• Chapter 1. Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2003
  • software development Company Server 2003
  • Chapter 1. Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2003
  • New Features in Windows Server 2003
  • Best Practices
  • Moving Forward
  • Version Comparisons
  • Hardware Recommendations
  • Installation Checklist
  • Functional Overview of Windows Server 2003 Setup
  • Installing Windows Server 2003
  • Post Setup Configurations
  • Functional Description of the Windows Server 2003 Boot Process
  • Correcting Common Setup Problems
  • Chapter 2. Performing Upgrades and Automated Installations
  • New Features in Windows Server 2003
  • NT4 Upgrade Functional Overview
  • Upgrading an NT4 or Windows 2000 Server
  • Automating Windows Server 2003 Deployments
  • Moving Forward
  • Chapter 3. Adding Hardware
  • New Features in Windows Server 2003
  • Functional Description of Windows Server 2003 Architecture
  • Overview of Windows Server 2003 Plug and Play
  • Installing and Configuring Devices
  • Troubleshooting New Devices
  • Moving Forward
  • Chapter 4. Managing NetBIOS Name Resolution
  • New Features in Windows Server 2003
  • Moving Forward
  • Overview of Windows Server 2003 Networking
  • Name Resolution and Network Services
  • Network Diagnostic Utilities
  • Resolving NetBIOS Names Using Broadcasts
  • Resolving NetBIOS Names Using Lmhosts
  • Resolving NetBIOS Names Using WINS
  • Managing WINS
  • Disabling NetBIOS-over-TCP/IP Name Resolution
  • Chapter 5. Managing DNS
  • New Features in Windows Server 2003
  • Configuring a Caching-Only Server
  • Configuring a DNS Server to Use a Forwarder
  • Managing Dynamic DNS
  • Configuring Advanced DNS Server Parameters
  • Examining Zones with Nslookup
  • Command-Line Management of DNS
  • Configuring DHCP to Support DNS
  • Moving Forward
  • Overview of DNS Domain Structure
  • Functional Description of DNS Query Handling
  • Designing DNS Domains
  • Active Directory Integration
  • Configuring DNS Clients
  • Installing and Configuring DNS Servers
  • Configuring Secondary DNS Servers
  • Integrating DNS Zones into Active Directory
  • Chapter 6. Understanding Active Directory Services
  • New Features in Windows Server 2003
  • Active Directory Support Files
  • Active Directory Utilities
  • Bulk Imports and Exports
  • Moving Forward
  • Limitations of Classic NT Security
  • Directory Service Components
  • Brief History of Directory Services
  • X.500 Overview
  • LDAP Information Model
  • LDAP Namespace Structure
  • Active Directory Namespace Structure
  • Active Directory Schema
  • Chapter 7. Managing Active Directory Replication
  • New Features in Windows Server 2003
  • Replication Overview
  • Detailed Replication Transaction Descriptions
  • Designing Site Architectures
  • Configuring Inter-site Replication
  • Controlling Replication Parameters
  • Special Replication Operations
  • Troubleshooting Replication Problems
  • Moving Forward
  • Chapter 8. Designing Windows Server 2003 Domains
  • New Features in Windows Server 2003
  • Design Objectives
  • DNS and Active Directory Namespaces
  • Domain Design Strategies
  • Strategies for OU Design
  • Flexible Single Master Operations
  • Domain Controller Placement
  • Moving Forward
  • Chapter 9. Deploying Windows Server 2003 Domains
  • New Features in Windows Server 2003
  • Preparing for an NT Domain Upgrade
  • In-Place Upgrade of an NT4 Domain
  • In-Place Upgrade of a Windows 2000 Forest
  • Migrating from NT and Windows 2000 Domains to Windows Server 2003
  • Additional Domain Operations
  • Moving Forward
  • Chapter 10. Active Directory Maintenance
  • New Features in Windows Server 2003
  • Loss of a DNS Server
  • Loss of a Domain Controller
  • Loss of Key Replication Components
  • Backing Up the Directory
  • Performing Directory Maintenance
  • Moving Forward
  • Chapter 11. Understanding Network Access Security and Kerberos
  • New Features in Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Server 2003 Security Architecture
