DAEMON Tools is a virtual DVD-ROM emulator based on a SCSI miniport driver. It emulates maximum 4 DVD-ROM drives and works with CD/DVD images created by many burning programs. It is great on notebooks without a physical CD/DVD-ROM drive or to save accumulator power and speed up CD/DVD access. In contrast to other CD/DVD-ROM emulators, DAEMON Tools doesn't use a proprietary container format. The advantage is that you can can burn the images you're using with DAEMON Tools right away or just test an image before burning it to see if it was created correctly.
DAEMON Tools enables you to use your CD/DVD images as if they were already burned to CD/DVD. It supports most of the major image formats created by leading applications, as well as most protection systems and even some games formats suitable for game console emulators.
DAEMON Tools works under Windows 2000/XP/Vista with all types of CD/DVDROM drives (IDE/SCSI) and supports nearly any CD media emulation.
After having all sorts of problems with other virtual optical drives, as auto-installed by some popular burning software, I was utterly sick of the hassles, so unistalled them all and gave up on the idea... until a friend pointed me at DaemonTools.
A quick download, an even quicker install, a couple of tweaks and reboots... nothing unexpected really... and I suddenly had up to 4 optical drives just a click away. After I set it to auto-start every time Windows loaded, I was able to mount and run all the disc images I had stored; the data backup discs I had yet to burn, the DVD movies, multimedia presentations for clients... all of them able to run as though they were actual hardware burns, yet without the huge delays of actually having to burn them to a disc.
So impressed was I that I have created virtual images of most of my favourite puzzle games, movies and clipart collections, and leave them on a SATA hard drive ready for instant access... not only has this proven to be a great efficiency booster, but also allows me to store the originals away for safe keeping, which greatly reduces the amount I have to spend on blank discs.
Overall, this is certainly one of the very best system enhancements I can think of for the Windows platform. If only Microsoft had thought about installing such features into the core features of the O/S... but then, third-party applications are often far more innovative and inspired...
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