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#1 bilou_gateux

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 06:58 PM

This is an example of a VSS hardware provider. Vsssampleprovider along with the virtual storage driver (virtualstorage.sys) and virtual storage controller (vstorcontrol.exe) located in the "C:\Program Files\Microsoft\VSSSDK72\TestApps\hwprovst\bin" directory can be used to emulate the functionality of a hardware provider.

You will first need to download the VSS SDK.

Install it and play with it.

I hope The Finder will love it.
if this post is placed in the wrong subforum, Jaclaz :cheers: will move it where it's more appropriate.

#2 was_jaclaz

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 07:22 PM

I hope The Finder will love it.

I may, if I only could understand what it does or it is supposed to do.
Since you posted it in the IMDISK forum, I guess that it has something to do with Virtual Filesystem Driver.....

What the heck is a "VSS hardware provider"? :cheers:, I know about "HSS hardware provider":
http://www.chinasupp...s/Hss-Drill.htm
;)


if this post is placed in the wrong subforum, Jaclaz :cheers: will move it where it's more appropriate.


Well, since you asked for it...:cheers:

Thanks for the link, I'll have a look at it, in the meantime, you can have a look at these:
Gizmo:
http://arainia.com/s...rview.php?nID=4
Pismo:
http://www.pismotechnic.com/pfm/

Rhymes in "smo" appear to be going strong.....:cheers:


jaclaz

P.S.:
Well now it's clear (from the linked page)

The Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) is a new service in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. It is essentially a framework facilitating communication between applications, storage subsystems, and storage management applications (including backup applications) in order to define, persist and exploit point-in-time copies of storage data.



Is there a reason WHY the good MS guys cannot speak English? :cheers:

With my (limited) knowledge of English as an alien, translation is:

The Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) is a new service in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.
It is essentially bla-bla, storage bla-bla, more storage bla-bla (including backup applications) in order to bla-bla, bla-bla, bla-bla copies of bla-bla.



#3 bilou_gateux

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 08:15 PM

similar to:
Ken Kato VDK
Olof Lagerkvist ImDisk
and same as
'XP Embedded SDI virtual disk drive'
with more drive type supported: cd-rom cd-r cd-rw removabledisk fixeddisk

http://www.boot-land...amp;#entry32954

@strawtarget

FYI, VDK.EXE already creates a "PhysicalDrive" type of connection, though still not "good enough" to also work with device manager/disk manager.

virtual disk listed in Device Manager under Disk Drives and can be manipulated with 'Disk Management' snap-in (well not exactly, rather it communicates with the Logical Disk Manager service) & DiskPart.

Virtual drives can be created and deleted via the ‘vstorcontrol’ command:
Commands:

	 install   - Installs the Virtual Storage Driver

	 uninstall - Uninstalls Virtual Storage

	 create	- Creates a drive

	 remove	- Removes a drive

	 insert	- Inserts a disk into the drive

	 eject	 - Ejects a disk from the drive

	 resize	- Resizes a disk in the drive

	 query	 - Displays information about the drive

	 list	  - Lists all drives created on virtual storage

	 help	  - Displays detailed help for commands

 vstorcontrol help <command> displays detailed help

Bin folder content:

Precompiled x86 versions of provider and kernel virtual storage driver as well as installation scripts


[edit]
removed broken RS download link
This file has been deleted.
Reason: No download for a longer period. Inactivity-timeout exceeded.
[/edit]

Edited by bilou_gateux, 20 May 2009 - 09:26 AM.


#4 bilou_gateux

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 09:48 PM

DOSDEV.EXE - Utility to capture Drive Letter to Device mappings (version 5.1.3604.0)

download here select MPSRPT_CLUSTER.EXE extract from exe with parameters: /C /T:<some_path_here> /Q

With this tool, you can list, assign or delete letter to partition created on Virtual disks (and Physical disks)

Some examples:
vstorcontrol create fixeddisk -size 256M -memory

You can also create a script for Diskpart with the commands needed:
diskpart> list disk

  Disk 3  Online  251 MB

diskpart> select disk 3

  Disk 3 is now the selected disk.

diskpart> list partition

  There are no partitions on this disk to show.

diskpart> create partition primary

  DiskPart succeeded in creating the specified partition.

