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Jeremy Jameson - Founder and Principal

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Recommended ISO Tools

Note
This post originally appeared on my MSDN blog:

Since I no longer work for Microsoft, I have copied it here in case that blog ever goes away.

I added a new item to my Toolbox this weekend -- LC ISO Creator. It's not fancy, or even supported, but it is free and it appears to do what it is supposed to without issue, specifically creating an ISO image from an existing CD-ROM or DVD-ROM. There's no setup program, just a tiny EXE (and ReadMe file) with a "minimalist" user interface. In other words, it shows a dropdown list to allow you to select which drive to rip to an ISO file, a Create ISO button, and a progress indicator. Simply insert a CD or DVD that you no longer want to carry around with you, click the button, specify the location of the ISO file to create, and a few minutes later you can say goodbye to the physical media (although you probably should store it somewhere just to be safe).

In these days of terabyte hard drives, DVD-ROMs -- and especially CD-ROMs -- are starting to seem a little like floppy disks (in terms of "storage density"). Why tote around disks in your bag when you can store dozens of them (or technically even a couple hundred) on a small USB drive?

For a few years now, I've also been using Virtual CloneDrive to mount ISO images. Years ago when MSDN started switching over to ISO files, I used a tool provided by Microsoft to avoid having to burn an ISO image to a CD or DVD in order to install some software. However, that tool stopped working after switching to Vista and consequently I went looking for another tool. I tried Daemon Tools for a while, but got fed up with all of the "crap" that got installed along with it. Virtual CloneDrive is much better, in my opinion.

I hope you find these tools as valuable as I do.

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