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Virtual CloneDrive 5.4.7.0

Virtual CloneDrive Editor's Review

Use a DVD on your system regardless of whether you have an optical drive or not. Check it out with this handy, free utility.

Optical drives have been around for years. I remember working with CD's and hacking CD drives back in early 1996. Today, having a DVD drive in your computer, mobile or otherwise is almost second nature. However, carrying DVD's can often be cumbersome; and with the new trend of mobile computers shipping without optical drives, working with CD's and DVD's is difficult. That's why I like Virtual CloneDrive. It’s an optical drive emulator for Windows.

It's very easy now-a-days to either create your own CD/DVD images or to download optical drive images from software sites, like Microsoft's TechNet. In many cases, accessing the software in these images without burning the image to a disc isn't easy. However, with tools like Virtual CloneDrive, it's very easy. All you really need is the image file, for example a *.ISO, after the free tool is installed. You can right click the image and from the context menu that displays, choose Virtual CloneDrive-Mount. Virtual CloneDrive will open the file and you'll have access to its complete contents as if it were burned to a CD/DVD disc. When you're done, you can right click the drive icon in My Computer or Windows Explorer and Choose Virtual CloneDrive-Unmount or Eject, and the image will be unmounted/ejected in the same manner as removing a DVD from your PC.

Pros: Free, fast, easy to distinguish virtual drives from physical drives.

Cons: CD/DVD images need to be accessible and can take up a lot of space.

Conclusion: The application is small, simple in functionality and easy to use. As a freebie the price is right. The only downfall to the application is that disc images can be huge space hogs, and you're going to have the image file on either a local or networked disk drive.  Be ready to give up the space as long as you have the file accessible.

version reviewed: 5.4.5.0

What's New in Version 5.4.7.0 of Virtual CloneDrive

- New: Support for image playback with WinDVD
- New: Uses storport driver for Windows 7 and later

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