diskpart> list partition

  * Partition 1  Primary  251 MB

diskpart> list volume

  * Volume 6  Partition  251 MB  Healthy

diskpart> exit

Harddisk number and HarddiskVolume may be different on your box, depending of the number of disks you have and Partitions on these disks.
dosdev -a|find &#34;PhysicalDrive&#34;

dosdev -a -r Z&#58; \Device\Harddisk3\Partition1

rem or

dosdev -a|find &#34;Volume{&#34;

dosdev -a -r Z&#58; \Device\HarddiskVolume6

rem format the new partition

echo VDISK|FORMAT /FS&#58;NTFS /Q /V&#58;VDISK /A&#58;512 Z&#58; /Y

dosdev -d -r Z&#58;

vstorcontrol remove \\.\PhysicalDrive3


#5 JonF

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 10:16 PM

The Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) is a new service in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. It is essentially a framework facilitating communication between applications, storage subsystems, and storage management applications (including backup applications) in order to define, persist and exploit point-in-time copies of storage data.

I've bolded the part that's importtant to me. VSS allows you to "fork" a disk, allowing one "fork" to change and preventing the other "fork" from changing. It, or its equivalent, is how all backup programs and imaging programs work in modern multitasking operating systems. How do you make an image which requires finite time to create when the contents of the disk are constantly changing on time scales far smaller than the image creation? A shadow copy.

Nobody's gotten VSS running in VistaPE, so DriveImage XML can't back up NTFS partitions in VistaPE. Kind of limiting. Ghost implements its own equivalent and works in VistaPE.

#6 joakim

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 01:09 PM

Nobody's gotten VSS running in VistaPE, so DriveImage XML can't back up NTFS partitions in VistaPE. Kind of limiting. Ghost implements its own equivalent and works in VistaPE.

At least we have gotten vss running under 2k3 in a preinstallation environment. See my thread at http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=22533 about StorageCraft ShadowProtect Server edition that is dependant on vss. It could be possible here by adapting the procedure to fit vista. Remember vista has a more matured version of vss than xp and 2k3 had. Check it out.

Joakim

#7 JonF

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 08:17 PM

At least we have gotten vss running under 2k3 in a preinstallation environment. See my thread at http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=22533 about StorageCraft ShadowProtect Server edition that is dependant on vss. It could be possible here by adapting the procedure to fit vista. Remember vista has a more matured version of vss than xp and 2k3 had. Check it out.


Thanks. I'll check it out ... may take some time. Lots of more important stuff on my plate now.

#8 was_jaclaz

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Posted 13 September 2009 - 04:48 PM

Nothing much useful :), just the usual bunch of simple batches. :)

  • vsmount.cmd <-mount an image file, installing the virtualstorage.sys if needed
  • vsUmount.cmd <-UNmount an image file, UNinstalling the virtualstorage.sys if there are NO other images mounted
  • mkhelptxt.cmd <-creates a vstorhelp.txt file with all the options of vstorcontrol help

they should be placed in the same directory where:
  • vstorcontrol.exe
  • virtualstorage.inf
  • virtualstorage.sys

are.

:)

jaclaz

Attached Files



#9 bilou_gateux

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 07:49 AM

Nothing much useful :), just the usual bunch of simple batches. :)



If Sherpya read this post, maybe could he write for us a nice shell extension like he has done in the past with filedisk :)

this driver is one of my favorite and i like command line tools but sometimes a right click is very handy.

#10 was_jaclaz

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 08:25 AM

this driver is one of my favorite and i like command line tools but sometimes a right click is very handy.


Yep, everyone has his ways, I find right click very nice, but often I have systems with already too many options with right-clicking. :)

I prefer a "multiple desktop", with a desktop with shortcuts to utilities for each "chore" I'm going to perform.

JFYI, though I have NOT tested this feature, the mount and umount should work allright with drag'n drop the image file over the batch (or a link to it), if you just add:
CD /D %~dp0
before the:

IF %1.==. GOTO :Usage

in both batches.

(modified files attached)

:)

jaclaz

Attached Files



#11 oriensol

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 05:03 AM

Would like to say thanks :) to bilou_gateux and jaclaz for these posts.

