Daemon Tools Lite creates multiple virtual optical discs

Create and mount virtual DVD and CD drives with this versatile, easy-to-use freeware.

Daemon Tools Lite is a free tool that lets you create and burn simple disk images and add up to four virtual DVD drives to your system. These drives work just like a physical optical drive, only you don't have to keep shoving disks in and out of the tray. You can store your DVD and CD content on your hard disk and access the data quickly.

Daemon Tools Lite has significant advantages over many similar tools. For instance, it doesn't use a proprietary container format, which makes it widely compatible and gives you more options when burning or checking disks. Daemon Tools Lite mounts most disc image types, and creates ISO, MDS/MDF, and MDX images of CD, DVD, and Blu-ray discs. It also compresses disc images and enables password protection.

Daemon Tools Lite's user interface is plain and simple but with an efficient layout that is crisply rendered. The larger of two windows displays your Image Catalog; below it, a narrow window displays your added drives, starting with the first virtual drive. Daemon Tools Lite creates two types of virtual drive: DT virtual devices, which offer basic emulating capabilities, and SCSI virtual devices, which emulate discs with special signatures such as security locks. Most users will find DT virtual devices sufficient for day-to-day use. The toolbar separating the upper and lower windows contains all of Daemon Tools Lite's controls, starting with Add Image controls. We could mount and unmount images, add DT and SCSI virtual devices, remove existing virtual drives, and create disc images. A Preferences tool let us configure everything from Hotkeys to Confirmations.

Daemon Tools Lite is easy to use. We clicked Add Image, browsed to some ISO images, and added them to the Image Catalog. Then it was a simple matter of selecting drive and image and clicking the Mount arrow. We were able to access our new drive normally in Explorer. Daemon Tools Lite is a great choice for laptops, especially those that lack optical drives. But anyone who uses DVDs or CDs for data or pleasure can save time and power by using virtual disc drives instead of spinning plastic.

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