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  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Aug 2007
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    Question Creating a virtual disk drive

    Hello!

    I have a very specific problem. I'm writing a network file manager application that is using a proprietary protocol and it is very important to give access to the network stored files not only in my application but also by the phone built-in applications. So I need to the Symbian OS to mount something like a virtual disk drive as drive X: and all installed apps to be able to see this drive.

    I have a working API that gives me all the required operations on the network storage - directory creation/opening/enumeration, file operations (file open, read, write, seek, etc.) and I have both synchronous and asynchronous versions of these APIs. But I don't know how to create this virtual "disk" and make it visible to Symbian OS. I know that it probably requires some advanced APIs I just need some pointers where to look.

    I hope that some Symbian guru can point me in the right direction

  2. #2
    Nokia Developer Moderator
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    Mar 2003
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    Re: Creating a virtual disk drive

    I have no idea on any API, anyway, for any other person to help you, it would make it easier if you could identify the APIm and maybe tell what you have tried with ti already, and what kind of problems you been having with your approaches.

  3. #3
    Nokia Developer Moderator
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    Feb 2006
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    Re: Creating a virtual disk drive

    Some things can be still checked after all.
    RFs (the File Server Session class) has file system-manipulation methods (add this, mount that, and similar things), that can already give some ideas what is needed for creating a new disk.
    Then there is a book in the Wiki, http://www.developer.nokia.com/Commu...n_OS_Internals, including a chapter about the File Server.
    Also, in latest Symbian devices the File Manager offers some network drive mounting thing, but I have no idea what that could be and what server it needs. You may want to check.
    Symbian^3 was open source for some time, and a snapshot of the last open source release can be grabbed from SourceForge, project 'symbiandump'. That is a rather old one, but it will definitely help if you ever start coding this feature, and it may contain some traces for this drive mapping thing.

  4. #4
    Registered User
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    Aug 2007
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    34

    Re: Creating a virtual disk drive

    Thank you for the replies!

    I have the Symbian source code and thanks to your pointers, I now know that I need to implement an FSY module (essentially a DLL) that will add support for my virtual disk in Symbian OS. Unfortunately loading this FSY module via RFs requires DiskAdmin and TCB capabilties, which I just can't get so the whole idea goes down. It's a pity because it would have been great to have this ability. Now I have to copy the files to the local filesystem before trying to open them with any built-in application, which is slow and impractical for large files.

    I was hoping that there is some kind of user space (as opposed to kernel space driver) file system plugin mechanism or something that doesn't require these unattainable capabilities, but it's just wasn't meant to be. It's a bummer but that's life.

  5. #5
    Registered User
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    May 2008
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    Surat Thani
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    260

    Re: Creating a virtual disk drive

    Quote Originally Posted by wizard_hu_ View Post
    Also, in latest Symbian devices the File Manager offers some network drive mounting thing, but I have no idea what that could be and what server it needs. You may want to check.
    Yepp, if Symbian already natively supports mounting network file systems, you could consider creating a local dummy "server", which makes the files available using a protocol supported by the OS. It would act as an adapter, fetching data from the real server using the proprietary protocol, and passing it on via the supported one.

    Not sure if this is feasible though.

  6. #6
    Registered User
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    Aug 2007
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    34

    Re: Creating a virtual disk drive

    Cool idea and I have no problem implementing it (it will be pretty fast with loopback socket) but the only protocol that Symbian supported natively was WebDAV and it's gone from Belle, so still no luck Still, thanks for the comment.

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