  • Security Components
  • Password Security
  • Authentication
  • Analysis of Kerberos Transactions
  • MITv5 Kerberos Interoperability
  • Security Auditing
  • Moving Forward
  • Chapter 12. Managing Group Policies
  • New Features in Windows Server 2003
  • Group Policy Operational Overview
  • Managing Individual Group Policy Types
  • Moving Forward
  • Chapter 13. Managing Active Directory Security
  • New Features in Windows Server 2003
  • Overview of Active Directory Security
  • Using Groups to Manage Active Directory Objects
  • Service Accounts
  • Using the Secondary Logon Service and RunAs
  • Using WMI for Active Directory Event Notification
  • Moving Forward
  • Chapter 14. Configuring Data Storage
  • New Features in Windows Server 2003
  • Functional Description of Windows Server 2003 Data Storage
  • Performing Disk Operations on IA32 Systems
  • Recovering Failed Fault Tolerant Disks
  • Working with GPT Disks
  • Moving Forward
  • Chapter 15. Managing File Systems
  • New Features in Windows Server 2003
  • Overview of Windows Server 2003 File Systems
  • NTFS Attributes
  • Link Tracking Service
  • Reparse Points
  • File System Recovery and Fault Tolerance
  • Quotas
  • File System Operations
  • Moving Forward
  • Chapter 16. Managing Shared Resources
  • New Features in Windows Server 2003
  • Functional Description of Windows Resource Sharing
  • Configuring File Sharing
  • Connecting to Shared Folders
  • Resource Sharing Using the Distributed File System (Dfs)
  • Printer Sharing
  • Configuring Windows Server 2003 Clients to Print
  • Managing Print Services
  • Moving Forward
  • Chapter 17. Managing File Encryption
  • New Features in Windows Server 2003
  • File Encryption Functional Description
  • Certificate Management
  • Encrypted File Recovery
  • Encrypting Server-Based Files
  • EFS File Transactions and WebDAV
  • Special EFS Guidelines
  • EFS Procedures
  • Moving Forward
  • Chapter 18. Managing a Public Key Infrastructure
  • New Features in Windows Server 2003
  • Moving Forward
  • PKI Goals
  • Cryptographic Elements in Windows Server 2003
  • Public/Private Key Services
  • Certificates
  • Certification Authorities
  • Certificate Enrollment
  • Key Archival and Recovery
  • Command-Line PKI Tools
  • Chapter 19. Managing the User Operating Environment
  • New Features in Windows Server 2003
  • Side-by-Side Assemblies
  • User State Migration
  • Managing Folder Redirection
  • Creating and Managing Home Directories
  • Managing Offline Files
  • Managing Servers via Remote Desktop
  • Moving Forward
  • Chapter 20. Managing Remote Access and Internet Routing
  • New Features in Windows Server 2003
  • Configuring a Network Bridge
  • Configuring Virtual Private Network Connections
  • Configuring Internet Authentication Services (IAS)
  • Moving Forward
  • Functional Description of WAN Device Support
  • PPP Authentication
  • NT4 RAS Servers and Active Directory Domains
  • Deploying Smart Cards for Remote Access
  • Installing and Configuring Modems
  • Configuring a Remote Access Server
  • Configuring a Demand-Dial Router
  • Configuring an Internet Gateway Using NAT
  • Chapter 21. Recovering from System Failures
  • New Features in Windows Server 2003
  • Functional Description Ntbackup
  • Backup and Restore Operations
  • Recovering from Blue Screen Stops
  • Using Emergency Management Services (EMS)
  • Using Safe Mode
  • Restoring Functionality with the Last Known Good Configuration
  • Recovery Console
  • Moving Forward
  • Who Should Read This Book
  • Who This Book Is Not For
  • Conventions
  • Acknowledgments
  • About the Author
  • About the Technical Reviewers
  • Index
  • Index A
  • Index B
  • Index C
  • Index D
  • Index E
  • Index F
  • Index G
  • Index H
  • Index I
  • Index J
  • Index K
  • Index L
  • Index M
  • Index N
  • Index O
  • Index P
  • Index Q
  • Index R
  • Index S
  • Index SYMBOL
  • Index T
  • Index U
  • Index V
  • Index W
  • Index X
  • Index Z
  • Preface
  • Previous Section Next Section

