Solid File System

Virtual file system enigne that can be embedded into your software.

Deployment (Operating System Edition, Windows platform)

Required Permissions

By default installation and deinstallation of Solid File System files (kernel-mode drivers and Helper DLLs) can be performed from the user account which belongs to Administrators group. This is a security measure of Windows operating system. You can change this behaviour on the target system by adjusting the list of users and groups who have the right to install and uninstall the drivers. This can be done in Control Panel -> Administrative tools -> Local Security Settings -> Local Policies \ User Rights Assignment (tree branch), there you need to change "Load and Unload device drivers" item. No need to say that by default you can change the security settings if you are system administrator.

Notes for Vista and Windows 7

If you have UAC (User Account Control) enabled, Vista and Windows 7 will run applications started by you with limited rights even when you are logged in as administrator or member of Administrators group.

If you install or uninstall the drivers by calling the above mentioned functions in your code, you need to elevate privileges of your application so that it's started with truly administrative rights.

To elevate privilages for your application, you must start it with Run As Administrator option. In Windows Explorer this is done using Run As Administrator command in context menu for the application. Alternatively you can set the corresponding option in the Properties window shown for your executable module.

One more option is to use the manifest. The manifest file can be placed next to the executable of your application or embedded into the executable. If you decide to keep the manifest in a separate file, it must be named <EXEName_with_extension>.manifest, eg. for MyApp.exe the manifest should be called MyApp.exe.manifest.

You can use the following manifest:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
<assembly xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v1" manifestVersion="1.0">
    <assemblyIdentity version=""
<description>elevate execution level</description>
   <trustInfo xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v2">
            <requestedExecutionLevel level="requireAdministrator" uiAccess="false"/>

Installation of the drivers and Helper DLLs

In Solid File System 5.x and later all driver versions and all Helper DLLs are packed to a single CAB file, which is installed to the target system using the functions exported by Installer DLL that is included within Solid File System package. This DLL can be freely distributed with your projects as long as it is used with the licensed version of Solid File System.

To install or uninstall the CAB file from your main application use the calls in Solid File System API: Install and Uninstall.

Windows requires system restart after installation or deinstallation of plug-n-play drivers, so in Solid File System 5.x and later restart is needed if you install drivers in PnP mode.

Note, that Uninstall function should be used only to completely uninstall the driver and helper DLLs. Don't use Uninstall function if you are updating the version of SolFS on target system. If you use Uninstall, and then attempt to install the updated version without restarting the system, you can either get an error or restart will cause the OS to delete the newly installed files (the OS treats these files as the ones that must be uninstalled). This remark is not applicable when you upgrade SolFS from lower major version (1 or 5) to higher version (5 or 6 accordingly): higher major versions are treated as different products and they don't update lower versions.

After you install the CAB file, you need to keep a copy of this file on the destination system, because deinstallation of the files also requires the CAB archive to be present.

User-mode API

SolFS user-mode API is shipped as .NET assemblies, static and dynamic library for Visual C++, and VCL units.

  • .NET API:
    When deploying the project, copy the SolFS5DrvNet.dll below to your application folder. Questions about when and how to install the assemblies to Global Assembly Cache are discussed in Working with Assemblies and the Global Assembly Cache and How to: Install an Assembly into the Global Assembly Cache articles.

    Starting with SolFS 5.2 .NET assemblies are offered in one form that does not depend on MS VC Runtime, but requires an unmanaged SolFS.dll instead. The unmanaged DLL, SolFSDrv.dll, is provided next to SolFS5DrvNet.dll assembly.

    .NET assemblies must be deployed by copying SolFSDrv.dll and SolFS5DrvNet.dll from "<SolFS>\.NET" folder together with your application files.
  • C++ API:
    To deploy SolFS in case of dynamic linkage, just copy SolFSDrv.dll together with your application files. The DLL is located in "<SolFS>\Win32\DynamicLib" or "<SolFS>\Win_x64\DynamicLib" folders (for Win32 and Win64 platforms).
    No deployment is needed in case of static linkage of C++ library.

  • VCL API:
    32-bit VCL unit for Delphi and C++Builder links SolFS API statically so no deployment is required. 64-bit VCL units require SolFSDrv.dll to be deployed together with your application files.

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