Virtual drive creation programs are useful when you have a collection of disc images. Thanks to them, you don’t have to burn discs to get to their content. Let’s meet the best of them.
Programs for creating virtual optical drives are passing their second youth, as more and more new desktops and laptops are lacking a CD, DVD and Blu-ray reader. In addition, a large part of users are moving away from having physical discs, which is not surprising, because two factors affect this state of affairs. The first is the emergence of digital distribution of software and games, and the second is the fall in the prices of external high-capacity mass storage devices, such as pendrives. Portable storage media, in terms of capacity, choke discs several times. Instead of juggling compact discs, all we have to do is pack the disc images into one mass storage device, which we usually have with us – then we will end the search for physical media on shelves or in drawers. Virtual optical drives allow you to use several images of discs at one time, and most importantly, they do not make noise.
DAEMON Tools Lite – the best program for virtual drives
Users looking for the best program to emulate virtual CD, DVD and Blu-ray optical drives should be interested in DAEMON Tools Lite. The application is characterized by an intuitive user interface and a large number of supported image formats: CUE / BIN, ISO, CCD, CDI, BWT, B5T, B6T, NRG, PDI, MDS, MDF, MDX and ISZ. DAEMON Tools Lite allows to mount up to four virtual optical drives (including two SCSI) in the operating system, for which we can manually set the DVD region and drive letter CD, DVD and BD. Using the program, we will also be able to create new and compress existing CD images. DAEMON Tools Lite contains a convenient desktop gadget, thanks to which we can quickly mount the disc image we are interested in – this widget works only on Windows 7 operating systems.
Alcohol 120% Free Edition – an alternative to DAEMON Tools Lite
Our list could not miss the Alcohol 120% Free Edition program, which is widely recognized by Polish users. Unfortunately, the application had to give way to the aforementioned DAEMON Tools Lite, because the high-percentage alcohol lacked virtual support for the Blu-ray optical drive, and the number of drive emulations was limited to two. This will be a problem for some users, but not for others. Unlike its predecessor, the Alcohol 120% Free Edition tool is equipped with the ability to record on CDs and DVDs physical optical disc images in the format B5T, BWT, CCD, CDI, CUE, ISO, ISZ, MD5, NRG and PDI and delete content reusable discs.
PowerISO – a tool designed for managing disc images
The PowerISO program should be used by anyone who has a large number of disc images on their hard disk, saved in various formats, such as DAA, BIN, ISO, IMG and NRG. The application allows you to mount an ISO file in a virtual optical drive and create, divide, convert, compress, encrypt and extract CD, DVD and Blu-ray images. This inconspicuous-looking program contains additional functions that will be useful to many users. PowerISO has been equipped with the ability to record standard discs containing files and folders, burn CD-Audio, DVD-Video and VCD media and rip music tracks from audio CDs to audio files in APE, FLAC, MP3, WMA and WAV format.
Virtual CloneDrive – the perfect solution for older computers
Virtual CloneDrive is a program that will satisfy all users looking for small software with a low demand for computer system resources. The application has been deprived of any fountains, thanks to which it works efficiently and stably. In this case, this is an important issue because Virtual CloneDrive allows you to create up to fifteen virtual optical CD, DVD and Blu-ray drives. The program provides support for disc images saved in BIN, CCD, IMG, ISO and UDF files.
WinCDEmu – a program with an infinite number of virtual drives
WinCDEmu is a free emulator of optical CD, DVD and Blu-ray drives, which has one major advantage compared to competing programs. It is the ability to mount an unlimited number of disc images in virtual optical drives. Particularly noteworthy is the way they are assembled – right-click on the disc image, and then select “Select drive letter & mount” from the context menu. Quick, easy and efficient. It is also worth noting that WinCDEmu supports disc images saved in formats ISO, CUE, NRG, MDS / MDF, CCD and IMG and is also available in a portable version.