    File System Operations

    We're done with functional descriptions and checklists. It's now time to get some real work done. The next few topics contain operating procedures for the following:

    • File compression

    • Reparse points

    • Defragmentation

    • NTFS conversion

    • Writing to CD-R/RW and DVD-RAM Devices

    File Compression Operations

    No controls are available in the UI or Registry hacks to change the compression mechanism. The only setting is to turn the compression bit on or off. This can be done using Explorer or a command-line utility called COMPACT. Procedure 15.4 shows how to turn compression on using Explorer.

    Procedure 15.4 Enabling Compression

    1. Open Explorer and navigate to the file or folder you want to compress.

    2. Right-click the icon and select PROPERTIES from the flyout menu. The Properties window opens (see Figure 15.17).

      Figure 15.17. Properties window showing information about a big file in an uncompressed state.

      graphics/15fig17.gif

    3. In the Attributes field, click Advanced. The Advanced Attributes window opens. This window controls the various attribute bits in the MFT record. See the sidebar, "Using Advanced File Attributes," for more information.

      Using Advanced File Attributes

      The Advanced Attributes window for a file or folder, as shown in Figure 15.18, has several options that affect file storage. This is what they do:

      • The Archive bit comes from classic NT and DOS. It signals that the file was changed but not backed up.

      • The Index bit is new to Windows Server 2003 and indicates that the Content Indexing Service, or CISVC, should scan the file. This service began life as an add-on indexer for Internet Information Server and has now burrowed its way into the operating system. Fortunately, this option is turned off by default.

      • The Compress attribute causes the system to compress the file.

      • The Encrypt attribute causes the system to encrypt the file.

      Figure 15.18. Advanced Attributes window showing status of file attributes such as compression and encryption.

      graphics/15fig18.gif

      The Compress and Encrypt attributes are mutually exclusive. This happens for two reasons:

      • Encrypted files have very few similar characters, so Microsoft does not consider them good candidates for compression.

      • The system cannot restore compressed encrypted files from tape. The Restore process recovers a compressed file from tape by reading the header to find the starting cluster on the drive where the file was originally located. The Restore process, running in the context of a Backup Operator, cannot read the encrypted file to find the destination cluster.

    4. Select Compress Contents to Save Space and then click OK to save the change and close the window.

    5. Click OK to apply the change and close the Properties window. Depending on the size of the file, it may take a while to compress.

    6. Close the Properties window and then open it again. The Size on Disk value shows you the new compressed size.

    If you prefer command-line tools, use the COMPACT utility to compress and decompress files. To set the compression bit, run compact /c. To reset the bit, run compact /u.

    If you want to set the compression bit on a directory and compress all the files in that directory and its subdirectories, run compact /c /s.

    To list files and their compression information, run compact with no switches. For example, this is a list of the standard BMP files that come with Windows Server 2003 in their compressed state:

    C:>\TestDir\compact
     Listing C:\TestDir\
     New files added to this directory will not be compressed.
    
         1272 :      1024 = 1.2 to 1 C Blue Lace 16.bmp
        17062 :     17062 = 1.0 to 1 C Coffee Bean.bmp
        16730 :     15872 = 1.1 to 1 C FeatherTexture.bmp
        17336 :     13312 = 1.3 to 1 C Gone Fishing.bmp
    
    Of 4 files within 1 directories
    4 are compressed and 0 are not compressed.
    46,310 total bytes of data are stored in 32,430 bytes.
    The compression ratio is 1.2 to 1.
    

