Review: Virtual CloneDrive

 

One thing that I’ve always enjoyed about working on Apple OS X is the ability to mount disk images. These act as though they were physical disk drives, however they are just files. One of the best uses for this technology is to mount CD and DVD images.

Dolly_the_sheepMore and more software is being delivered as ISO disk images, which are meant to be burned to physical media before use. Much of Microsoft’s MSDN library of software comes as ISO files from their servers. It’s tedious to have to burn them to disk before use. What’s an admin to do?

Enter SlySoft’s Virtual CloneDrive. This slick and free package installs a driver which allows you to mount DVD and CD files on a virtual drive. It really couldn’t be any easier.

  1. Download the installer from SlySoft – The installer is a svelt 1.4 MB.
  2. Run the installer and answer questions about install location, file associations, and shortcuts.
  3. Be sure to continue through the unsigned driver warning (if you’re on XP, I haven’t tested on Vista). Unfortunately, the driver isn’t signed, but I can easily let that slide for the price.
  4. No need to even reboot (in my experience). Suddenly you will have a new DVD drive show up.
  5. Double click on an ISO file.

That’s it! 5 minutes start to finish and you can install from those pesky ISO files without going through the trouble of burning them. It even works over a network, so you can keep a library of installer DVDs on a file share for everyone to use.

Video Demo of Installing Virtual CloneDrive

I tip my hat to the people at SlySoft for making my life, and hopefully yours, easier. Thanks guys!