Lug Around Less by Creating and Mounting ISO Images of Your DVDs/CDs
If your job requires you to lug around a bunch of CD/DVDs just in case you need them, you might want to consider lightening your load by mounting your CD/DVD disks as ISO images on your hard drive. In this article, I'll first show you how to create ISO (International Organization for Standardization) images from your DVD and CD disks using Nero Burning ROM. From there, I'll teach you how to mount your ISO images as if you were inserting the original source CD/DVD into your drive. Why would you want to do this? Imagine the freedom of not having to lug around your CD/DVDs wherever you go but instead being able to copy your CD/DVDs as ISO images to your hard drive and subsequently use them whenever needed as "virtual" CD/DVDs.
Creating an ISO Image from a CD/DVD
There are many programs out there that can be used to create an ISO image from a CD/DVD disk. I'll demonstrate how to do this with the popular CD/DVD burning program called Nero Burning ROM. You can download a trial version of this program at Nero's web site.
Start out by inserting the CD/DVD you want to use virtually into your optical drive. Launch Nero Express and Click the More >> button to reveal the Advanced Options of Nero Express. Then click the Save Tracks button as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Clicking the Save Tracks Button to Burn Your ISO image.
In the Save Tracks window that you are presented with next, change the Output file Format to ISO image file as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2. Choosing the ISO Output file Format
Next, specify a path where you want to store your ISO image using the Browse button. Be sure to remember your destination location, because you will need to know this later. When you click the GO button, the creation of your ISO will begin and you should be immediately notified of the progress that your new ISO is making (as shown in Figure 3).
Figure 3. Viewing the Progress of the ISO Backup Process
Nero doesn't do a good job of reporting that the ISO creation was completed successfully. When it's finished, the Progress bar will simply disappear. After this happens, click the Close button. You have now created your ISO image and you're ready to mount your image as a virtual drive!