    Reparse Point Operations

    You can create reparse points, also called mount points, using the Disk Management console or from the command line using LINKD. After it is created, you can manage and delete the reparse points using the Fsutil utility.

    Using the Disk Management console, you can only mount an entire file system. LINKD makes it possible to mount a particular folder. You cannot mount a network file share or a device accessed via a UNC name.

    Creating a Mount Point Using the Disk Management Console

    Procedure 15.5 describes how to use the Disk Management console to create a mount point for another volume.

    Procedure 15.5 Creating a Mount Point Using the Disk Management Console

    1. Create an empty folder on an NTFS volume to act as a mount point. The folder can be in any subdirectory. If the folder has existing files or directory entries, it cannot be used as a mount point.

    2. Open the Computer Management console using START | PROGRAMS | ADMINISTRATIVE TOOLS | COMPUTER MANAGEMENT.

    3. Expand the tree to STORAGE | DISK MANAGEMENT.

    4. Right-click the bar representing the CD-ROM drive and select CHANGE DRIVE LETTER AND PATH from the flyout menu. The Change Drive Letter and Path window opens (see Figure 15.19).

      Figure 15.19. Change Drive Letter and Path window.

      graphics/15fig19.gif

    5. Click Add. The Add New Drive Letter or Path window opens.

    6. Select the Mount This Volume at an Empty Folder Which Supports Drive Paths radio button and click Browse. The Browse for Drive Path window opens.

    7. Navigate to the NTFS volume where you created the folder for the mount point. You can also click New Folder to create a folder on any NTFS volume. Long names are permitted.

    8. Click OK to accept the new folder and close the window.

    9. At the Add New Drive Letter or Path window, click OK to mount the drive. The Disk Management console does not show that a volume is mounted on another volume.

    Creating a Mount Point Using LINKD

    The normal volume mounting process as described in the last section is limited to mounting an entire volume at a mount point. The Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit contains a utility called LINKD that can mount a folder to an empty folder as well as a volume or device. The syntax for LINKD is as follows:

    linkd <empty_folder> <source_folder>
    

    For example, to mount the C:\Windows folder at D:\test (an empty folder), enter the following:

    linkd d:\test_dir c:\winnt
    

    You cannot use LINKD to mount a folder on a network drive. Deleting the folder deletes only the link. The folder icons do not show a special mounted icon such as that used by regular volume mount points.

    Managing Reparse Points Using Fsutil

    The Fsutil console has a reparse point namespace for use in managing mount points and other junctions. For example, to check the contents of the reparse point entry in the mount point record, enter fsutil reparsepoint query <name>. Here is a sample listing:

    C:\>fsutil reparsepoint query mountpointname
    Reparse Tag Value : 0xa0000003
    Tag value: Microsoft
    Tag value: Name Surrogate
    Tag value: Mount Point
    GUID : {000E0000-0010-0006-5C00-3F003F005C00}
    Data Length : 0x00000020
    Reparse Data :
    0000:  48 00 3a 00 5c 00 00 00 48 00 3a 00 5c 00 00 00  H.:.\...H.:.\...
    0010:  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  ................
    

    You can use Fsutil to delete the reparse point without touching the files behind it. Enter fsutil reparsepoint delete <name>. Unfortunately, there is no "create" command for Fsutil. You'll need to use LINKD from the Resource Kit.

    Defragmentation Operations

    There are two ways to initiate a defragmentation run for a volume. You can use the GUI-based console, Dfrg.msc, or you can use a new command-line utility, DEFRAG. The two interfaces execute the same code, so the choice is purely one of convenience. One advantage of the command-line version is that you can schedule it to run via the Task Scheduler.

    The topics in this section give the procedures for cleaning up a disk prior to defragging, how to defrag a volume using the GUI, and how to schedule a defrag using the command line.

