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How to use drive A: when you don't have a floppy drive

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This procedure is useful where software you use insists on looking at drive A: for the files it is requesting.

In short, the procedure creates a temporary folder on your hard drive, copies the files into it, and then uses the SUBST (substitute) command to tell your computer to look at that folder whenever the computer is supposed to look at the A: drive.

Note: you must already have somehow copied the files you need off the floppy disk and have them somewhere on your hard drive or network. Borrowing a friend's computer to email them to yourself is fine for this.

  1. using Windows Explorer, locate the files you previously copied off the floppy disk
  2. select all the files and folders from the disk
  3. right-click one of them (any of them), and select Copy
  4. still using Windows Explorer, in the left-hand panel, click the C: drive icon
  5. if Windows says the files are hidden, click the link to view them
  6. from the File menu, select New, then select Folder
  7. enter a short name for your temporary folder (eg. MYTEMP)
  8. right-click the folder you just created, then select Paste
  9. click the Start button and then Run ...
  10. in the box, type CMD and press Enter (type COMMAND on Win9x/ME systems)
  11. in the DOS prompt window, type SUBST A: C:\MYTEMP and press Enter (if you used a different name, enter that instead)
  12. type EXIT and press Enter

The substitution you've just made will appear next to the A: entry in the left-hand panel in Windows Explorer. Every time your computer now looks for drive A: it will instead look at the folder you created.

The substitution will persist until you next reboot. You can delete it without rebooting by going to the DOS prompt and typing SUBST A: /D

To recreate the substitution, follow these instructions again. If you need to set your computer permanently to substitute a directory for a drive, place the SUBST command in a batchfile, then place the batchfile in your startup folder.

Don't forget to delete the temporary directory once you've finished using it!