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At one time I burned all ISO image files to a CD or DVD, and then I realized there is disk image emulators that would mount my images as a separate drive. I’ve used a few different ones over the years but I seem to have settled into using Slysoft’s free Virtual CloneDrive as my “go to” program for these kind of tasks.

Virtual CloneDrive is a simple to use program that’s small in size and doesn’t need a lot of resources to run. The install is super fast too. I keep this software available in various locations at work for when I need to pull some files out of an image file or install something saved in ISO format.

In addition to ISO’s, it also supports the CCD and BIN image formats too. The website mentions you can connect up to eight devices at the same time, but if you open the tray icon settings, you have the option to select up to fifteen drives. I don’t know which one is accurate, but I don’t think that matters as for most people I would think a few devices is more than enough.

A number of other operating systems have included native support for this feature (Disk Image Mounter in OSX, Archive Mounter in Ubuntu, etc.), but it will be interesting to see what happens to these disk mounting utilities once Microsoft finally gets on board. The answer to that probably won’t be too far off in the future as Windows 8 now includes the ability to access ISO date, and Windows 8 just launched.

Could this make such products as Virtual CloneDrive, Daemon Tools Lite, and Alcohol 52%, etc. obselete?