    Cleaning up a Volume Prior to Defragmenting

    Have you ever used the services of a housekeeper? What's the first thing you did before the housekeeper paid that first visit? You cleaned house, right? After all, you don't want a total stranger to think you're a slob, do you? The same rule applies to preparing a volume for defragmenting. It doesn't make sense to have lots of useless files on the disk that waste the defragger's time. So, do two things prior to defragging:

    • Run CHKDSK /f on every volume you plan on defragging. If this means restarting to get AUTOCHK to run on the system/boot partition, it's worth doing. I have yet to see an instance where a system crashed or went blue-screen during defrag following a good CHKDSK.

    • Get rid of deadweight files. Windows Server 2003 has a utility for this called Disk Cleanup. It comes in the form of an executable, Clnmgr.exe. Disk Cleanup scans a drive and identifies old Indexing catalogs, Temporary Internet files, temporary and superceded offline files, ActiveX and Java applet downloads, and Recycle Bin contents that can be deleted without causing problems.

    Disk Cleanup is a quick and effective way to remove unwanted files. Run the utility as described in Procedure 15.6.

    Procedure 15.6 Using Disk Cleanup

    1. Launch Disk Cleanup using START | PROGRAMS | ACCESSORIES | SYSTEM TOOLS | DISK CLEANUP. The Disk Cleanup window opens.

    2. Specify the drive letter for the volume you want to clean. The utility searches for files that are candidates for removal. If the disk has a mount point, the search includes the mounted volume. When finished, Disk Cleanup offers the results in a menu of options (see Figure 15.20).

      Figure 15.20. Disk Cleanup window showing menu options.

      graphics/15fig20.jpg

      Choosing to delete Temporary Internet Files does not delete cookies. It does clear cached web pages, so you may experience delays when accessing web sites the next time you run Internet Explorer.

      Choosing to delete Temporary Off-Line Files is acceptable even if the user is offline or forgot to synchronize. Disk Cleanup only deletes offline files that are marked as synchronized with the source file.

    3. Click the options you want to use and then click OK to make the changes and delete the files. When Disk Cleanup finishes, it closes down without a final message.

    Defragmenting an NTFS Volume Using the MMC Console

    You can open the Disk Defragmenter console in several ways:

    • Directly from the START menu: Start | Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Disk Defragmenter.

    • From the Computer Management console: by expanding the tree to STORAGE | DISK DEFRAGMENTER.

    • From Explorer or My Computer: by right-clicking a drive icon, opening the Properties window, and selecting TOOLS | DEFRAGMENT NOW.

    • From the Run window: by entering dfrg.msc.

    After you open the Disk Defragmenter console, you can run a fragmentation analysis of a volume or you can jump right in and defragment the volume. Start with an analysis (see Procedure 15.7). Don't be surprised to see lots and lots of files scattered all over the drive while the analysis tool reports that the volume does not require defragging. An NTFS volume is considered fragmented only when non-resident data attributes are split across multiple runs. The automatic system tune-up will move commonly-used files to strategic locations automatically.

    Procedure 15.7 Performing a Defragmentation Analysis

    1. Highlight the volume and click Analyze. The system looks for fragments and gives you a visual display and text report. Figure 15.21 shows an example.

      Figure 15.21. Disk Defragmenter window showing results of disk analysis.

      graphics/15fig21.jpg

    2. Click View Report. The listing contains statistics for volume use, volume fragmentation, file fragmentation, pagefile fragmentation, directory fragmentation, and MFT fragmentation. Of this list, the defragger can correct file and directory fragmentation only. Expect to find nearly all the Registry hives near the top of the list for fragmentation.

    3. Click Defragment. You can do this from the Report window or the main window. The system performs another analysis and then begins defragging. If it is a big volume with lots of fragmented files, the defragger may stay busy for hours. If you are defragging a server, you should do this after working hours. Not only is performance miserable, locked user files impedes the defragger from doing a thorough job. Times vary depending on I/O speed, CPU speed, and bus speed.

    4. Following completion, Disk Defragmenter displays a new graphical fragmentation analysis and a new report. You may need to defrag several times if you have a heavily fragmented volume.