Have uploaded a script for using this within Live Windows, for what it is worth:

http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=9199

#12 ireneuszp

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 07:47 PM

very useful driver

:dubbio:

#13 bilou_gateux

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 09:12 AM

Some scripts to perform a silent install and put temp files created by the installer in fast Ram Disk (less system partition fragmentation)

no error control and probably some bugs in below scripts...

vstorctl create fixeddisk -memory -blocks 65536

@ECHO OFF



set DEBUG=1

if &#34;%DEBUG%&#34;==&#34;1&#34; &#40;set TRACE=echo&#41; else &#40;set TRACE=rem&#41;

%TRACE% Running script&#58; %0



set ID=

For /f &#34;tokens=2 delims=&#58;&#34; %%? in &#40;&#39;vstorctl list ^|find /I &#34;ID&#34;&#39;&#41; Do &#40;

	call &#58;__ParseDesc &#34;%%?&#34;&#41;

if defined Desc call set &#34;ID=%Desc%&#34;

set Desc=

%TRACE% &#91;%ID%&#93;

set NB=

set DEFINITION=

For /f &#34;tokens=2 delims==&#34; %%? in &#40;&#39;dosdev -a^|find /i &#34;VirtualBus#GenDisk#%ID%&#34;^|find /I &#34;\Device\HarddiskVolume&#34;&#39;&#41; Do &#40;

	call &#58;__ParseDesc &#34;%%?&#34;&#41;

if defined Desc call set &#34;DEFINITION=%Desc%&#34;

set Desc=

%TRACE% &#91;%DEFINITION%&#93;

set nb=%DEFINITION&#58;~-1%

%TRACE% &#91;%NB%&#93;

set DL=

For /f &#34;tokens=1 delims==&#34; %%? in &#40;&#39;dosdev ^|find /i &#34;%DEFINITION%&#34;&#39;&#41; Do &#40;

	call &#58;__ParseDesc &#34;%%?&#34;&#41;

if defined Desc call set &#34;DL=%Desc%&#34;

set Desc=

%TRACE% &#91;%DL%&#93;

format %DL% /fs&#58;FAT /v&#58;TMP /q /y

md %DL%\Temp

goto &#58;eof



&#58;__ParseDesc

set &#34;inVar=%~1&#34;

%TRACE% Parsing&#58; &#91;%inVar%&#93;

Call &#58;__TRIM %inVar%

if not defined Desc set &#34;Desc=%inVar%&#34;

set inVar=

goto &#58;EOF



&#58;__TRIM

Set inVar=%*

GoTo &#58;EOF

vstorctl remove %DL% -surprise

&#58;__CleanTemp

for /F &#34;tokens=* usebackq&#34; %%G in &#40;&#96;dir &#34;%temp%&#34; /A&#58;D /B&#96;&#41; do &#40;

 for /F &#34;tokens=* usebackq&#34; %%H in &#40;&#96;dir &#34;%temp%\%%G&#34; /A&#58;-D /B /S&#96;&#41; do &#40;

  del /Q &#34;%%H&#34;

  &#41;

 rd &#34;%temp%\%%G&#34;

&#41;

del /Q &#34;%temp%\*&#34;

goto &#58;eof
NB:
vstorctl.exe == vstorcontrol.exe renamed using 8.3 naming convention
dosdev.exe: see post #4
linkd.exe: Windows 2003 Server Ressource Kit

@ECHO OFF&SETLOCAL ENABLEEXTENSIONS

&#58;# create

call %0\..\newFD32.cmd

&#58;# format

call %0\..\FormatFD.cmd

&#58;# Clean Temp dir

call %0\..\ClnTmp.cmd

&#58;# linkd &#34;%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Temp&#34; %DL%\Temp

call linkd &#34;%Temp%&#34; %DL%\Temp

&#58;# Installshield with MSI

call %0\..\ISMSI.cmd

&#58;# Clean Temp dir

call %0\..\ClnTmp.cmd

&#58;# Delete link

call linkd %TEMP% /D

&#58;# Delete Temp dir

RD /Q /S %DL%\Temp

&#58;# Re-create Temp dir in %USERPROFILE%

MD &#34;%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Temp&#34;

&#58;# Unmount Ram disk

call %0\..\VStorumnt.cmd

&#58;# http&#58;//unattended.sourceforge.net/installers.php

ISMSI_installer.exe /S /v/qn


#14 Holmes.Sherlock

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 04:49 AM

I created a disk image using
hddimage.cmd G&#58;\Bootland\Test.img 250M
If I use the following command to create(actually mount) the above image as a removable drive using VSS
vstorcontrol create removabledisk -image G&#58;\Bootland\Test.img
then a removable drive is created, it is shown in WinXP->Control Panel->Admin Tools->Computer Mgmt->Disk Mgmt
but
it is NOT identified in HPUSBFW.EXE(HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool). Is there any way to befool the system to recognize the mounted image as an USB drive? If this can be done, then the process of experimenting with USB drive & then simulating in VMware will become easier.

