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ImDisk commandline script to create/mount RamDisk


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#1 bilou_gateux

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 02:02 PM

I have created the smallest possible image file (4M) formated as NTFS and compressed called RD32.img.
RD32.img is then cab'ed with this command:
makecab /D CompressionType=LZX /D CompressionMemory=21 /D Cabinet=ON /D Compress=ON RD32.img
File size after cab compression about 146Kb

I use this script to install and mount this RamDisk and extend it to 64M. the RD32.img is prefilled with some predefined dirs like \Temp
imdiskinst -y

regedit /S RD32.reg

:# this folder already exist on regular Windows install and is compressed with NTFS file system.

:# comments these 2 lines below

if not exist %SystemRoot%\system32\dllcache md %SystemRoot%\system32\dllcache

compact /C /S:%SystemRoot%\system32\dllcache

extrac32 /Y /E /L %SystemRoot%\system32\dllcache RD32.cab

net start imdisk

dosdev -r Z: \Device\ImDisk0

imdisk -e -s 60M -m Z:

RD32.reg
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\ImDisk\Parameters]

"Flags0"=dword:00000200

"FileName0"="\\SystemRoot\\system32\\dllcache\\rd32.img"

"LoadDevices"=dword:00000001

If i check from the imdisk cpl, I have:
Image file: Virtual memory, from \SystemRoot\rd32.img Size 64MB Properties: Read/write
Z: isn't shown in the Drive column and FileSystem isn't detected although i can access from Windows Explorer to the Z: drive formated as NTFS compressed. Clicking the Refresh button doesn't change anything.

#2 Olof Lagerkvist

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 04:23 PM

Interesting, this was about what I had in mind when I wrote the auto-loading code in the driver. It has been there for a long time now but never really been used to anything useful so it is good to see this being used now. :thumbup:

If i check from the imdisk cpl, I have:
Image file: Virtual memory, from \SystemRoot\rd32.img Size 64MB Properties: Read/write
Z: isn't shown in the Drive column and FileSystem isn't detected although i can access from Windows Explorer to the Z: drive formated as NTFS compressed. Clicking the Refresh button doesn't change anything.

That is correct from the driver's point of view even if it might look misleading to the user... The ImDisk driver does not "know" in this case that the drive has a driveletter because the drive was not created from a user mode tool that told it anything about a drive letter... :1st:

It can't know that you have assigned a drive letter from another program so from the driver's point of view the drive does not have an assigned drive letter. Unfortunately this also means that it cannot check which filesystem it is formatted with because the function for checking filesystem needs a drive letter path... :thumbup:

Unfortunately the design of the driver/GUI components was not really made with this special situation in mind. Basically you have the same situation in Windows when you for example use Disk Management to remove the drive letter for a harddisk partition on your computer and then use dosdev -r to manually assign a drive letter to it again. That new drive letter will be immediately usable and will turn up in Windows Explorer but the Disk Management will still say that the partition does not have a drive letter.

#3 bilou_gateux

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 08:29 AM

Olof,

Another question related to command line:

when i use these switches:
imdisk -a -m H: -F \device\Harddisk0\Partition2\temp\blank.img
error message:
Error creating virtual disk:
The volume does not contain a recognized file system. Please make sure that all required file system drivers are loaded and that the volume is not corrupted.

I can successfully mount the same image from the control panel applet. Image is already formated with NTFS filesystem.

next purpose is to mount this image at startup with registry imdisk parameters:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\ImDisk\Parameters]

"Flags0"=dword:00000800

"FileName0"="\\device\\Harddisk0\\Partition2\\temp\\blank.img"

"LoadDevices"=dword:00000001

Is the FileName0 data value syntax correct?

#4 Olof Lagerkvist

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 11:16 AM

Hello,

when i use these switches:
imdisk -a -m H: -F \device\Harddisk0\Partition2\temp\blank.img
error message:
Error creating virtual disk:
The volume does not contain a recognized file system. Please make sure that all required file system drivers are loaded and that the volume is not corrupted.

I can successfully mount the same image from the control panel applet. Image is already formated with NTFS filesystem.

First of all, the error message does not mean that the image does not contain a valid filesystem, it means that \Device\Harddisk0\Partition2 does not contain a valid filesystem. If you try -f and the drive letter path instead of -F and native path it will probably work from the command line too.

I would think that your problem is that the partition with the image file is not really \Device\Harddisk0\Partition2, but something else. Keep in mind that harddisks are numbered from 0 and that partitions are numbered from 1 (partition 0 means the entire disk) and also that an extended partition gets a partition number itself, and the following numbers are the actual logical drives within the extended partition.

