Start -> Run -> “SS Help”

If you click Start, click Run, type "SS
Help", click OK and nothing really happens, this post is for

At the end of yesterday's post, href="">Avoiding
the VSS Login Prompt, I mentioned a pair of  environment
variables, PATH and SSDIR, almost in passing. 

PATH and SSDIR deserve more than passing mention though; for
they are friends, good friends. 

The function of PATH and SSDIR

  • PATH specifies the path to your local, VSS client
    executables (usually the \Win32 folder in your VSS installation directory),
    SS.exe for command-line and script operations, SSExp.exe for the VSS Explorer,
    and SSAdmin.exe for the VSS Administrator.
  • SSDIR specifies the path to a VSS database,
    normally the one most frequently used (for lack of a more creative
    alternative, let's call this the Current Database), which is usually
    the PATH value minus "\Win32".
  • SSDIR determines the default database path for the Login dialog

Using SSDIR to change the current database on the

When you're working in a command shell or running a script containing
VSS commands, you can change the current database for the duration of your user
session by entering, "SET SSDIR=<path>", where path is
the location of the target database's SRCSAFE.ini file. The ability to change
the current database is particularly useful in scripts that do things like
moving projects, files, or versions of such between two databases using
archive and restore OR when copying a user list and its
attending passwords and user permissions to a new database. 
I'll return to this last task in a future post.  Until then, send me
your comments and requests and run Analyze.exe on your favorite VSS

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