    Defragmenting Using the DEFRAG Command-Line Utility

    Windows Server 2003 corrects a deficiency in Windows defragmentation by supplying a command-line version of the defrag utility that can be scheduled using the Task Scheduler. The switches are for analyze only (-a) and verbose reporting (-v):

    C:\>defrag d: -a -v
    Windows Disk Defragmenter
    Copyright  2001 Microsoft Corp. and Executive Software International, Inc.
    
    Analysis Report
    
        Volume size                         = 1.95 GB
        Cluster size                        = 2 KB
        Used space                          = 1.87 GB
        Free space                          = 89 MB
        Percent free space                  = 4 %
    
    Volume fragmentation
        Total fragmentation                 = 28 %
        File fragmentation                  = 56 %
        Free space fragmentation            = 0 %
    
    File fragmentation
        Total files                         = 3,516
        Average file size                   = 658 KB
        Total fragmented files              = 40
        Total excess fragments              = 753
        Average fragments per file          = 1.21
    
    Pagefile fragmentation
        Pagefile size                       = 0 bytes
        Total fragments                     = 0
    
    Folder fragmentation
        Total folders                       = 283
        Fragmented folders                  = 21
        Excess folder fragments             = 72
    
    Master File Table (MFT) fragmentation
        Total MFT size                      = 16 MB
        MFT record count                    = 3,820
        Percent MFT in use                  = 24
        Total MFT fragments                   = 2
    

    If you have less than 15 percent free space on a drive, DEFRAG will give an error message and refuse to start. You can force the engine to use the MFT buffer area with the -f switch. The defragmentation will run a little more slowly, but it should succeed.

    NTFS Conversion Operations

    In spite of all the protections built into the conversion program, there is still the potential for wrecking your file system, so prudence dictates that you get a good backup before converting.

    There are no conversion options in the Disk Management console. Conversion is done using a command-line utility called CONVERT. The syntax is as follows:

    convert volume_name /fs:ntfs
    

    You can specify a volume name, drive letter, or mount point as the conversion target. If you specify a drive letter, you are prompted for the volume name just to verify that you have the right volume. Run VOL if you need to verify the volume name.

    The default cluster size is 512 bytes to make the most effective use of the volume during conversion. You cannot change the cluster size later without reformatting the volume.

    The system must be able to get an exclusive lock on all files to do the conversion. If it cannot get exclusive access, you are asked whether you want to do the conversion at the next restart. If you answer Yes, the following entry is made to the Registry:

    Key:     HKLM | System | CurrentControlSet | Control | SessionManager
    Value:   BootExecute
    Data:    AUTOCHK autoconv \??\c: /FS:ntfs
    

    The \??\c: entry is the symbolic link in the Windows Server 2003 object namespace that represents the volume. If you change your mind and decide that you don't want to convert, you can edit this value to remove the autoconv entry and everything after it.

    CD-RW and DVD-RAM Operations

    The secret to having a pleasant experience with the CD writing features in Windows Server 2003 and XP is to tell yourself over and over, "This is not a CD copier. This is not a CD copier."

    The reason for this mantra is that, although Microsoft licensed the code from Roxio (maker of Easy CD Creator), they did not license the packet writing engine that makes feats like CD duplication possible. Windows Server 2003 and XP use standard ISO9660/Joliet for structuring the disk contents, meaning that it treats the CD like a standard file repository.

    If you want the features that come with a packet-engine CD writer, here are a few products to look at. Be sure to get the latest version to be confident that the product will run satisfactorily under Windows Server 2003:

    • Roxio (www.roxio.com). Their flagship product is Easy CD Creator Platinum. (Roxio is a spinoff of Adaptec.)

    • CD Speed 2000 (www.cdspeed2000.com). Their product is Nero CD Burner. This is a popular program both for its price (very low) and features that simplify building audio CDs from ripped MP3s.

    • Golden Hawk Technologies (www.goldenhawk.com). This is a German company with a product called CDRWIN, which has long held a niche for folks who want the fastest burner with minimal features. The documentation and interface could use some work, but it is solid technology.

