March 2007 Reader Challenge and February Reader Challenge Winners

February 2007 Reader Challenge Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our February 2007 Reader Challenge. First prize, a copy of "Windows XP Cookbook," goes to Rick Pascoe, of California. Second prize, a copy of "Windows Vista in a Nutshell," goes to Ian Rosenfeld, of New York. Both books are from O’Reilly Media.

Take the Reader Challenge

Solve this month's Vista UPDATE challenge, and you might win a prize! Email your solution (don't use an attachment) to [email protected] by March 13, 2007. You MUST include your full name, and street mailing address (no P.O. Boxes). Without that information, we can't send you a prize if you win, so your answer is eliminated, even if it’s correct.

I choose winners at random from the pool of correct entries. I’m a sucker for humor and originality, and a cleverly written correct answer gets an extra chance. Because I receive so many entries each month, I can't reply to respondents, and I never respond to a request for an e-mail receipt. Look for the solutions to this month's problem here at this site, at on March 14, 2007.

To subscribe to Vista UPDATE, which offers the monthly Reader Challenge, twice-monthly commentary and Microsoft insiders news from Karen Forster, and columns by David Chernicoff and Kathy Ivens, go to the email newsletter subscription page at and register now!

March 2007 Challenge

A reader wrote in response to a previous Challenge about dealing with paths that exceed the limit of characters permitted in Windows. The reader suggested a workaround for accessing a folder that’s at the bottom of the path: use the Subst command. I can’t believe I didn’t think of that myself, because I use that command often, and one day I’ll write an article about how handy the command is. We’re sending a copy of "Windows Vista in a Nutshell," from O’Reilly Media, as a special prize to Anton Markesteijn, of the Netherlands, as a “thank you” for jump-starting my brain about the Subst command. Let's use that command for this month’s challenge. How much do you know about the subst command? Can you answer these questions?

Question 1: You can use the subst command to map a drive to an unshared subfolder that’s under a shared folder on a remote computer.

A. True
B. False

Question 2: Drives configured with the subst command can be made permanent so they don't have to be re-mapped with every startup.

A. True
B. False

Question 3: You can't change permissions on a folder that has a drive letter configured by the subst command.

A. True
B. False


The correct answer for 1 is True, 2 is False, 3 is False. The drive letter does not survive a reboot (instead, write a batch file and put it into the Startup folder of the Programs menu); and changing a path to a virtual drive letter by using the subst command has no effect on permissions.

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