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Chapter 11. Device Advice: Dealing with ... > Working with CD-ROM Drives

Working with CD-ROM Drives

CD-ROM drives are a big part of the multimedia revolution. Now that 5 1/4-inch floppy drives have been relegated to the dustbin of computer history, CD-ROM drives have moved in and taken their place. In fact, the vast majority of new systems sold today come with a CD-ROM drive. This critical mass of drives convinced multimedia developers to release their new titles on CD-ROM and, with hundreds of megabytes to play with, many of these titles are truly spectacular. (Games such as Myst and encyclopedias such as Encarta come to mind.) The quality of these applications, the reduced price, and a constant increase in performance (double-speed drives begat quad-speed, quad-speed begat six-speed, six-speed begat eight-speed, and on and on) convinced even more people to add CD-ROM drives to their systems.

Windows 98 and CD-ROMs

Windows 98 supports CD-ROM drives with a 32-bit protected-mode driver named VCDFSD.VXD (the CDFS stands for CD-ROM File System). This driver replaces MSCDEX.EXE, the real-mode driver used in previous versions of DOS and Windows. If a line loading MSCDEX.EXE already existed in AUTOEXEC.BAT when you installed Windows 98, the Setup program comments out the line and adds VCDFSD.VXD to its list of protected-mode drivers to load at startup. If you've added a CD-ROM drive since installing Windows 98, you need to run the Add New Hardware Wizard (in automatic mode) to detect the drive and load VCDFSD.VXD. (The exception to this is if your CD-ROM drive is attached to a SCSI controller. In this case, Windows 98 will detect the drive automatically at startup.)


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