I would suggest one of the following:
* Check with a tool such as SysInternals winobj which disk volume object the object \Device\Harddisk0\Partition2 is linked to and compare that to which volume the drive letter under \GLOBAL?? is linked to. You should be able to find out that way.
* Switch to using the disk volume object, such as \Device\HarddiskVolume2 or something like that. You can use the winobj tool to find out which object the drive letter object is linked to or you can use my dosdev command line tool, for example
dosdev -q E:
This will give you the device object the drive letter is linked to.
* Switch to using drive letter even in the native path, if the image file is E:\temp\blank.img you can use \??\E:\temp\blank.img as a native path.

next purpose is to mount this image at startup with registry imdisk parameters:
Is the FileName0 data value syntax correct?

Yes.

#5 bilou_gateux

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 01:28 PM

As usual, thanks for your fast answer.
Even big company like m$ft can't give us a good support as you.

1st partition is Boot/System partition protected by Enhanced Write Filter.
2nd partition is a type 45 partition for EWF type disk overlay (Microsoft Shared computer Toolkit). Not formated with a known filesystem.
The 3rd one is my DATA partition with temp dir.

I was sure i was doing something wrong but were unable to find my error. :loleverybody:

Command line runs fine using switch:
-F \device\Harddisk0\Partition3\temp\blank.img

#6 was_jaclaz

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 02:15 PM

[OUT OF TOPIC] (but not much) :loleverybody: :

The DSFOK toolkit has a handy tool to check drive names:

6) vlm

vlm scans the volumes of a computer and reports detailed info.

Found volumes: (sample output)

\\.\Volume{ac837e60-551d-11d9-9a3c-806d6172696f}
Label: (none), File System: FAT32 4995/2000 MB
Symbolic Link: \Device\HarddiskVolume1


This batch (though slow) might help in identifying volumes/driveletters:
@ECHO OFFSETLOCAL ENABLEEXTENSIONSSETLOCAL ENABLEDELAYEDEXPANSIONSET /A Counter=0For /F "skip=4 tokens=* delims=" %%I IN ('vlm.exe') DO (SET /A Counter=!Counter!+1SET line=%%IIF !Counter!==1 SET Number=%%ISET Number=!Number:.=?!IF !Counter!==2 SET Label=%%IIF !Counter!==3 SET Symb=%%IIF !Counter!==3 (SET /A Counter=0For %%A IN (C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V X Y Z) DO (SET VOL=%%A:FOR /F %%B IN ('Mountvol !VOL! /L ^|FIND "!Number!"') DO (ECHO.ECHO !VOL! %%BECHO !VOL! !Label!ECHO !VOL! !Symb!))))

How can one find the other names like
\device\Harddiskx\Partitiony\ ??

:w00t:

jaclaz

#7 MedEvil

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 02:47 PM

How can one find the other names like
\device\Harddiskx\Partitiony\ ??

If you're using Windows, why not simply read the registry?

:loleverybody:

#8 was_jaclaz

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 04:08 PM

If you're using Windows, why not simply read the registry?

Sure,
but WHERE in the Registry? :loleverybody:

The only way I found was using DMDIAG.EXE:
http://technet2.micr...3.mspx?mfr=true

jaclaz

#9 MedEvil

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 04:18 PM

Sure,
but WHERE in the Registry?

Depending on what you want in hklm\System\MountedDevices or hklm\system\currentcontrolset.
With hklm\System\MountedDevices you find the DriveLetter, DriveName and most importantly the VolumeID.
And with the VolumeID you can search the registry for all other informations Windows has on that Device.

:loleverybody:

#10 was_jaclaz

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 04:59 PM

@Medevil

As far as I know in Mounted Devices you get only drive letters and VolumeID. (and "coupling" them is not that easy)

And in currentcontrolset I don't know where and what to look for.

And with the VolumeID you can search the registry for all other informations Windows has on that Device.

The point is that as far as I know with the VolumeId one can "search for all other informations" but cannot find:
1) the arcpath link
2) the \Device\HarddiskVolumen symlink
3) the \device\Harddiskx\Partitiony\ symlink

Does that mean that you also don't know how to do it? :loleverybody:

In other words, WHERE? means that I would like to get informations about WHERE and HOW to find it, not generic references to the Registry, to a Registry hive or the advice to search for it. :w00t:

jaclaz

#11 MedEvil

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 05:31 PM

As far as I know in Mounted Devices you get only drive letters and VolumeID. (and "coupling" them is not that easy)

:loleverybody: It's pretty easy and straight forward, i thought.

