Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Mount .iso files under windows XP

This free program for Windows XP lets you create a virtual CD drive on your hard disk. winxpvirtualcdcontrolpanel_21.exe

For anyone unfamiliar with the terms 'virtual CD' or 'CD emulator', they mean that you can copy the entire contents of a CD-ROM to your hard disk and run the programs or access the files without the original CD in your machine. This can make files more accessible, faster and more convenient. Given the speed and size of today's hard drives, you could easily fit a number of CDs onto your hard drive without noticing the difference. Assuming you had 30 full CDs, these would take around 20GB on a hard drive and all will be accessible after a few clicks of a mouse.

Why would we want to do this?

One reason is convenience, imagine needing several (handfuls of) discs that you need to carry with you. Using a virtual CD, you can simply keep an image of the disc on your hard drive and access it with a drive letter as needed - no disc. In my laptop, the secondary battery takes place of my CD/DVD drive but I can still access the files I need through the Virutal CD drive.

A second reason is speed. Hard drives are about 10 times faster than a CD, plus you can instantly access the file instead of grabbing the CD case, inserting the CD and awaiting for the contents to load. It's true, you could try copying the files over to the hard drive, but this can get messy, plus some programs require a CD to be loaded in order to run. This virtual CD program 'pretends' it is a CD drive (even though the files are on your hard drive), so your programs will run as normal.

Note: This tool only works with ISO images - not BIN/CUE image sets.
Readme for Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel v2.0.1.1


System Requirements
- Windows XP Home or Windows XP Professional

Installation instructions
1. Copy VCdRom.sys to your %systemroot%\system32\drivers folder.
2. Execute VCdControlTool.exe
3. Click "Driver control"
4. If the "Install Driver" button is available, click it. Navigate to the %systemroot%\system32\drivers folder, select VCdRom.sys, and click Open.
5. Click "Start"
6. Click OK
7. Click "Add Drive" to add a drive to the drive list. Ensure that the drive added is not a local drive. If it is, continue to click "Add Drive" until an unused drive letter is available.
8. Select an unused drive letter from the drive list and click "Mount".
9. Navigate to the image file, select it, and click "OK". UNC naming conventions should not be used, however mapped network drives should be OK.

You may now use the drive letter as if it were a local CD-ROM device. When you are finished you may unmount, stop, and remove the driver from memory using the driver control.

For a more completed tutorial (including how to make an ISO from a CD) click here. The article explains making an ISO using Nero - however, I prefer BurnAtOnce which is donationware.


At 1:05 AM, Blogger Danny said...

This was very helpful. I had been unseccessfully working to use an ISO file for several hours with Daemon-tools. Thank you so much.

At 10:55 PM, Blogger colin said...

Hey I have a question - I messed up and closed the daemon tool without mounting the ISO file. Now I've got all these drives on my computer and I don't know how to get rid of them. The daemon no longer acknowledges them, it seems. Any thoughts?

At 8:58 AM, Blogger Bigmanboss said...

I do have to say "You Rock" this is something awsome. I think that your blog should state that persistance should be checked in some cases, but all together you rock.

At 4:44 PM, Blogger pasx said...

I used the click everywhere until it works method for installation and use but somehow it worked.
Currently performing an install from a 3 gig iso.
Great help, many thanks

At 12:30 PM, Blogger Joe said...

Thanks that was very helpful!

At 12:11 PM, Blogger Andrew Baddeley said...

Thanks. I had so much crap from Daemon Tools a while back I promised not to deal with it ever again. This worked a treat in a sec. Appreciated!

At 12:07 PM, Blogger nod said...

Just wanted to let you know I found this very old post very useful! Thanks for keeping it around.


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