novis 22:09 05 Apr 2010

I want to install a copy of an installation disk disk onto an external harddrive so that I don't have to use the original every time I need to use it. What is the [pref. free] software that will allow me to do this?

I have a Toshiba laptop and run Vista.

  DieSse 22:16 05 Apr 2010

" ...an installation disk"

CD, DVD, Hard drive, Hard drive partition?

  novis 22:27 05 Apr 2010

a CD and/ or a DVD.

I'd like to be able to keep my DVDs on an external harddrive for convenience and portability as well.

  DieSse 09:14 06 Apr 2010

I'd presumed you were talking about windows installation - do you mean any/all software installation disks?

  novis 09:53 06 Apr 2010

Yes - ideally all my installation software so that I can instal it with the convenience of opening a download instead of having to find the disk and go through the hassle of using the CD player.

I'd also like to store my DVD's on a hard drive as well to make them more portable and accessible.

Can this be done - and what is the software that does it [for free?].

  DieSse 11:12 06 Apr 2010

Installation disks, apart from the Windows CD, just copy them into individual folders.

Purchased film DVDs are a different matter. Google for - copying film dvds to hard drive - for ways to do this.

Of course you can't get them to autorun, but that shouldn't be an issue. You'll simply need to identify the setup program to run for each one of them, which is normally very obvious.

If you have a Windows installation CD, then copying with Autostreamer (and you can incorporate any Service Packs at the same time) to a new CD is your best bet.

  canarieslover 11:34 06 Apr 2010

What you probably need to enable you to do that is a virtual CD drive. This is a software emulation of a drive and images can be mounted in it and used as a normal hardware drive. I have not tried this one but it is an example of what is available free.
click here

Google for virtual CD drive for more examples.

  ronalddonald 11:41 06 Apr 2010

why not try acronis available from amazon click here

  novis 13:30 06 Apr 2010

This restricts me to backing up my harddrive - which can be done using Vista's backup function. I want to create virtual disks on the portable harddrive to use them instead of the original installation disks.

  Zeppelyn 14:01 06 Apr 2010

As DieSse says, just copy them into individual folders on the hard disk, its as simple as that.

  novis 20:26 06 Apr 2010

This is from E-How's site:

click here

How to Use a Virtual Clone Drive With an ISO Image

Virtual Clone Drive is a freeware application that allows users to create virtual DVD drives on their hard drives and then mount disk image files such as ISOs to those drives. Once the image has been mounted to a virtual drive it can then be used as if it were a physical copy of the disk. Virtual Clone Drive has the advantage of being compatible with Windows Vista.

It can be downloaded free from:

click here

A pretty cool feature of Windows is the capability to create a virtual disk drive. A virtual disk drive is a special folder of an actual physical drive that actually serves as a drive in its own right. You can, for example, create a virtual CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive in Windows. A key advantage of a virtual drive is that it usually saves time. A virtual CD drive, for example, can be read much faster than a physical CD because it exists on the hard drive. The fastest and simplest way to create a virtual drive is to use one of the several free and commercial applications available online. But where's the fun in that? Read on to learn how to manually create a virtual drive in Windows XP.

Difficulty: Moderate

Click your Start button and then click Run. In the text field, you will type in "cmd" The command prompt will appear.

Type in: subst x: "C:\windows"

=> Replace the "x" with the drive letter for the virtual drive you want to create. This can be any letter so long as it is not assigned to any other drive on your PC.

=> C:\windows represents the particular directory in which you want to create your virtual drive. You may choose to create it in any directory or file on your PC.

Once you enter your info into the command prompt, your virtual drive will have been created. You can go to My Computer and view your new drive. However, if you shut down your PC now, it will be automatically deleted. Here's how to make it permanent: Open your notepad by clicking
Start => Programs => Accesssories => Notepad.
Next, type subst x: "C:\Windows" into your notepad. Now save the Notepad document as c:\autoexec.bat.

Click on Start and then Run. Next type in re-edit. Click on OK. This brings up the Registry Editor
In the left-hand side pane, click on:
My Computor => HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE => Software => Microsoft => Windows => CurrentVersion =>Run.

Next, right click on the right-hand side pane. Click New. Select String Value. Now type in "Autoexec" and then click Enter.
Right click Autoexec and then click Modify.
Type c:\autoexec.bat.

Close your Registry Editor and restart your PC.

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