If you are not a fan of inserting a physical media like CD or DVD into the computer’s optical drive for installing Windows, a game or software or watching a DVD movie than ISO image files are your solution.
Using a CD or DVD Installation of Windows, games or software is a thing of the past really. Not only it’s time consuming, it is difficult to maintain and protect these physical media from getting damaged. Plus they are difficult to transfer to other.
So; for avoiding these problems of physical media you can use ISO image files. Anything on a physical CD, DVD or Blu-Ray disc with proper software can be turned into an ISO image; stored on your computer’s hard drive or even on a USB flash drive.
Most important you can use them just a real CD or DVD by mounting an ISO file. Popular operating systems like new Windows 10, windows 8 and windows 7 are available as an ISO image direct from Microsoft.
ISO Image Files is a better alternative for your physical discs. To avoid wear and tear on your optical drive, and to avoid disc problems resulted from heat, scratch, and dirt. You should you ISO files. Enjoy reading speed up to 200 times faster than a physical disc, allowing your application and games to start and run faster.
So you can understand the value of ISO image files. Here are 5 free virtual CD/DVD/Blu-Ray emulators that you can use for creating, mounting or extracting ISO images.
Softwares for Mounting ISO Images
WinCDEmu is an open-source CD/DVD/BD emulator. Its size is less than 1MB and work both on 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems. Very easy to use as it supports unlimited amount of virtual drives and allows One-click mounting of ISO, CUE, NRG, MDS/MDF, CCD, IMG images. There is also special portable version available.
Virtual CloneDrive is easy to use; all is required just double-click for image file to mount as a drive. Supports all common image formats such as ISO, BIN, CCD. It supports almost all operating systems. Virtual CloneDrive is also a freeware, you can use it at no cost.
3. Phantom CD
Phantom CD is a virtual CD/DVD/Blu-ray emulator for mounting your CD/DVD/Blu-ray image files as virtual CD/DVD/Blu-ray disc with Phantom CD.
Softwares For Creating ISO images
Gizmo Drive tool is part of a larger suite of tools called Gizmo Central, works almost on every opearating system from windows 2000 to windows 8. It is the only free virtual disc emulator that can create an image from both disc and folder.
If you do not want to use the other tools of Gizmo Central then you can turn them off during the installation. It’s really simple and easy to create ISO images and mounting them. Installation package is only 8MB in size. Most handy feature the built in support for creating RAM Disk.
5. Image Master
Image Master is very light only 1.63MB. It’s got a simple and plain UI making it easy for creating ISO images. You can easily use it for burning ISO to disc, extracting ISO images files, mounting ISO files and of-course creating ISO files. It compatible with 64bit Windows and Supports multi-session burning.
All of these softwares are free and support most operating system both 32 and 64 bits. If you are using Window 8 then you do not require to use a separate ISO image mounter software for mounting ISO files.