Looking for Fake CD, Virtual Drive, CD Copier, or Daemon Tools? Read the paragraph at the bottom of this page.
Virtual CD-ROM: I used to advocate this product all over the internet. This was one of those rare pieces of software I registered 2 days after downloading it. It was just that good. So I told all my friends how wonderful it was and got THEM to buy it, too. Well... Sucks to be me. The designer got gobbled by another company and all their products, and support for their products, got dropped.
So now I end up doing tech support on it for all the people I talked into getting it. But here it is for all you performance/convenience buffs out there.
New Version Released!
First came Logicraft with Virtual CD-ROM 1.0. Then Microtest bought the technology and licensed it to the various designers of the 2.0 utilities -- none of which had all the features of the original Virtual CD-ROM. Now, finally, Microtest itself has created Virtual CD 3.0 -- a true and worthy successor to the original Virtual CD-ROM. It succeeds where the 2.X products failed, with more copy methods, full support for Windows 95/98/NT/Me/2000, better support of non-data CD formats, and better network support. Visit Microtest's Virtual CD website at http://www.virtualcd-online.com to try it out. (Caution: Once you install Virtual CD 3, you will not be able to use Virtual CD-ROM 1.0 again until you completely uninstall 3.0 and remove all related registry keys.)
Please read all instructions carefully BEFORE downloading!
Logicraft no longer exists! There is no official tech support for this product, so if you screw things up by not reading directions, there's no one to call!
Two sets of instructions, one for most users and one for Windows Pros only, follow.
- Download the file and unzip it into a temporary directory.
- Run setup.exe and install the program (you will have to reboot at the end).
- Go to the Start menu: Start -- Settings -- Taskbar.
- Click the "Start Menu Programs" tab and then click the "Advanced" button.
- In the left column, titled "All Folders", click the [+] next to the Programs folder.
- Click the folder called "Virtual CD-ROM 1.0" (or something like that).
- Drag the icon shown in the right column, called "Virtual CD-ROM", to the folder in the left column called "StartUp".
- If you don't plan on using the uninstaller, you can then delete the "Virtual CD-ROM 1.0" folder.
- In the left column, click the folder called "StartUp".
- In the right column, right-click the icon called "Virtual CD-ROM", and select "Properties".
- Click the "Shortcut" tab and change the "Run" box FROM "Normal Window" TO "Minimized".
- Click the "OK" button.
- In the right column, double-click (run) the icon called "Virtual CD-ROM".
- On the menu bar, click "View" and select "Minimize to Tool Tray".
- On the menu bar, click "File" and select "Exit".
- Right-click the "My Computer" icon on your Windows desktop and select "Properties".
- Click the "Device Manager" tab, and make sure "View Devices by Type" is selected.
- Click the [+] next to "CDROM" to get a list of the CD-ROM drives on your computer.
- For EACH CD-ROM drive you have, including the new Virtual CD-ROM drive, follow steps 20-22.
- Double-click the drive name and click the "Settings" tab.
- Set both "Start Drive Letter" and "End Drive Letter" to whatever letter you want to be used for that CD-ROM drive.
- (If you have a ZIP drive, use its software to adjust its drive letter also, back to what it used to be.)
- Click the "OK" button.
- Click the "Performance" tab, and then the "File System" button.
- Click the "CD-ROM" tab, and set "Optimize access pattern" to "No read-ahead".
- Click the "OK" button.
- Click the "OK" button and reboot (It should automatically ask you to).
Advanced Windows user instructions:
- Install the program and reboot.
- Turn off the read-ahead buffer in the CD-ROM performance options.
- Move the shortcut to "Virtual CD-ROM" to your StartUp folder and set it to run Minimized.
- Start up the program and change the "View" setting to "Minimize to Tool Tray".
- Go into the Device Manager and set your CD-ROM drive letters back to where you want them.
- When first installed, the program automatically takes the first non-hard-drive letter available, changing the letter used by your real CD-ROM or ZIP drive! This is why you must go and re-set the letters back to what you want.
- If you try to create a new Virtual CD and THE PROGRAM FREEZES UP, reboot and then next time, click the box next to "Use sector read scan method". Only use the "sector read" for CDs that freeze up the program. Most CDs will not.
- This program is for Windows 95/98/Me only. There is a Windows NT version also, for NT Workstation 4.0. For some reason, the NT version does not run on a few computers. Also, it can cause SERIOUS PROBLEMS if installed on NT Server or any version of Windows 2000 (NT 5).
I do not provide instructions for the NT version. If you aren't familiar enough with NT to be comfortable installing such a powerful utility, don't do it!
- There is a method of copy protection used on some CDs now that will cause Virtual CD-ROM, WinImage, and other CD-imaging programs to come up with a read error in both normal and sector read modes. Thankfully, it is still rare.
How to use the program:
Click the little CD-with-feet icon in your system tray (lower-right corner of screen). From there, you can create, erase, rename, insert, and eject Virtual CDs. Click the [X] in the upper-right corner of the program window to close it when you're done. To actually browse a Virtual CD you have to use Windows explorer or a DOS prompt, same as for a regular CD.
Finally, here it is - the program itself. PLEASE do print out and follow the instructions given above! The program never did come with a manual, and those instructions come as a result of a lot of painful trial-and-error.
Virtual CD-ROM for Windows 95/98/Me
Virtual CD-ROM for Windows NT Workstation
If your computer keeps freezing while using virtual CDs, it's because you ignored the instructions that said to turn off the CD-ROM read-ahead buffer in Windows!
Other Virtual CD type programs:
- FakeCD: less stable and doesn't work with many CDs.
- Virtual Drive: something of a cross between FakeCD and Virtual CD-ROM. However, it's outdated and uses an image format no other utilities can read.
- CD Copier: based on Virtual CD-ROM's code. IMSI did a quick hack job on Virtual CD-ROM (even forgetting to change the name in places) with the following results: The problems running under Windows NT were fixed, as was the multiple-drive-letter bug. However, though it can read old Virtual CD-ROM files, some virtual CD files that CD Copier creates cannot be read by Virtual CD-ROM (or by other programs that support FCD files). Also, though they claim it can do mixed-mode CDs (data+audio, like many games) what they don't tell you is that virtually no games or applications can use the audio in this format. The feature is useless. They also removed a couple useful features: Making a compressed FCD file from a data CD with audio tracks, and making a virtual CD from another virutal CD. I bought CD Copier (Professional edition) myself since it seemed to be a new, better version of Virtual CD-ROM, but boy was I wrong.
- Daemon Tools: the most advanced CD-ROM emulation software available. It requires some Windows skill to set up and use, and does not create its own images. You must install and learn one of several seperate (and even less user-friendly) CD imaging programs which generally only support high-quality CD-ROM drives and burners. You must also do research on each new CD to find out what sort of copy-protection it uses. Daemon Tools works with NEARLY ALL CDs in Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000, and is recommended for skilled Windows users who play games which use advanced copy protection schemes, and are willing to do some work in order to create images of them.
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