UNC drive

I am just learning about networks, so I apologize if this is a really stupid question.

If I have an app on a server that uses UNC, do the workstations also use UNC paths? If so, how would I determine if a workstation has a removeable drive?  I can do this via drive letter but if there is no drive letter...

Thanks.
alexiatAsked:
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TDKDCommented:
UNC stand for "Universal Naming Convention", and example of a unc path would be typing this at the "Run" command on a Windows OS, \\fred-s <-- in this example I am UNCing to a Windows computer with a host name of fred-s on the network.

I am not sure what your actual question is?? But it seems you have a need to perform a remote detection on computers in your network, in order to determine if they have a CD-ROM Drive? Please elaborate...
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skca54Senior EngineerCommented:
A removable drive i.e. USB does not use UNC paths. These are used over networks. If the external drive does not appear in 'My Computer' then you can check what Letter has been given to the drive in 'Disk Management'. It often happens that a share can 'overwrite' a drive letter applied to an external device.
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alexiatAuthor Commented:
Our software needs to be able to write its prefs etc. to a workstation's flash drive or other removeable drive.  For example, at a college where our software would be on the server but nothing should be written to a workstations hard drive.  I can figure out how to do this in code with a drive letter thanks to previous EE posts,  but am floundering a bit the the UNC stuff as I have never dealt with it before.
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skca54Senior EngineerCommented:
You should be able to use a UNC if a folder on the drive was shared.
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alexiatAuthor Commented:
Right now I just reiterate through all possible drive letters and check to see if I hit on a removeable drive.  So you are saying this would still work?
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TDKDCommented:
Please reiterate your question...
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alexiatAuthor Commented:
Sorry for my poor explanation.

Our software will reside on a network server.  On our PC version, we write user prefs etc. to where ever Windows designates via CSIDL_LOCAL_APPDATA.  However, in our network version we want to allow these prefs to be written to a flash drive or some other removeable media on the workstation instead.

I don't understand if, when the network uses UNC, I can still determine if there is such a drive available for me to write to.  If UNC is not used, I simply reiterate through drive letters to see if it is a valid drive and if it is a removeable one.  I don't know how to do this with UNC.  Or maybe there is no difference.

Thanks.
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TDKDCommented:
Ok, Interesting... I assume their is a client install on the desktop side that then communicates to the server version?
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alexiatAuthor Commented:
Wow, I don't know if I can feel even dumber but I believe it is about to happen.  Here is how it is installed on a PC: our software and its files are installed in Program Files and the user editable data is installed into ProgramData (COMMON_APPDATA).  It should be installed that way on the network server too.  I will humbly admit I don't know what a "client install on the desktop side" means.
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TDKDCommented:
No problem :-) Client install simply means that for everything to work properly (being your software in this case), you need to install special software on the desktop, that then allows the desktop to speak to the server side of the setup.

But...It sounds like you have two different software apps all together, one for server and one for the desktop? Neither one relies on the other, is this correct?

My thought here is.... would it be possible that whomever installs the software on the desktop (client side) can take some responsibilities, and provide your application the info it requires (e.g. Drive letter of the USB drive that they wish to use).

Perhaps you can create/design your software to install in a way that the end user must plug in a USB drive and take note of the drive letter is has obtained, then a window comes up asking them to simply enter the USB drive letter that they wish to use for your software?
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alexiatAuthor Commented:
Thanks. I will take your advice about redesigning a bit as outlined in your last paragraph.  Glad I sought your advice.  
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TDKDCommented:
Glad to help, take care :-)
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