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  1. #1
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    How to copy an installation CD to my hard drive?

    This question will expose my woeful lack of tech savvy. Nevertheless.....!

    I've an old piece of installation software on CD that I'd like to copy to my laptop's hard drive before the CD's data starts to deteriorate. (I paid for the software, and it's for my use only.)

    Having never copied an installation disc, I'm not sure which copy method to use. I have a couple of copy/burning apps on my computer:

    ImgBurn (Can create an image file from disc, or create an image file from files or folders.)

    Ashampoo Burning Studio (Can, I think, do all the above, but that's just a guess.)

    To summarize: I'd like to a copy a program installation CD to my hard drive for future use. Should I image the whole CD, or extract individual files?

    Does it matter? If so (and the explanation isn't too complicated), why?

    Kind thanks for the help.

    Brooks
    Windows 7 Professional x64, SP1

  2. #2
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    Most of the time, it shouldn't matter. You should be able to merely drag-and-drop the entire contents of the program installation CD to a repository on an external hard drive or a flash drive, and when you want to install the program you need only launch the installer from your copy.

    That should work for probably 95% of the CDs you might come across. There are a few situations in which that may not work--the most common being if the disc is meant to be bootable (such as a Windows installation disc or a partition backup/restore disc).

    That said, I tend to backup all my CD/DVD discs to .iso files, whether they're meant to be bootable or not. It's just simpler for me if I don't have to bother remembering which discs were turned into iso files and which were content copies. I've got an iso for just about every CD or DVD I've owned in the last 25 years or so, all in a large library on an external hard drive. I use ImgBurn to create the iso from the original disc.

    If I need to recreate a physical disc from an iso file, I can do so with ImgBurn. If I want to install a program directly from an iso file, I use Virtual CloneDrive. Drag-and-drop the iso file onto the Virtual CloneDrive icon in "Computer" (or double-click the iso file if you've associated the file type with Virtual CloneDrive) and it loads in the virtual CD/DVD drive just like a real disc in a real CD/DVD drive.

    Virtual CloneDrive is one of the first utilities I install on all my computers. Windows 10 now has that feature built-in, but I still prefer Virtual CloneDrive to the Windows 10's function. Especially when doing a clean install, it allows me to quickly use all my program installation CDs without having to fumble around with physical discs.

  3. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to dg1261 For This Useful Post:

    BrooksNYC (2018-06-13),Dick-Y (2018-06-14)

  4. #3
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    dg, your post is incredibly helpful, and thanks for taking the time to help me. (Thanks, also, for making the information so easy to understand.)

    Am grateful to know about Virtual CloneDrive, and am downloading it even as we speak. If I have more questions, I'll be back to pester y'all again.

    For now, my great thanks to you, and all the best!

    Brooks
    Windows 7 Professional x64, SP1

  5. #4
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    Sure, feel free to ask if you have any questions.

    Meanwhile, a couple other tips on Virtual CloneDrive:

    I prefer for my virtual CD/DVD drive to appear and behave just like my physical CD/DVD drive, so in Virtual CloneDrive's settings I place a tick mark in "Eject unmounts image file" and untick "Show Tray Icon".

    When you install Virtual CloneDrive, you will notice a new CD/DVD drive and drive letter show up in "Computer". I like to go into Disk Management and change the drive letter to something more memorable so I can always remember which CD/DVD drive is the virtual one. I re-letter mine to X: ... though V: (for "Virtual") would also be an apropos choice. In my case, though, I long ago began using V: for my DVD drive and old habits die hard, so I had to choose another drive letter for my virtual CD/DVD drive.

    Aside: that's one of the differences I don't like about the native Win10 iso-mount function--there is no drive letter if there is no iso file mounted, so it doesn't really behave like a physical CD/DVD drive.

  6. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to dg1261 For This Useful Post:

    Dick-Y (2018-06-14),Lugh (2018-06-14)

  7. #5
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    Modern Windows versions let you mount an ISO so it behaves like a CD. No need for additional software.

    I use ISO Recorder to convert the CD to ISO.
    http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/#/

    cheers, Paul

  8. #6
    WS Lounge VIP Lugh's Avatar
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    I haven't used it yet, but the one I've earmarked is WinCDEmu—sounds very straightforward if it works as advertised.

    "One-click mounting of ISO, CUE, NRG, MDS/MDF, CCD, IMG images"
    "Does not occupy drive letters when not used"
    "Allows creating ISO images through a context menu in Explorer"
    "portable version"
    Tutorials
    Lugh.
    ~
    Dell Alienware Aurora R6; Win10 Home x64 1803; Office 365 x32
    i7-7700; GeForce GTX 1060; 16GB DDR4 2400; 2 x 256G SSD, 4TB HD

  9. #7
    Administrator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lugh
    I haven't used it yet, but the one I've earmarked is WinCDEmu—sounds very straightforward if it works as advertised.
    I've been using WinCDEmu for years and haven't needed the tutorials yet... 'cos it's very easy to use.
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2018-06-14 at 07:24.

  10. #8
    4 Star Lounger tonyl's Avatar
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    It's certainly a good idea to make copies of all your disks anyway; accidents happen. Then you can put your master copies away somewhere safe.

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