Drive Letter Access

Drive Letter Access
Developer(s) Sonic Solutions
Stable release 5.21 build 01C / April 30, 2008
Operating system Windows
Type optical disc authoring software
License proprietary
Website sonic.com

Drive Letter Access (DLA) is a commercial packet writing application for the Microsoft Windows operating system that allows optical disc data storage devices to be used in a manner similar to floppy disks. DLA is a packet writing technology for CD and DVD media that uses the UDF file system.

Roxio Burn was introduced on April 30, 2009.[1] As a replacement for DLA, it remedies compatibility issues Internet Explorer 8.[2]

Contents

History

DLA was originally developed by VERITAS Software and later sold to Sonic Solutions in 2002. It is very popular mainly because it was and still is shipped with a majority of CD and DVD recording drives, where DLA comes as a custom OEM version for the branded drive. Most PC systems from Dell, HP, IBM, Sony and Toshiba come with DLA pre-installed or prepared for installation; also, an OEM version can often be downloaded for the specific computer system.

Technology

To use an optical medium such as a CD-R, CD-RW, DVD±R or DVD±RW just like a floppy drive it is necessary to utilize a technique called packet writing. After formatting the optical media it is then possible to write data in small packets, hence the name “packet writing.” The optical drive unit has to support the ability to write in small units, which all modern CD and DVD recording drives do. This way it is possible to save files onto optical media, as well as change, rename or delete them, or copy files separately onto the media.

Without packet writing, optical media like the above mentioned would have to be written on in one big block, like Disc At Once (DAO), Session At Once (SAO) and Track At Once (TAO), because these media types normally do not support sectors. After formatting with packet writing the media is sectored in blocks that can be written to individually. The preferred file system is the Universal Disk Format (UDF) in versions from 1.50 onward, which is also used by DLA.

Packet writing is not required for writing DVD-RAM. DVD-RAM media are already sectored (which can be seen when looking at the surface of an empty DVD-RAM disc) and the hardware logic of DVD-RAM capable drives supports sectored read/write operations as required by the DVD-RAM standard. However, for Windows up to 2000 DLA will also add support for DVD-RAM together with the UDF file system, for Windows XP DLA will only add the UDF support.
DLA also supports the Mount Rainier standard with MRW capable drives. For Windows up to XP DLA will provide this functionality as well as the UDF support.

Windows XP is the first Windows operating system to support DVD-RAM. Windows Vista is the first Windows operating system to support full UDF functionality (UDF up to version 2.50, full support meaning read and write operations) and Mount Rainier.

Versions

DLA is available only for Microsoft Windows operating systems and only in the English language.

  • Version 4.95 runs on Windows 98SE, Me, NT 4.0, 2000 and XP.
  • Version 5.21 is the most recent version for Windows 98SE, Me, 2000 and XP.

Note: Currently, most OEM versions officially support only Windows 2000 and XP; however, DLA itself also runs on older versions of Windows, like Windows 98 Second Edition and Windows Me, as well as Windows NT 4.0.
Windows Vista is not supported.

Known problems

  • DLA is not compatible with Internet Explorer 8.
  • DLA can cause stop errors (BSOD) on the Windows Server 2003 operating system.
  • DLA can lock up a Windows XP system when a rewritable (RW) disc is inserted.
  • DLA may prevent ejection of media from an optical drive. When this occurs, a solution is to restart the operating system.
  • DLA may prevent installation of a program distributed on a rewritable CD or DVD. A solution is to deactivate DLA as follows:
  1. Launch Windows Explorer or open its My Computer component.
  2. Select the RW drive.
  3. Right click on the drive.
  4. Click "Properties"
  5. Click the "Hardware" tab
  6. Deselect (uncheck) Use with DLA

See also

Techniques used by DLA:

Competing applications:

  • Nero InCD
  • Roxio Drag-to-Disc (formerly Adaptec DirectCD)

References

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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