Does that mean that you also don't know how to do it? :w00t:
In other words, WHERE? means that I would like to get informations about WHERE and HOW to find it, not generic references to the Registry, to a Registry hive or the advice to search for it.

I was just giving you a general answer, since i have no clue what informations you're exactly looking for.

The point is that as far as I know with the VolumeId one can "search for all other informations" but cannot find:
1) the arcpath link
2) the \Device\HarddiskVolumen symlink
3) the \device\Harddiskx\Partitiony\ symlink

Sorry, but i don't understand what exactly you mean. Where do you hope to find those structures? Or maybe better asked, where do you got those structure from?

:w00t:

#12 Olof Lagerkvist

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 07:58 PM

@Medevil

As far as I know in Mounted Devices you get only drive letters and VolumeID. (and "coupling" them is not that easy)

The easiest (in my opinion :loleverybody: ) is to use winobj and look in the \Device, \GLOBAL?? and \Device\Harddiskn directories.

http://www.microsoft...ion/WinObj.mspx

#13 was_jaclaz

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 08:51 PM

@Medevil

I was just giving you a general answer, since i have no clue what informations you're exactly looking for.


Look, the question appeared to me clear enough:

How can one find the other names like
\device\Harddiskx\Partitiony\ ??

i.e. the type of volume names imdisk understands and that Bilou Gateux had a problem with.
...and, sorry :loleverybody:, but yours is not a "general" answer, it is a "non-answer". :w00t:

Sorry, but i don't understand what exactly you mean. Where do you hope to find those structures? Or maybe better asked, where do you got those structure from?

I do not hope to find these structures ANYWHERE in the Registry, I am actually pretty sure they are NOT there, it was you that suggested the use of the Registry.

To recap, in windows volumes can have different "names" or "links" (sorry but I simply do not have the needed knowledge to apply the proper term), let's say that a volume can be referenced in different ways, the one I know are, besides drive letters or mount points:
1) the arcpath link
2) the \Device\HarddiskVolumen symlink
3) the \device\Harddiskx\Partitiony\ symlink

To get the above I have found:

For #1 the Recovery Console map arc command and, indirectly, dmdiag.exe.

As Olof pointed out, it is possible to get #3 with winobj, a GUI program by Mark Russinovich, and #2 by his dosdev program.

I already knew that, but instead of dosdev I use the dsfok toolkit vlm.exe program as the dosdev being "dosdevices centered" is only valid for volumes to which a Dosdevice letter has been assigned.

For #3 the only tool I found was the said dmdiag.exe, which is however normally not installed on Windows XP and needs to be downloaded (as part of the Resource Kit) for Win2Kand, besides, it is very slow, as it gathers and outputs a great number of info, which again is a bit difficult (and thus slow) to parse.

@Olof
Yes, I am aware of that, but Winobj is not very useful for a batch file, is it? :w00t:
Ideally, some programmer, possibly from Sweden, and with initials O.L., :w00t: would write a program called "volnames.exe" which, when executed, would output something like:
A: Removable diskA: = \Device\Floppy0 [Removable]A: \Device\Floppy0A: \\?\Volume{a6098580-a8ad-11d7-be49-004063c5ef4c}\\??\PhysicalDrive0               (SymbolicLink) -> \Device\Harddisk0\DR0\Device\Harddisk0\Partition0     (SymbolicLink) -> \Device\Harddisk0\DR0C: Fixed disk PhysicalDrive0C: \Device\Harddisk0\Partition1     (SymbolicLink) -> \Device\HarddiskVolume1C: = \Device\HarddiskVolume1 [Fixed]C: \Device\HarddiskVolume1  \Device\Harddisk0\DR0C:  \\?\Volume{c13e09f2-fd22-11d4-9f0a-806d6172696f}\C:  \??\Volume{c13e09f2-fd22-11d4-9f0a-806d6172696f} (SymbolicLink) -> \Device\HarddiskVolume1\??\C:                           (SymbolicLink) -> \Device\HarddiskVolume1C:\ multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\D: Fixed disk PhysicalDrive0D: \Device\Harddisk0\Partition2     (SymbolicLink) -> \Device\HarddiskVolume2D: = \Device\HarddiskVolume2 [Fixed]D: \Device\HarddiskVolume2  \Device\Harddisk0\DR0D: \\?\Volume{c13e09f3-fd22-11d4-9f0a-806d6172696f}\D: \??\Volume{c13e09f3-fd22-11d4-9f0a-806d6172696f} (SymbolicLink) -> \Device\HarddiskVolume2\??\D:                           (SymbolicLink) -> \Device\HarddiskVolume2D:\ multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\

:w00t:

jaclaz

#14 MedEvil

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 11:23 PM

Sorry jaclaz, but if you can't tell me, what you're looking for, in a way that i understand it, i for sure can't help you find it.

