Need to emulate CD/DVD being in a drive - Working off images

By jdclyde ·

I remember a few years ago people talking about being able to copy a disk image onto a hard drive, and then be able to work off of that image rather than leaving the disks in the drives. It was mostly gamers talking about it at the time.

Here is the situation.

I have a auto shop (very dirty) that has the reference material on CD's. (pay subcription, but legal copies).

Because it is very dusty/dirty, the drives don't last long, so they can't look up their data.

They also have four CD's that they have to switch between through out the day. While working on a car/truck, clean hands is NOT an option, and the disks suffer for it.

I would like to copy to the HD the disks and have the software package still think it is looking at the CD's.

I would also need to update/replace the images as the new updated disks come in, over the network, allowing me to not have to keep replacing CD/DVD drives every few months.

All systems are running Window XPproSp2.

Thanks all.


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This looks promising

by IC-IT In reply to Need to emulate CD/DVD be ...
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have you tried this?

by jdclyde In reply to This looks promising

One of the reviews said the drives have to be remounted everytime you reboot. Not an option in a professional environment, but I will look into it for myself anyways.


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I have not, but

by IC-IT In reply to have you tried this?

From reading the users manual and FAQs it looks like this has a lot of potential. It is not free as the first link indicated, but it is only $30 for one system and additional licenses are available for a reduced rate. Here are a couple of answers from the FAQ. It appears that the one reviewer either had an older copy or had unchecked a setting. The command line (and ability to set a shortcut key) opens up some easy shortcut options. (And there is the free trial ;-) ).

Can VirtualDrive automatically eject all inserted VCDs from all virtual drives when the computer restarts?

Yes. Go to View > Options > Miscellaneous settings in the VirtualDrive menu bar and uncheck the ?Keep VCDs in Drive When System Boots?.

Does VirtualDrive support command interface programs?

Yes, with VDRIVE.EXE you can:

Insert a VCD into a virtual drive (by drive letter or ordinary number 1-9).
In a networking environment, the administrator can set up each CD title with a VDRIVE command batch file and double-click it from the client PC to start the CD-ROM
For more information on this topic, please review your VirtualDrive User?s Manual.
The owners site;

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If you are talking about Mitchell on Demand...

by Chris910 In reply to Need to emulate CD/DVD be ...

If you are talking about Mitchell on Demand talk to Tech Support there are documented solutions for this.

Alternatively here is the link to download the Microsoft Virtual CD-ROM control panel for Windows XP. (This is an unsupported tool that has mixed reviews)

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gives me a place to start

by jdclyde In reply to If you are talking about ...

Mitchell is one of the packages, yes. Of course I couldn't remember the name of it until you said it..... ;\

will give them a call, as well as read up on the MS virtual cd. hope it does DVD's.

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Virtual DAEMON

by RT (Panzer Time!) In reply to gives me a place to start

I always used Virtual DAEMON from Daemon Tools. Can't quite remember the URL, but a quick Google search should solve the problem. It's free, easy to use, can handle both CD and DVD images, and has the ability to emulate up to four drives (my version anyhow, I'm probably not fully updated; the newer version will still be free and easy in any case). Virtual DAEMON can also eject the "CD." And it remembers its last settings across reboots - no need to configure it every time you turn on your computer, as long as you have it set to run on start-up.

As far as making (ripping) the disk images, I believe the latest version of ImgBurn can do that quite well. I only updated from an older version the other day and haven't had a chance to try it.

Hope I helped some.

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by Jellimonsta In reply to Need to emulate CD/DVD be ...

JD, I have only ever used Magicdisc. It is freeware, and has always been great for me.


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Power ISO, Alcohol 120, Magic ISO, Daemon Tools Pro, ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Need to emulate CD/DVD be ...

They're all as good as each other really.

They each have their own little quirks so trying them out would probably be best done first.

They can all be set to auto-mount at startup, and Daemon Tools Pro has a nifty ability to emulate the 'Safety Features' that some of the modern software has, when supplied on optical discs. The emulation isn't there to crack the disc security though, more to emulate the 'cracked' security in the case of software that is looking for an 'original' optical disc.

If the software isn't seeking out any 'original' ident from the disc I'd go with Power ISO, it will auto-boot with Windows (just like the others really) but it can handle EIGHT virtual drives simultaneously.

Get the demo from CNET (limited to 300MB images):

Here's the link for buying it:

Changing a disc image in Power ISO is as simple as un-mounting the relevant image and remounting the new one. Each ISO will appear as another HDD letter.

Disc access times will improve greatly too.

If any of these data discs happen to be dual-layer (9.4GB) you can use 'Nero 7' or 'Nero 8' to make UDF/ISO images, which Power ISO can still work with.


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Hey JD

by Jacky Howe In reply to Need to emulate CD/DVD be ...

I have to agree with Jellymonster as it is the best freebie that I have personally used with XP. :)

I have never had any problems with it. :)

I have only used Virtual Clone Drive with Vista so I really can't comment on it other than it works well.

< nearly did an injustice by miss capitalisation >

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While the original issue is long gone

by jdclyde In reply to Hey JD

I will try to use this for playing DiabloII. I hate having to have the cd in the drive to play the game.

Thanks, Jelli, mycroft, and true! B-)

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