#15 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 08:22 AM

it is NOT identified in HPUSBFW.EXE(HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool). Is there any way to befool the system to recognize the mounted image as an USB drive? If this can be done, then the process of experimenting with USB drive & then simulating in VMware will become easier.

That's a good thing, notwithstanding what you think.

The HPUSBFW.EXE shuld now be put to rest, it has served us well (mostly) for years but the numbers of problem it creates is much largter that the ones it solves.

Is there any way to befool the system to recognize the mounted image as an USB drive? If this can be done, then the process of experimenting with USB drive & then simulating in VMware will become easier.

None AFAIK/AFAICR, most probably one should write a Filter Driver for it to happen, and don't think it's an easy task.

:)
Wonko

#16 Holmes.Sherlock

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 12:17 PM

The HPUSBFW.EXE shuld now be put to rest, it has served us well (mostly) for years


My view towards the utility is:
1) It can optionally setup a bootloader able to load IO.SYS where normal "XP format" creates a bootloader able to boot NTLDR
2) Probably it sets the boot flag(0x80) for the primary partition to be able to boot which can be done by numerous other tools
3) It can format an USB drive with NTFS which can also be done either by "convert" utility in Windows or by mounting the USB drive as a fixed disk by using filter driver called "rdummydisk.sys"

Am I correct with the above assumptions? Does it do something extra?

but the numbers of problem it creates is much largter that the ones it solves.


What problems does it create?
BTW, is WINBOOT.SYS a standard DOS boot file?

#17 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 01:48 PM

Am I correct with the above assumptions?

1) Yes, this is NOT an assumption, is a fact.
2) Yes, but not always, and it depends on version too.
3) Yes, again this is NOT an assumption (first part), it is a fact, second part is only part of the story....

About 1) there are a few utilities, typically MBRFIX and bootpart, capable of doing the same.
About 2) READ this seemingly unrelated thread:
http://www.911cd.net...o...c=21702&hl=
About 3) the "optimize for quick removal" vs. "optimize for perfomance" settings may interest you:
http://www.msfn.org/...howtopic=128994

Does it do something extra?

YES :) , several things, for some see above and below (all things that could be an advantage or a problem).
This shows that you played with MBRBatch without actually testing it/checking all the options....:)
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=3191
UPATCH sourcefile		Patches sourcefile with &#34;HP&#34; USB/int13 modification

						 &#40;sourcefile must contain 2K/XP MBR code&#41;
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=2246
http://www.boot-land...?...=2246&st=15

What problems does it create?

Mainly, an unbalanced CHS/LBA.
See:
http://www.911cd.net...o...21049&st=20
And the tragically UNLIKE updated page:
http://jaclaz.alterv...B/USBstick.html

BTW, is WINBOOT.SYS a standard DOS boot file?

YES :)
This is one of the lesser known things, but not really a secret, probably you were a toddler:
http://www.thefreedi...ary.com/toddler
when dual booting between MS-DOS 6.22 or earlier and Win9x was fairly common (or triple booting with NT 4.00 and both versions of DOS....)
http://home.earthlin...directboot.html
http://www.mdgx.com/msdos.htm
http://www.mdgx.com/osr2.htm#2BOOT
... and you will also learn of the existence of Jo.sys and WINBOOT.INI....
...and as soon as you'll have learned that ...., you will find another Jo.sys :):
http://www.nu2.nu/jo/

it's a long way before you get here :):
http://www.endoftheinternet.com/

:)
Wonko

#18 Holmes.Sherlock

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 03:33 PM

If there is any word in ur vocab which I can substitute for "Thanks", plz let me know.

#19 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 05:21 PM

If there is any word in ur vocab which I can substitute for "Thanks", plz let me know.


Wait until I suggest you to peek inside the HP utility with 7-zip...:)
http://www.boot-land...?...=4902&st=48

:)

:)
Wonko

#20 Holmes.Sherlock

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 11:52 PM

Wait until I suggest you to peek inside the HP utility with 7-zip...:)


I never ever noticed that the utility is basically a compressed collection of so many files. But previously also I encountered some executables of this type. How can they be created? I guess that they are not of Winrar SFX archive category.

I had a look at the .exe and it seems like it downloads on-the-fly the HP utility from:
http://h50178.www5.h...550/SP27608.exe

Which is even worse, it means that the tool is useless if you are offline AND that as soon as HP will change, as it often does the file location, it will become TOTALLY useless.


