Keep track of your removable media

In the past, you had to use 3.5" or 5.25" disks to store everything, from that must-have shareware to the résumé of the century. Users accumulated tens, even hundreds, of disks. The information revolution has given us more data and low-cost media storage devices. Today’s storage options include CD-ROM, CD-Recordable (CD-R) discs, removable hard disks, and tape drives. Now, the battle is on to find a useful method to keep track of files you save your different media devices.

1Vision Software’s 1Disk 1.0.23 file management system offers an innovative and useful utility to track the location of files that you store on removable media. The software reads file information when you access removable media and stores this information in a database that you can search from Windows NT Explorer or a command prompt. If you create many floppy disks or create CD-R discs on the spur of the moment to clear your hard disk, then 1Disk might be the right answer for managing your files.

Run and Go
1Disk’s simple operation is one of the software’s greatest assets. Installing the product is easy, and 1Disk takes only a minute to copy the necessary files to the local hard disk (the software doesn’t support network drives). 1Disk uses the Persistent File System (PFS) to create a virtual drive that you access in NT using the drive letter of your choice. Whenever you access any removable media that you want 1Disk to log, the software reads the contents of that media into a relational database on the local system and lists the contents on the virtual drive. The database and associated indexes files take up minimal hard disk space, and the 1Disk executable file uses only a small amount of NT resources. Other than dialog boxes that prompt you to decide whether to log a particular media piece (you can silence these dialog boxes), the application runs transparent to the user. After you select a few check boxes (including one that tells the software to prompt you to insert the removable media when accessed), you’re ready to go. Screen 1 shows the 1Disk Setup and Viewer dialog box.

After I ran the software, all I needed was media. Being a network guy who stores most everything on the network, I gathered all my disks and CD-R discs and fed them into the test system. The results were impressive. After accessing the removable media, I simply browsed the virtual drive in Explorer to view the contents of a particular media piece. When you right-click the virtual drive and use the Find command to search the contents, the software presents you with a listing of the different media volume labels, with an icon representing the media type. The software lists all file information (e.g., file size, type, date) just like any other drive.

Add Any Device?
1Disk supports a large array of removable devices, including DVD, Zip, Jaz, and tape drives, but you must configure these devices to have individual drive letters. For review purposes, I tested only disk and CD-R drives. 1Disk read information off these devices without any disruption, so I imagine the product reads other supported devices equally well. The printed documentation was complete and comprehensive. You can download the latest version of the software from 1Vision Software’s Web for evaluation. The site also features email tech support, a searchable knowledge base and offers both online and downloadable user guides.

1Disk is a must-have product for users who work with large amounts of removable media. The product is also well suited for network folder users who use the Find command to locate misplaced files, only to frantically stuff disks and CD-ROMs into the system to locate a file. The application blends nicely within the NT layout, showing only an extra drive letter and an icon on the task bar. With its reasonable price, 1Disk is a welcome addition to any system. Now where did that beer frog screen saver go?

1Disk 1.0.23
Contact: 1Vision Software * 970-203-0727
Web: http://www.the1vision.com
Price: $39.95
System Requirements:
66MHz 486x processor Windows NT Server 4.0, NT Workstation 4.0 or Windows 9x, 16MB of RAM, 5MB of hard disk space