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Virtual Drive Application ala Daemon Tools, VirtualCD, MagicDisc, Alcohol 52, Gizmo Drive, etc

kwagga's picture
kwagga (Homepage) - December 4, 2010 - 7:18am
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Right, so I've been looking for a portable "virtual drive" for ages now, and my Google feng shui only revealed a couple of dead topics and a thread here and there, but, for those who've been looking for such an app, I have an answer.

The closest thing to portable virtual drives, was VCdControlTool by Microsoft, but A. it has been discontinued, and B. It officially only supports Windows XP, and C. It doesn't support 64 bit operating systems. - Which was a deal breaker for me.

For those who, like me, work in a situation where ISO/virtual images are part of daily life, aka IT Support anyone? - and being a gift from the heavens, since flash disks, sleep around with computers like it's no one's business, the only thing missing was to simplify my ISO management.

Lo and Behold! WinCDEmu

Yes fellow portableappians, there is a true portable virtual drive manager!

Head over to for more information.

The cherry on the cake? It's small, and it supports ISO, CUE, NRG, MDS/MDF, CCD, IMG formats!

Grab a copy now at

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Admin Rights

A virtual drive requires admin rights. There is no way around this. Thus, it's not fully portable as most people would like.

Plus, if you need ISOs (which is all most people need outside of warez), you can open them directly in 7-Zip Portable and get files out of them.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Hi John, Because we use

Hi John,

Because we use Microsoft Iso's for deployment, using 7-zip, although smart, was not usable for us, as we use answer files and KMS's for activation, preferences, etc.

But other than than the driver-installation requirement, that app has great potential!


This is awesome news. Now I

This is awesome news.

Now I can dispense with applications that impose things to the registry, which in my (small) mind means it is portable.

I don't see why the need for admin rights negates portable functionality since the driver is removed when you close the program and doesn't autorun so maybe it's a matter of opinion since who can correctly define what is portable and what is not when there is no ISO standard?

the administrator is needed

the administrator is needed to install, register, and even removing the driver, without it that app wouldn't work properly

your friendly neighbourhood moderator Zach Thibeau

Hi so is it "semi-portable"

Hi so is it "semi-portable" or not portable at all because the program cannot be run standalone on a given computer unless that terminal user has admin rights?

Maybe there should be a different classification for these applications that can run "portably" but requiring admin privileges because it is a shame there is no place for them here when something like this is so sorely needed (at least in my view) to round out the application choice.

Matters on your perspective

Honestly, the definition of "portable" can vary from one person to another, based on their exact needs.

Here, at, the definition is quite stringent. That's because the program has to work portably in all cases, on all computers one might encounter across a broad range of locations. Internet cafes, school computer labs, public libraries, etc, etc are all in the mix. Many of these computers are locked down to prohibit ordinary users from mucking about in the internals of the machine.

So, some issues affecting portability are:

  • admin rights
  • .NET
  • 64 bit

Also, the program has to fit the directory structure and installation method or that's an issue, too.

And of course, it has to run from USB and either stay away from writing to the host machine or at least clean up after it is done.

Now back to the personal side of the portable question... if some of these points aren't important to you (except perhaps the last one), that's your business. You can use whatever programs you want. You'll have to understand that the program might not have the "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval". That doesn't mean that you can't use it. It only means that it isn't certified. You just have to be careful and make sure that things are OK for you. If you are capable of doing that, fine. If you aren't sure, then maybe relying on the official apps is the best way to go.

neutron1132 (at) usa (dot) com

On Admin Rights

We have one app that requires admin rights, JkDefrag. Since it is a disk defragmenter and will only be used by admins anyway. Something like daemon tools is a much less useful utility as there's simply no need to mount ISOs for most end users. You can carry one like a ZIP and get files out of them with 7-Zip. If you're using them to install software, you can do the same.

Saying you need the ISO to install is simply untrue as you can just extract the files to your drive and carry those around instead. ISOs are uncompressed, so carrying them vs just extracting the files using 7-Zip and carrying the files saves no space at all.

If someone can show a genuine need for mounted ISOs that isn't insanely niche-specific, I will reconsider, of course.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

One advantage

An advantage I use for ISOs is booting them via QEMU. Smiling


which you can load them via

which you can load them via qemu, basically no need for an iso mounter

your friendly neighbourhood moderator Zach Thibeau

Hi John

Personally, I am looking for a decent archiving format, since does not offer a proper incremental backup or flat file archival system, so to say a regular user doesn't need it is missing the point (at least in my case).

Greetings everyone

P.S. About this particular application, or other such image mounting software, the problem will always be how the drivers are installed/uninstalled, since as good as even this program is you must still reboot and logging off does not work.



Talking about backups, incremental or otherwise, is unrelated to the topic of a tool to mount ISOs as drives. You can use Toucan for incremental backups. And for file archives, you can use 7z (even using uncompressed mode for a simple static, uncompressed backup). If you wish to discuss this further, please create a separate topic.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

That's the point though, I

That's the point though, I don't want to just do incremental or wholesale "imaging" of files.

I want one tool to do it all and I want it integrated into the menu.

It seems that since P.a is king, that there is less incentive to fulfill the wishes of the end user and provide the tools that they want or need.

Completely Off-Topic

What you appear to be asking for is incremental backups built into the menu. This has nothing at all to do with this topic. We're talking about ISO images (read-only images of CDs and DVDs) and the ability to virtually mount them as a drive letter (which requires admin rights). It's a VERY niche need and not at all related to backing up files on your portable device.

If you have a feature request for the platform, please place it in a new post because incremental backups (of any type whether built into the platform or a separate utility) is completely unrelated to daemon tools, ISO images and everything else being discussed in this post.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Hi I'm not sure it is


I'm not sure it is *completely* OT since incremental backup repositories should be able to be mounted as well.

It's sophistication that is sorely needed in the micro-computing world so with all respect how about you dudes start thinking a bit more laterally?

New Topic

In that case, I'd suggest finding a viable backup solution that would do these things that we can portablize and suggesting it as an app to add. But PLEASE post this as a new topic. This topic is about mounting CD/DVD images. Not backups or backup images.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!