But I've used the tool offline many a times.

#21 dog

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 11:44 AM

But I've used the tool offline many a times.

Jaclaz was talking about SamK's tool, not the HP tool.

#22 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 12:25 PM

Jaclaz was talking about SamK's tool, not the HP tool.

I guess I am entitled to clarify what jaclaz was talking about :), which is:
  • NOT the HP tool
  • NOT any "SamK's tool"
  • BUT as quite obvious from the referenced thread, just a couple post before:
    http://www.boot-land...?...=4902&st=46
    the actual "DBRL Helper" found on Clonezilla (and gparted) "live-usb" pages.


As said I personally find utterly stoopid - besides ANY legal implications - that the "good guys" even thought of using such an approach.

Steps (AFAICR):
  • sneakingly connect to the Internet :) to a hardcoded HP server address :)
  • download an un-redistributable tool from it without any consent from the user
  • extract the exe from it by-passing the EULA/License

About the lazyness of the HP "packagers" (I cannot find ANY reason to call them "engineers" or "programmers") I simply have no words: :)
  • they removed the possibility (included originally in the program) to create a DOS boot disk from internal files BUT left the files inside!

More info in this thread:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=6800

:)
Wonko

#23 Holmes.Sherlock

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 01:32 PM

I guess I am entitled to clarify what jaclaz was talking about :), which is:

  • NOT the HP tool


Shame on me. I should have read the entire thread, at least from a few posts before the post u referred to.

About the lazyness of the HP "packagers" (I cannot find ANY reason to call them "engineers" or "programmers") I simply have no words:
they removed the possibility (included originally in the program) to create a DOS boot disk from internal files BUT left the files inside!


That's what I was about to ask u. Decompressing the HP utility 2.0.6 produces the following eight files:

ansi.sys
choice.com : - A deprecated command, though M$ guys has again incorporated it in Win 7, at least the link says so !!(http://www.robvander....com/choice.php)
command.com
emm386.exe
himem.sys
mscdex.exe
oakcdrom.sys
ramdrive.sys

1) Then why the utility still asks for DOS system files to create a dos boot diskette when it is apparently seen that the utility itself comes with almost the entire distro (It would b complete if it would include IO.SYS & MSDOS.SYS on its bare minimum) with some redundancy?

2) Is it an SFX archieve? If not, then what sort of compression mechanism has been used?

#24 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 02:26 PM

Decompressing the HP utility 2.0.6 produces the following eight files:

Decompressing HOW?

Here (maybe it's the different time zone or longitude :) ) I find 10 (ten) files in it, including IO.SYS and MSDOS.SYS :)

1) Then why the utility still asks for DOS system files to create a dos boot diskette when it is apparently seen that the utility itself comes with almost the entire distro (It would b complete if it would include IO.SYS & MSDOS.SYS on its bare minimum) with some redundancy?

Read, this time slowly:

About the lazyness of the HP "packagers" (I cannot find ANY reason to call them "engineers" or "programmers") I simply have no words: :)

  • they removed the possibility (included originally in the program) to create a DOS boot disk from internal files BUT left the files inside!

The step you are missing (lack of historical info) is that the "HPUSBWF.EXE" "HPUSBFW.EXE" is NOT "HP software" :) : originally, it was born as an utility to accompany a USB stick "branded" HP and actually manufactured by "M-Systems" (not really "manufactured", the production was actually some hardware unknown firm, and later Toshiba):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-Systems
The tool was also re-branded by HP and - I presume for the legal implications connected to this feature - removed the possibility to create a DOS bootable stick from internal files.
Some more semi-random info on that tool:
http://www.911cd.net...o...0806&st=252

2) Is it an SFX archieve? If not, then what sort of compression mechanism has been used?

Well, well, that's the kind of things you should actually learn to find out yourself. :)
Just like open the file in tiny hexer and extract strings from binary file.....

BTW, hadn't you noticed, this thread is about MS Virtual Storage Server drivers, and NOT about:
  • the HP USB TOOL
  • it's history
  • how it is compressed
  • whatever question/doubt Holmes.Sherlock may have

(it would be advisable to start a new thread related to the actual tool you have questions about instead of posting *anything* in *any* thread) :)

:)
Wonko

#25 sambul61

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 05:39 PM

This was an interesting topic before it was brutally shifted to unrelated matters.

Can someone update the link to latest version of Virtual Storage Driver that works in win7 64-bit? I assume the above batches would also need be better clarified and updated by their developer? :hi: