Tech Software:
Hardware Configuration Preventing Custom Software from Running
Posted 2/8/2018 on 2/8/2018 and updated 10/4/2020
Take Away:

This article discusses a real life troubleshooting encounter that I resolved by manipulating the network drive mappings.


I recently had a "fix my computer" issue with a new customer. They were using an old DOS program written in Foxpro version 2.0 under the SBT order entry and accounting system. It seems to work well enough for them, except for one computer they have. They were unable to get this application to run on this PC, so I proceeded to investigate the problem.

This custom software starts by running a batch file called “SBT.BAT” at the command line. This goes through a list of mundane command line tasks that tie in to how the different network drives are mapped to the server that holds the SBT program and the data. Next, it displays a text menu that allows the user to key in a number that will run another batch file of the same number that enters a specific part of the SBT program.

The problem with the one computer was that the CD burner drive was assigned drive letter Z by the Windows XP "plug-n-play" feature. It did this even after I uninstalled the CD-RW drive and restarted Windows to reinstall it. The “SBT.BAT” batch file was executing a command that involved a drive on the server that was mapped to drive Z. Since drive Z was utilized by the CD-RW drive instead of the network drive specified in the “SBT.BAT” batch file, the batch file processing would abort because of the hardware configuration conflict for this particular computer.

To resolve this snafu, I went into the device manager under the Windows control panel

and disabled the CD-RW drive. By doing this, Windows will not assign the next available drive letter to a disabled device. Next, I was able to assign the unused drive Z to the needed network drive. This in turn made the batch file execute as it should, yielding full access to the SBT program. For the record, this problem could have also been resolved by physically disconnecting the CD-RW drive, too. There are usually multiple ways to resolve many of these difficulties.

Nowadays people think they have to spend buckets of money on high priced IT people and so on to resolve a technical problem. In most cases from my experience, this isn’t the case. It usually requires thinking, creativity and resourcefulness to arrive at a solution that is not only viable, but also cost effective.

Article Contributed By NE Ohio Computer Guy:

Please visit my software developer website for more information about my services. I offer application development as well as Android app coding services. My developer skills are best suited to dealing with custom software projects. I can perform programming for Corel Paradox as well as C# and PHP.

In my local area of northeast Ohio, I can cater to computer repair and "fix my computer" issues. And don‘t forget to check out my YouTube Channel. It is full of cool videos and has something for everyone!

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Printed 12/6/2021