Copyright © 2005, David Pierce
June 13, 2001
Some applications use one or more CDs and require that you shuffle
these CDs back and forth while you use the program. This can be
very annoying, to put it mildly. By creating images of the CDs on
your hard drive and mounting these as Virtual CDs, you can often get an
application to work without ever touching the CD again.
There are a number of applications that can be used for this.
I have found ISO Recorder to be both free and easy to use.
You can download this from its creator at this address: http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/isorecorder.htm.
As of this writing, it is necessary to use the V2 beta version (http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/Beta.htm)
of the application if you have Windows XP Service Pack 2.
Once you install ISO Recorder, you can simply pop a CD into your
CD-ROM drive, bring up a Windows Explorer pointed at "My Computer"
(e.g., by simultaneously hitting the Windows Start key and E at the
same time), right-click on the CD-ROM drive icon and select "Create
image from CD". If inserting the CD causes an application to
automatically start (e.g., an installer), then quit that application
before trying to create the CD image.
Install VCdControlTool. This is an unsupported tool from
Microsoft. The following describes the process for Windows XP,
Once you have done this, your computer will behave as if it has
several CD-ROM drives, each with a CD permanently installed in
it. You can install software from the virtual CDs just as you
would from a real CD.
NOTE: Some software will happily work as long as the CD it is
looking for is in any CD-ROM drive. Other software will only look
for the CD in a particular drive. For the latter, you can use the
Virtual CDRom Control Panel to "Eject" an ISO image from a virtual
CD-ROM drive and mount a different ISO image in its place. In
this way you can make the pickier software work, but you might prefer
to just use the physical CD-ROM drive for such software.