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mount image file virtually as cd dvd devicesA disk image is a single file that packages all of the contents for a single disk, typically a CD or DVD (although image files can be created for hard drives as well). Disk images provide a convenient method for handling files that are to be burned onto a disk.

However, sometimes it may be inconvenient or impossible to burn a physical disk. There are a number of programs that will allow you to mount disk images files virtually as CD or DVD devices without having to burn them to physical disks (such as Pismo File Mount Mount Zip Files and CD/DVD Images with Pismo File Mount Mount Zip Files and CD/DVD Images with Pismo File Mount Read More ).

Unfortunately, most of these programs require the installation of drivers, creation of registry entries, and often ask you to reboot the machine. Such requirements make it difficult to use them as portable apps on a USB drive.

The Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel by Microsoft is the perfect solution for mounting disk images from a portable USB drive.

To use the Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel:

  • Download the Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel v2.0.1.1
  • Extract the contents of the self-extracting excecutable onto your portable drive. Be sure that there are no spaces in the path to the directory you create (i.e. extract into a directory called X:\PortableApps\VCDRom, not X:\PortableApps\Virtual CD ROM). Otherwise, you will encounter problems later.
  • Launch the VCdControlTool.exe program
  • Virtual CD-ROM - mount cd dvd image

  • Click the Driver Control … button
  • mount image file vista

  • Click the Install Driver … button
  • Browse to the location of where you extracted the Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel files, and use the VCdRom.sys driver file.
  • Click the Start button.
  • Click the OK button.
  • Click the Add Drive button. You should see a new drive letter appear in the Virtual CDRom Control Panel window.
  • Click the Mount button.
  • Navigate to the location of your disk image file (.iso, .udf, .cdfs, .jo, and .rock files are supported) and open it.

The disk image is now mounted on the new drive letter that was created. To restore the system to its original state:

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  • Click the Eject button.
  • Select the drive(s) that were added, in the Virtual CDRom Control Panel window.
  • Click the Remove Drive button.
  • Click the Driver Control … button.
  • Click the Stop button.
  • Click the Remove Driver button.
  • Click the OK button.

At a mere 32.5KB, the Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel is extremely small and is very fast. It works on Windows XP and should also work on Vista if launched as the Administrator. If you keep disk images on your portable drive, you’ll definitely want to check it out.

Do you maintain disk images on your portable drive? What tool(s) do you utilize to use your images?

  1. Kamoru
    May 6, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    I wasn't successful with this,why?It only asked me to unzip, which i did and nothing was forthcoming.

  2. Kamoru
    May 6, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    I wasn't successful with this,why?It only asked me to unzip, which i did and nothing was forthcoming.

  3. jenue
    December 17, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    this won't work in windows 7

  4. Peter
    May 11, 2009 at 11:45 am

    What the hell?......
    The Tool needs smart folder-pathes to mount the Iso-file.
    When comes out a newer version that allows longer folder-pathes?

    Write in this Posting (do not send a email)!

  5. Loloy D
    February 17, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    I have referenced your article in the PortableApps forum on ISO mounting software app request - http://portableapps.com/node/12592#comment-111749

  6. Butch Mayhew
    January 7, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Thanks for this. I just got a 4Gb flash drive for christmas and I was looking for a virtual disk mounter.

  7. techfz
    January 7, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Cool software

  8. Urso
    January 7, 2009 at 1:12 am

    hey guys, talking about useful, small and free tools, check this out: PowerPro v4.9 (powerpro.webeddie.com/) No fancy colours in their website, they go straight to the matter. This little jewel will blow your mind and set new standards for small, free and useful tools. Wanna minimise applications (any) to the task bar? Wanna run or do specific commands to specific applications? Wanna set windows on top or below? What do you want? Does not matter, just use it. Don’t need to install either, can be used from USB drive. Good’on ya.

  9. Matthew
    January 6, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    This is a response to the

    "Do you maintain disk images on your portable drive? What tool(s) do you utilize to use your images?" questions

    I do maintain disk images on my portable drive and I found this really nifty portable program to create such isos

    I do not know if it was previously covered on the makeuseof site but the program is called LCISOCreator by Lucersoft

    Its a tiny program (14kb) that runs without install that creates isos from (what I can tell) any format that your drive will read.

    Very simple to use, though no customization ability

    simply launch the program, put the media in the drive and click create iso

    it will prompt you to choose a save destination and what to name it and it will then do its magic, and very fast.

    • Jorge Sierra
      January 6, 2009 at 12:26 pm

      That's a nifty little ISO creation tool, I hadn't heard about it until now. Thanks for the tip!

  10. Claw
    January 6, 2009 at 5:01 am

    Excelent program. I'll check this out.

    Regards! :)

  11. rvdmast
    January 6, 2009 at 1:43 am

    ‘Unfortunately, most of these programs require the installation of drivers…’
    And the installation of drivers, even with this tool, requires administrator privileges. But if you use portable applications because you often work on computers that are not yours (libraries, internet kiosks), it is unlikely you have administrator privileges.

    • Jorge Sierra
      January 6, 2009 at 5:32 am

      This is true. Administrator privileges are indeed necessary to use the app. As you say, if you primarily use portable apps on public computers, it may be limited in its usefulness. However, if you use portable apps to diagnose, repair, enhance other systems, it is definitely a good tool to have on your portable drive.

  12. Tehseen
    January 5, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Jorge, nice article. I have started using a similar software called MagicISO recently and I think its an excellent option too.

  13. Marc
    January 5, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    You stated -
    'Unfortunately, most of these programs require the installation of drivers...'
    then later state -
    ' Click the Install Driver … button...'
    I thought installing drivers was a negative attribute.
    Did I miss something?

    • Jorge Sierra
      January 5, 2009 at 6:39 pm

      It is a negative attribute when you have to go through the process of running an installation program. The Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel makes it easy by keeping the installation/uninstallation of the driver within the program itself. I don't know of any other disk image mounting programs that allow you to do that.

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