount files as virtual harddisk partitions, virtual floppy drives or virtual CD/DVD-ROM drives. All in one driver.

* It is possible to use virtual memory instead of physical files for the virtual disk storage.

* The driver can use virtual memory as storage as mentioned above and pre-load it with the contents of a disk image file. The disk image file is then closed and not modified, all changes are written to the virtual memory section only.

* There is an associated user-mode service that can be used to redirect I/O requests to other computers on the network. The computer that actually serves the I/O requests must run the 'devio' tool, included in the source package. This tool has been compiled and tested both under FreeBSD and Windows. This makes it possible to boot a system with a FreeBSD Live-CD and run the devio tool on one of the harddisk partitions. That partition can then be mounted from another machine on the network that has ImDisk installed.

* It is possible to change the settings for the ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver so that it starts as part of the Windows boot process and for example automatically creates one or more virtual disks and pre-loads them with the contents of disk image files.

The future...

One of the main problems right now is that the project has almost no documentation at all. The only place where most of the functionality is described is when the command line tool, imdisk.exe, is started from the command line without parameters. The problem is that that help text is largely based on the mdconfig man page in FreeBSD and not in all cases describes the most interesting new features of ImDisk...

So, what we need first of all is a how-to archive and then building a real documentation.

Please see this forum as some kind of wish-list combined with a place where you can share how-tos, questions and other ideas. It is not restricted to ImDisk really, it can be about any of the tools I publish on this page:


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