This free program for Windows XP lets you create a virtual CD drive on your hard disk. Some visitors to the site have confirmed that it works with Windows 2000 too (but this is not stated in Microsofts official readme). 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 need for the original CD. This can make files more accessible, faster and more convenient. Given the speed and size of todays 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.
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. Its 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.
This is especially helpful if you have a library of ISO images.
If you are a Virtual PC fan, this utility will come in very handy considering you cannot use DVD ISO images within the Virtual PC software.
Lets begin by downloading the software to a computer of your choice. This utility supports Windows XP Professional and Windows XP Home Edition.
Next, extract the files to your %systemroot%system32drivers folder and double-click the VcdControlTool.exe and click Driver Control.
Click the Install Driver button and navigate to the %systemroot%system32drivers folder and choose VcdRom.sys and click Open and Start and OK.
You are now ready to click Add drive in order to add a virtual drive letter. After you click Add Drive, the drive letter appears. Choose Mount to mount your ISO image to the virtual drive letter.
You can now use the drive letter as if it is a physical CD-ROM device. When you are finished with the ISO image, choose Eject |Remove Drive | Driver Control| Stop | Remove Driver | OK.