About finding data in the way imdisk understands them. I admit i have absolutely no idea, in what way or form imdisk likes it's data, but i'm pretty sure no other program will store them in exactly that way. Especialy Windows.
It's a question of knowing what data you need and then of extracting and converting them, as always.

About your little code snippet.
You use registry structures, boot.ini structures and some that look like they could be Linux. :loleverybody:
Are those really all the same to you?
That's like mixing several languages in a sentence!

#15 was_jaclaz

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 08:54 AM

Medevil,
1) take a deep breath
2) run dmdiag.exe on a machine, redirecting output to a .txt file like in:
dmdiag.exe >dmdiag.txt
3) Read attentively the contents of dmdiag.txt, if needed re-read it
4) Preferably read this:
http://www.microsoft...ion/WinObj.mspx
download winobj and run it, looking at what data it displays on your machine
5) Take your time thinking about what you read
6) Consider whether, at the light of the precious experiences, you want to reconsider what you wrote:

About finding data in the way imdisk understands them. I admit i have absolutely no idea, in what way or form imdisk likes it's data, but i'm pretty sure no other program will store them in exactly that way. Especialy Windows.

(bolding is mine)

About this:

About your little code snippet.
You use registry structures, boot.ini structures and some that look like they could be Linux.
Are those really all the same to you?
That's like mixing several languages in a sentence!


in my opinion, by hinting that I don't know what I am talking about and that I am not able to properly express myself, is unneededly offensive. :w00t:

Is there any reason for this attitude? :loleverybody:

jaclaz

#16 MedEvil

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 11:11 AM

Medevil,
1) take a deep breath
2) run dmdiag.exe on a machine, redirecting output to a .txt file like in:
.
.
.
download winobj and run it, looking at what data it displays on your machine

:w00t: I think, i'm starting to understand where our problem lies. You're an admin, arn't you? I'm a coder.
We were comparing apples with pears!
In your world data exist in the form they are input or output of programs.
You can't find data in that form in the registry. In the registry exist data, as in any configuration file, as they are intenally stored and used.
So my information, was from your point of view, really absolutely useless!
Seems i've been hanging out too much with psc and Nuno, was thinking everyone around here is a coder. :w00t:

in my opinion, by hinting that I don't know what I am talking about and that I am not able to properly express myself, is unneededly offensive. :w00t:

Is there any reason for this attitude? :w00t:

And :w00t: again!
I'm not hinting at anything, except that we had a serious communication problem, which, as with all communications, can never be the fault of just one party.
So assuming, that i think it's all your fault, only means that you're taking yourself faaaaar too important. :loleverybody: :w00t: :w00t:

:w00t:

#17 was_jaclaz

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 12:18 PM

Well,
I am not an admin (apart from here at boot-land and on a couple other boards around), but I don't see how that would change the situation, as well as the fact whether you are a coder or not.
Let's not be racists or classists. :w00t:

We were comparing apples with pears!

Well, NO, maybe you.
I sometimes compare apples with oranges :w00t:, but that's allright:
http://www.improb.co...1-3-apples.html
:loleverybody:

I asked a question, you provided an answer (that turned out to be completely unuseful).

This happened because, NO MATTER THE REASON WHY, i.e. my incapacity to ask the question, my supposed "admin" view of the problem, your incapacity to understand the question, your supposed "developer" view of the problem, you provided a "general" answer.

This answer was not useless "from one's point of view", it was useless.
(last character in the above sentence is a "full stop" or "period")

Of course it all depends on the definition of answer you use:
http://www.thefreedi...nary.com/answer

an·swer (nsr)
n.
1.
a. A spoken or written reply, as to a question.
b. A correct reply.
2.
a. A solution, as to a problem.
b. A correct solution.
3. An act in retaliation or response: Our only possible answer was to sue.
4. Something markedly similar to another of the same class: cable TV's answer to the commercial networks' sportscasts.
5. Law A defendant's defense against charges.


For me a non-useless answer is something described in points #1.b., #2.a. or #2.b.

You seem to use definitions #1.a. and #3.

I still have the question and I still miss an answer (as per my definition above) to it :w00t:.