    You'll need to use one of these third-party products if you have a CD-R or CD-RW unit that is not fully MMC2-compliant. Look for the "Ready for Windows XP" logo or check the Hardware Compatibility List to make sure your unit will work with Windows Server 2003.

    CD Writing Functional Description

    To transfer files to a CD-R or CD-RW drive, drag and drop the files using Explorer onto the drive icon. This copies them into a temporary folder. From there, you instruct the system to burn the files to the CD. This can be done in one of several ways:

    • Right-click the drive icon in My Computers and select Write These Files To CD.

    • Double-click the drive icon to view the files that are already on the disk and those that are waiting to get burned to the disk. Under CD Writing Tasks in the side taskbar, select Write These Files To CD. If you do not see this taskbar, use TOOLS | FOLDER OPTIONS to enable the Show Common Tasks In Folders option.

    • Eject the CD, either manually or from the flyout menu of the CD icon. This initializes a wizard that prompts you to either burn the files, save the temporary files, or forget about the whole thing and delete the temporary files.

    Roxio DirectCD

    Roxio has a product called DirectCD that burns directly from the files on a drive to CD-R, CD-RW, and DVD-RAM media. Ordinarily, the disk is formatted using a proprietary format that permits file compression. Only the Roxio driver can read this disk. Roxio has an option to use a non-proprietary format for this operation that does not include file compression.

    This intermediate step that saves the temporary files is necessary to ensure a smooth transition of data to the burner. This avoids a dreaded buffer underrun condition where there is no more information for the laser to burn to the plastic. Any interruption to the process turns the CD from a data repository into a fancy throwing object.

    Modern CD-R/RW units have very large buffers that can hold nearly all the contents of the CD in memory. This all but eliminates buffer underruns. The engine in Windows Server 2003 assumes a baseline model that has very little buffering. You cannot bypass the intermediate file copy step.

    By default, the temporary file location is the C: drive. You can set this to an alternate volume if one is available. You'll need enough free space to hold all the files that a CD can hold. This is approximately 700MB for a standard CD and 850MB for an extended CD.

    Although the files are burned to the CD, you should avoid initiating processes that might cause a break in data stream that is longer than the buffer on the CD-RW unit can accommodate.

    As for sharing a CD-RW as a network resource, the network makes a poor connection for filling a write buffer, so the write engine is not exposed when transferring files to a shared CD-RW drive. You are limited to reading from a shared CD-RW device. (By the way, Windows Server 2003 does not install an administrative (dollar-sign) share on any CD, so if you want to test a shared connection, you'll need to create a share point.)

    DVD-RAM Support

    Windows Server 2003 and XP can read DVD-RAM disks formatted with Universal Disk Format (UDF) up through version 2.01 but it will not write to UDF disks.

    The only writable format supported by Windows Server 2003 for DVD-RAM drives is FAT32. NTFS is not supported due to the continual writes to the file system journal.

    As of this writing, Windows 2000 does not support reading DVD-RAM disks formatted with FAT32. You would need to install a third-party application to transport media between platforms.

    To write files to a DVD-RAM device, you can use drag-and-drop or COPY/XCOPY from the command line or any other application that uses standard Win32 API file system calls. The system treats DVD-RAM as regular, albeit very slow, spinning media.

    File writes to a DVD-RAM drive are buffered both in the file system driver and at the device. If you eject the media from the drive, either from the device or by selecting the option from the flyout menu, the file system will flush the cache to the buffer at the drive before releasing the device. The device will flush the buffer to the drive before letting the media spin down. Depending on how much information is in the cache and the speed of your unit, this operation might take a while.

    If your current DVD-RAM device appears as two drive letters, this means the driver supplied by the vendor uses a special format that combines a FAT piece with a UDF piece. Windows Server 2003 interprets the report from such a driver as two different interfaces. You should not try to write to either of these two logical drives. Only use the software provided by the vendor.

    If you need software that can read and write DVD-RAM drives in UDF format, try visiting the Software Architects web site at www.softarch.com. They are technology pioneers for UDF and do a good job of keeping up with various platforms.

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