Originally posted by aznjosh
so i can use the virtual drive to burn a game to see if it will successfully burn right?
as the name already says : VIRTUAL.
Normally you have physical drives. Your floppy drive is A , your harddrive is C and your CDROM is D (this is just an example).
Now it is also possible to make an IMAGE of a cd. This procedure contains of reading all the contents on the CD and put it in one big IMAGE. (Sorta like Winzip does with a lot of files , but cd images are usually not compressed.).
It is of utmost importance that the program which tries to make that image actually reads everything on the cdrom , including the copy protections the cd has. This is getting more and more difficult for cd-programs , but CloneCD and Alcohol 120% for instance , can read a lot of them.
Now you can write that IMAGE back on to a blank cd-recordable and try working with your backup instead of your original. Sometimes however , not all copy protection is copied along (hence the name copy protection of course).
For this matter you can check your image by using it as it were a cdrom. Here is where the Virtual CD-Drive kicks in.
Of course it’s no physical cd-rom, but it lets the computer (and hopefully all the installed programs) think that it IS a physical cdrom. And we can “load” the virtual cdrom with your IMAGE. (This is called mounting).
Now you have a virtual drive which contains of the image of your original cd. From here you can try if the program works correctly without sacrificing a cd-recordable for it.
Side note on that image. There are 2 kinds of images : ISO images and NON-ISO images. ISO is a standard and can be written by almost any cd-writing program (Nero for instance). Non-ISO images however contain more information about the contents of a cd-rom and can have more information about the copy protections built in. Examples of Non-Iso images are : CloneCd Images , Alcohol 120% Images , WinOnCD .CUE and .BIN files , etc. etc.
There’s also an advantage here for using Virtual Cd Drives. You can have frequently used cd’s stored as images on your harddisk and use them whenever you want without scratching the original cd. With CloneCD’s virtual cd-rom driver you can make up to 8 virtual-cdroms. Suddenly your computer has 8 extra cd-roms