However in the meantime I have been accused of not being able to express myself and now that, being an admin, I am narrow minded, and finally that I consider myself too important.:w00t:

I guess I'll better stick to dmdiag.exe before someone comes out saying that I am also responsible for 9/11 and for desertification. :w00t:

I wish however to thank you for the time and attention you devoted to the problem and for the answers and comments you provided, valueless as I might consider them.

jaclaz

#18 MedEvil

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 03:05 PM

Ok jaclaz, I take everything back.
Your no admin, i'm out to get you and the registry holds absolutely no informations about HDDs. :w00t:

:loleverybody:

#19 was_jaclaz

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 03:56 PM

:w00t:

@Medevil
You forgot to affirm that elephants don't fly!

As I glanced up in the sky
A bird dropped something from ahigh.
As I wiped it from my eye.
I thanked the Lord elephants don't fly.


:loleverybody:

jaclaz

#20 Olof Lagerkvist

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 04:22 PM

Well, oh well :w00t:

The format for the image file used by ImDisk command line control program with the -F switch or by the ImDisk driver in the registry setting FileName0 is not that specific to ImDisk, it is called the Windows NT Native Path format. It is the path format used internal by the Windows kernel, that is, the only path format that the kernel and other drivers will understand. It could look a bit tricky to use, especially because there are literally hundreds of ways to express the same path because of all kinds of virtual paths through symbolic link objects and other things that only exist for compatibility with older versions of Windows.

Example:
You have the path C:\images\disk.img and you want to use that in the FileName0 value in the ImDisk driver settings. The easiest thing is to just append \??\ before the drive letter based path. This gives a perfectly valid native path.
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\ImDisk\Parameters]

"FileName0"="\\??\\C:\\images\\disk.img"

"LoadDevices"=dword:00000001

If anyone want to investigate further what really happens, we must identify what C: really points to. My dosdev utiltiy does that, or looking in the \GLOBAL?? directoty with winobj will do the same.
C:\>dosdev -q C:

C: => \Device\HarddiskVolume1
This means that the registy file above could have been:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\ImDisk\Parameters]

"FileName0"="\\Device\\HarddiskVolume1\\images\\disk.img"

"LoadDevices"=dword:00000001

\Device\HarddiskVolume1 is the real device object for the disk volume, handled by the disk driver and given this particular name by the volume manager.

Now what about for example \Device\Harddisk0\Partition1?
If you look at Windows NT 4.0 or earlier version, you will see that it works a little different.
C:\>dosdev -q C:

C: => \Device\Harddisk0\Partition1
There is no volume manager before Windows 2000, so the partition objects the disk drivers created where named like that, with the number of the harddisk (starting 0) and the number of the partition (starting 1). So, on Windows NT 4.0 you could use this syntax:
REGEDIT4



[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\ImDisk\Parameters]

"FileName0"="\\Device\\Harddisk0\\Partition1\\images\\disk.img"

"LoadDevices"=dword:00000001

But for compatibility reasons, the disk drivers today also create symbolic links called for example \Device\Harddisk0\Partition1 pointing to for example \Device\HarddiskVolume1 so that the old syntax could still be used to make old drivers compatible with newer versions of Windows (or just to make it easy to write software for both Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000).

It is easy to programmatically check what a symbolic link points to, but Windows provides no easy way to find all symbolic links pointing to a particular device object. This means that it is very easy to find out \Device\HarddiskVolume1 given the path \Device\Harddisk0\Partition1, but not very easy to know that \Device\Harddisk0\Partition1 points to it given only the path \Device\HarddiskVolume1. The only way is to work through all symbolic links on the system and check each one of them and that it pretty much what you do manually if you check with the winobj tool.

Hope this gave answeres to some of the questions in this thread. :loleverybody:

#21 was_jaclaz

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 04:37 PM

@Olof
Very well summed up. :w00t:

Only too bad there isn't a handy solution besides winobj and dmdiag. :loleverybody:

:w00t:


jaclaz

#22 MedEvil

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 05:04 PM

@Medevil
You forgot to affirm that elephants don't fly!
:w00t:

Damn, how could i've overlooked that! :loleverybody:

:w00t:

#23 bilou_gateux

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Posted 10 September 2007 - 08:32 AM

Back on topic

Question about the detach switch -d:

I have 3 images mounted.
I would like to detach image \Device\ImDisk2 using the drive letter T: assigned to it when mounted with command
imdisk -a -m T: -f %~dp0KM-NET.img

imdisk -d -u T: won't run
imdisk -d -u 2 run fine but i have first to check the existing mounted images using the command
imdisk -l

I can have one to four images mounted

Scripting gourous. How to script the dismount of selected image by drive letter.

#24 Olof Lagerkvist

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Posted 10 September 2007 - 10:52 AM

Scripting gourous. How to script the dismount of selected image by drive letter.

For example:
imdisk -d -m T:





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