Depending on the emulator program, you can install five or six or even 10-20 virtual drives on your computer, and all this will not cost the user a penny, while the number of physical drives is usually limited to one or two.
Most users use CD/DVD drive emulation programs for the following purposes —
– Launch CD/DVD images from a hard disk without having to write it to a physical optical disk.
– Increase the speed of data access (the speed of the hard disk is much higher than the optical one).
– Backup multiple disk image files to a new hard drive, which is much easier than burning multiple new CDS/DVDs.
– Prevent scratches or wear of CD/DVD discs when used frequently.
– Save a copy of the optical disc to your computer’s hard drive, in case of damage, loss or theft.
– Free up the workspace by getting rid of a large number of physical disks.
– Launch disk images from a laptop or netbook that does not have built-in CD/DVD drives or with the drive turned off (to save battery power).
– Providing access to the disk for users on the network.
– Disk encryption for security.
Given most of the above goals, all of the following CD/DVD emulators are reviewed and evaluated according to the following parameters —
– the Number of available virtual drives.
– Supports ISO and other image formats.
– Ability to create a disk image from CD / DVD.
– Interface and additional features.
Gizmo Drive-this wonderful product allows you to mount an ISO file (or a disk image in another format) on a virtual drive created with this program. Once the image is mounted, it will appear in Windows Explorer as a” real ” CD/DVD or hard drive.
Gizmo Drive supports up to 26 virtual drives. In addition to ISO, it works with other images, including VHD, IMG, BIN, CUE, NRG, CCD, MDS, MDF and GDRIVE.
In addition to running disk images on virtual drives, Gizmo Drive will be useful when creating ISO images (both disks and individual folders), or for writing the contents of an ISO file or folder to an optical disk. To perform various tasks, the program provides a special Manager and image wizard.
The user interface of Gizmo Drive is informative and useful. Additional features of the program include creating GDRIVE images to simulate a hard disk with compression and encryption, creating a virtual hard disk with system memory support to improve performance in accessing time-dependent data, and so on.
MagicDisc Virtual DVD/CD-ROM is another emulator designed to create and manage virtual CD/DVD drives. From allows you to run many types of disk images without burning them to CD or DVD. This program will also help you create disk images and save them in various formats (including ISO, BIN/CUE, NRG, and UIF).
MagicDisc Virtual DVD/CD-ROM has a simple interface and supports up to 15 virtual drives simultaneously. Other features supported by this program include compression of various formats (ISO, NRG, CUE, MDS, CCD) to UIF, and UIF recovery to ISO. The function of burning images to CD/DVD discs is not supported by this program.
Another easy-to-use emulator is called Virtual CloneDrive. With its help, the disk image can be mounted on a virtual drive in just two mouse clicks. Just as with the aforementioned programs, this is achieved by using auxiliary commands that appear in the context menu of Windows Explorer, and are used to mount and unmount images.In the latest versions of Virtual CloneDrive, you can install (as in MagicDisc Virtual DVD/CD-ROM) up to 15 virtual drives. The original useful features of the utility can also include automatic mounting of the last image and special icons that indicate virtual drives (to distinguish them from physical ones).
The list of supported Virtual CloneDrive formats includes ISO, CCD, IMG, UDF, BIN, etc., but NRG, MDF/MDS and some others are not supported. This, as well as the lack of the ability to create and write disk images, is a disadvantage of this program.