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Network and Classroom Management Thread, Replacement to RM's Virtual CD in Technical; Hello Recently, we asked RM for a quote to upgrade Virtual CD to a version that would support Windows 7. ...
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    Replacement to RM's Virtual CD

    Hello

    Recently, we asked RM for a quote to upgrade Virtual CD to a version that would support Windows 7. We were quoted 1,398.60 for 681 stations. We are also about to buy about another 400 licences (Virtual CD no longer comes included in a CC4 licence), which would have pushed the price up even more (we only run 4 Virtual CDs!) - so I started to look in to alternatives.

    When we first started using Virtual CD, probably 8 years ago, the software seemed impressive enough to pay quite large amounts for. But since then I and I'm sure lots of you have used free software at home to achieve similar things. I had to look for a bit to find one that supported some sort of command line or scripting and a silent install, but I found Virtual CloneDrive. It is free software from SlySoft, who also make the software to create ISOs, which we won't be needing as there is plenty of free software to accomplish that.

    My first attachment is the package for Virtual CloneDrive. I have NOT included the software setup exe, so after unzipping the package, download it from here - it's the last download link on the page - put the file in the package folder and then import it in to RMMC. At the moment the package works with 5.4.5.0 - I have no idea if updated versions will break it, but I do know the file has to be named 'SetupVirtualCloneDrive5450.exe' (or edit the setup.bat).

    The setup.bat does a few things you should be aware of. First of all, it adds three certificates to the computer's certificate store. These are needed because the driver for the fake CD drive is signed by SlySoft themselves (These commands are from SlySoft Forum - View Single Post - Certificate used for signing has expired ...). It then starts a silent install of Virtual CloneDrive, telling it not to reboot after the install. It then runs 'letter.vbs', which gives the new drive a letter. I have set it to U, which is one of the drives the RM's Virtual CD uses so there shouldn't be any clash (This vbs script is from REQ Virtual CloneDrive 5111 silent method - MSFN Forum however I have edited it a bit as that didn't work). The batch file then deletes the shortcut on the desktop because I like to keep it tidy. This package is set to reboot when other installs are finished.

    The second attachment is my launcher script, written in vbs. It installs to the hard drive, in C:\Program Files\John Port Applications\VCD Launcher\VCD Launcher.vbs. This script takes care of inserting the ISO, running the required program and ejecting the ISO when finished. I've noticed that sometimes it doesn't load the ISO quickly enough, causing the program to not see the disc. To combat this I've but some sleep commands in, but they may not be long enough.

    To create a shortcut that will work, you need to point it to the launcher script, with the ISO and the program to run as parameters, like so:

    "C:\Program Files\John Port Applications\VCD Launcher\VCD Launcher.vbs" "Path to ISO" "Path to Program"

    eg:
    "C:\Program Files\John Port Applications\VCD Launcher\VCD Launcher.vbs" "V:\ISOs\Spanish 1 and 2\Spanish 1 and 2.iso" "C:\Program Files\Doki\Espanol 1&2\doki-spanish.exe"

    Make sure all paths are in quotes, as shown above. Give the shortcut an icon and allocate it to a Program Set.

    Note that you also need to convert your existing vc4 file to ISOs. This is pretty easy - log on to a Windows XP station, right click on the vc4 file, go to the Virtual CD v9 menu and select Convert to another format.

    I think I've covered everything but if something doesn't work let me know!

    By the way, this in Windows 7 only, I couldn't get the certificates to work in XP
    Last edited by knelmes; 26th December 2011 at 06:56 PM.

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    TheScarfedOne's Avatar
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    You can also do this with daemon tools and daemon scripting. I used to do this, before binning the virtual cds when upgrading to Windows 7 and finding most of the apps would run as a server complete install.

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    Yes, but Daemon tools is only free for personal use and expressly forbids educational use without payment (turned out to be more pricey than RM's solution.)

    Up to you if you want to run software illegally in your job but I stick to the rule book quite strictly at work. At home on the other hand I'm a bit more...relaxed, shall we say...

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    Quote Originally Posted by knelmes View Post
    Hello

    Recently, we asked RM for a quote to upgrade Virtual CD to a version that would support Windows 7. We were quoted 1,398.60 for 681 stations. We are also about to buy about another 400 licences (Virtual CD no longer comes included in a CC4 licence), which would have pushed the price up even more (we only run 4 Virtual CDs!) - so I started to look in to alternatives. .................
    Just a small check do you require the VCD's to run on all the 681 stations ..... as it may be cheaper otherwise if you license it to just the stations you run it on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by timethrow View Post
    Just a small check do you require the VCD's to run on all the 681 stations ..... as it may be cheaper otherwise if you license it to just the stations you run it on.
    I probably could have reduced it a bit, but why pay at all if there's a free alternative? (unless you're concerned about support of course)

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    What is it you are actually using Virtual CD for? By that I mean what software is it you are hosting locally via it as I have not (for many years now) had to worry about using any kind of virtual CD software when it can happily be run from a network share. It it old legacy stuff?

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    It's stuff that checks for the presence of the disc before it'll start as an anti-piracy measure

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    Is it a network version then? if its anti piracy I m guessing it cant e use for anything more than one PC, talk to the company who produced it

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    Quote Originally Posted by irsprint84 View Post
    Is it a network version then? if its anti piracy I m guessing it cant e use for anything more than one PC, talk to the company who produced it
    Well, 2 of them are definitely anti-piracy and we only have that installed on the ones we are licensed for. The other 2 I think are actually just rather old programs and don't have the option of a full install.

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    Just contact the developer of Virtual CD (H+H in Germany) directly and get an unlimited campus license for a reasonable price!
    Last edited by MrBecker; 17th April 2013 at 01:53 PM.

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