Forums Knowledge Base Knowledge Base Articles 1044 – COPYING REALYSKY CD DATA TO A HARD DRIVE

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    The RealSky data resides on 18 data discs that must be swapped when viewing different portions of the sky. Can I copy these discs to my hard drive to avoid CD-ROM swapping?


    The solution sounds simple: just copy each CD-ROM to the root folder of your hard drive, then setup the Digitized Sky Survey retrieval software (either CCDSoft or RealSkyView) to use the hard drive, rather than the CD-ROM drive. However, this seemingly simple solution requires further explanation…

    Background Information

    The RealSky data is comprised of over 1.3 million relatively small data files. In order to minimize the space required to hold these files, the CD-ROMs were created using 512 byte sectors.  

    RealSky Data “Issues”

    1. The 18 RealSky CD-ROMs occupy 10.1 GB of data on CD-ROMs that were formatted using 512 byte sectors.
    2. In order to be accessed from your hard drive, all the RealSky Data must reside on a single hard drive, and in the root of the drive, or in a “mapped network” drive.


    1. If you try to copy the RealSky data to a hard disk that has been formatted with 1024 or larger sectors, then significantly more hard disc space is required. For example, if your drive is formatted using 2048 byte sector size, then the RealSky data will occupy over 40 GB of disk space.
    2. Older operating systems (Windows 98/Me) do not allow drive mapping, so the RealSky data must reside in the root folder of the hard drive.

    Windows 98/Me

    1. Purchase or use a hard drive with a minimum of 40 GB of free space. A 60 GB or larger capacity drive is recommended. Windows 98 and Windows Me do not allow you to specify the sector size when formatting the hard disk, so, depending upon the minimum sector size of the drive, ample free disk space is required.
    2. Copy the entire contents of each RealSky disc, 1-18, to the root of the hard drive. This is a time consuming process. Be patient!
    3. Configure CCDSoft or RealSkyView to use the drive letter of this disk in the Digitized Sky Survey Setup dialog box.

    Windows Vista/XP Home/XP Professional/2000/NT

    Create a 20 GB Partition

    1. Purchase or use a hard drive that has a partition of at least 20 GB of free space (with 512 byte sectors). If the drive or partition does not have 512 byte sector size, it must be formatted using an Administrator's account. See the Windows Help file for details about  creating disk partitions and formatting hard disc drives. Warning: You cannot create a new partition on a hard drive without reformatting the entire drive. Therefore, do not try to create a partition on any drive that has data you need to keep!
    2. Using Windows Explorer, create a folder on the 20 GB partition to store the RealSky data. For example, name the folder “RealSky Data.” See Windows Help if you're unfamiliar with using Windows Explorer.
    3. Copy the entire contents of each RealSky disc, 1-18, into this folder.
    4. Share this folder. To do so, right-click it and then click Sharing and Security (or Sharing under Windows 2000 and NT).

     XP Professional-Specific Dialog Box 

    XP Professional users, mark the Share This Folder option and then click OK.

    XP Home-Specific Dialog Box


    XP Home users, click the Share This Folder on the Network option and then click OK

    Note: Because there are so many folders and files the sharing process will take a considerable amount of time.  Be patient!!  Depending on the drive this could take as long as 10 to 15 minutes or even more to share the 1.3 million files.  Do not interrupt the process.  Accessing the folder that contains all the data will similarly require a considerable length of time. 

    5. Map this shared folder as a network drive. To do so, highlight the folder in Windows Explorer, then click Tools | Map Network Drive.



    Once the shared folder is mapped to a drive your “My Computer” will have another drive listed as “R”.  The drive is actually the folder named “RealSky Data.”     

    6. Configure CCDSoft or RealSkyView to use the drive letter of this disk in the Digitized Sky Survey Setup dialog box.

    This article was previously published under SBKB number 1012.


    RealSky CD, Digitized Sky Survey Data



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