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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Virtual CD - many schools using it? in Technical; The Domain I inherited was set up with a MS Server 2003 domain and XP Pro Clients. The external IT ...
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    speckytecky's Avatar
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    Virtual CD - many schools using it?

    The Domain I inherited was set up with a MS Server 2003 domain and XP Pro Clients. The external IT Company who ran it seemed to deploy most Client Software with the H+H virtual CD V6. We are now a MS Server 2008 Domain and gradually bringing in windows 7 Clients as replacements for XP Pro on older machines sent to computer heaven. V6 of the H+H doesn't seem to want to play with Windows 7 so we are looking at the benefits of replacing it with the new V10.

    I don't see a lot of mention of this seemingly excellent software on Edugeek - hence not being sure if I was posting to the correct thread. Anyone got experience they can share on this software please?

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Do many programs that you run require CDs to run, usually it is quicker to put them on a fileshare unless they have some kind of single use protection which requires the CD in the drive which brings up the question of the propper site liscences as this is generally limited to single workstation use software.

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    I have used a product from Viglen before which was based on the Avantis virtual CD server. However this was back in the days when hard drives on workstations were much smaller so you couldn't do full installations of programs like Encarta which were commonly used at the time, so the only realistic way of running such software was to use a CD server. I've not used one for a long time however, anything which requires a shared resource is served from a network share or a normal file server, and most programs are done as full installs so won't need the installation media or CD to be present. Virtual CD servers are pretty much redundant technologies now in my opinion, unless there's a very specific reason for needing them.

    Mike.

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    Dos_Box (1st May 2011), speckytecky (2nd May 2011)

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    I too recall using Avantis on a Classlink setup, however since it was easier to use network shares to deploy from and MSI's via group policies, virtual CD's have had their day TBH. Mind you, it does annoy me even now when some modern games insists the cd/dvd is in the drive before allowing you to play. And to think I never used to like the idea of Steam!

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    I too used to use a CD server from viglen didn't even know what the box did as it was used so little - so we turned it off and it took about 2/3 months for somebody to complain that a piece of software didn't work!! it also then took us a while to remember we turned it off!

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    Quote Originally Posted by speckytecky View Post
    Anyone got experience they can share on this software please?
    I wouldn't bother personally. Our school has H+H Virtual CD v4, but it's never used. This is mainly because the number of programs on our network requiring virtual CDs in order to run is effectively zero (buying site licenses for most things has helped with that).

    With free alternatives such as WinCDEmu, Pismo File Mount and Virtual Clone Drive I can't see any reason why you should need to pay for software to mount ISOs. Windows 8 will natively support mounting ISOs too (about 10 years too late!).

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    speckytecky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    I wouldn't bother personally. Our school has H+H Virtual CD v4, but it's never used. This is mainly because the number of programs on our network requiring virtual CDs in order to run is effectively zero (buying site licenses for most things has helped with that).

    With free alternatives such as WinCDEmu, Pismo File Mount and Virtual Clone Drive I can't see any reason why you should need to pay for software to mount ISOs. Windows 8 will natively support mounting ISOs too (about 10 years too late!).
    Thanks for all the very useful replies folks. I now have a much clearer picture of the situation. Because we seem to have a fair library on the old Virtual CD 6 that are still usefully running I think I will be looking at the Free products you list Arthur and hopefully the existing images will be easy to copy across. Any recommendation of one over the others?

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    Quote Originally Posted by speckytecky View Post
    ... hopefully the existing images will be easy to copy across....
    As the last software emulates a CD drive and the new software will probably come with a CD capture util at most you should just have to have both installed on one machine so that you can go from one format to the other. I would be looking to put all of the images in ISO if you have to change them and if they are not already ISO as it is a rather universal format that is very well supported and any further format changes would be unlikely.

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    We're using the v10 Terminal Server version of it and it does the job. I've had more trouble with the software we need it for being too old to run on 2008r2.

    Some software, if using SecuROM, e.g. WordShark, won't run when it finds any virtual CD software. That was also a pain. Had to upgrade to the network version to get around that.

    Can anyone comment on DaemonTools's licence for education? It explicitly says now that it's not free for education use, but I deployed 4.35.6, certain that I was abiding by its licence, and now can't find where it said it was ok.

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    Quote Originally Posted by speckytecky View Post
    Any recommendation of one over the others?
    Either of the first two, as they both support command-line options for controlling the mounting and unmounting of discs.

    I would also do what Synack suggested in post #8 and convert them into ISO format as it is supported by pretty much every virtual CD application. For discs which contain multiple sessions/tracks (e.g. hybrid data + audio CDs) you will need to use CUE/BIN format since ISO doesn't support these.

    If Virtual CD 6 doesn't let you save your disc images into ISO format, you could use either ImgBurn (Free) or UltraISO (20) to convert them. With the former program, all you would need to do is mount the disc image you want to convert in Virtual CD, open ImgBurn, select the virtual CD as the source and a new ISO image as the destination.

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