Emulators are handy for duplicating disk drives or other storage devices, such a critical or frequently accessed CD-ROM that you'd rather copy to your hard drive so you don't have to reinsert the disk every time you need it. KernSafe's TotalMounter is a full-featured emulator that boasts the ability to create and mount most every kind of virtualized drive. It will mount CD and DVD images such as bin, ccd, cdi, iso, mdf, and nrg as virtualized drives that you can "write" to with disk burning software. It also has a full-featured iSCSI Initiator, virtual disk emulator, and INetDisk client. Its network-bridged method can even export entire existing partitions, disks, or CD/DVD-ROMs to clients as a virtual iSCSI device. It conforms fully to iSCSI Standard 1.0.
TotalMounter has a fairly plain interface with old-school text and graphics that recall the pre-GUI days of software. However, the dialog boxes for the program's settings are clear and self explanatory, and there's a good Help file. There's also an up-to-date Initialize and Convert Disk Wizard that you can use to initialize new disks and convert existing basic disks to dynamic disks. These can be used as software-based RAID volumes that can be mirrored, striped, or spanned across multiple disks. The Virtual Write feature is especially nice since it enables you to modify a rewriteable disk image after it's mounted instead of merely creating a static copy.
TotalMounter is freeware that is certified for all versions of Windows from 2000 to Vista, including both 32-bit and 64-bit editions.
From KernSafe Technology:
KernSafe TotalMounter is an advanced and powerful virtual CD/DVD-ROM/RW/RAM emulator, and it is full-featured free software for Windows. TotalMounter is also a free full-featured iSCSI initiator, virtual disks emulator, and a client of INetDisk. Its goal is to mount everything, you can not only mount a CD/DVD images (such as iso, bin, cdi, mdf, ccd, nrg etc.) as a virtualized drive, but also make these images by creating a CD/DVD-RW virtualized drive and burning data into it by burning software of your choice. Additionally, KernSafe TotalMounter is also providing virtual write technology for iSCSI Initiator and INetDisk Client, so that you can copy files into a read-only drive and do not affect other people. It is working perfectly on Windows 7 including 64-bit edition.
What's new in this version:
Version 2.01 may include unspecified updates, enhancements, or bug fixes.
First, people need to read the system requirements. This has been tested up to Windows Vista, so don't expect it to work right in 7 or 8. It installs a SCSI driver that isn't compatible with those systems. Second, it DOES mount ISOs pretty well.
But it doesn't burn them. I tried to get it to work correctly with Windows Media Player but it didn't work right. It comes up that the disc is damaged, but it's just a blank ISO. I don't know what to do about that. I lowered the burn speed and that did nothing.
Get your OS straight before downloading it. Also don't expect it to burn ISOs for you. If it works on your system, consider it a perk.
Using version 2.0 and it is simple perfect if you don't have a burner. In my case I needed to create a windows 7 system recovery disc and this program allow me to save it as a iso. This worked without issue on Windows 7 x64 well on my part.
Worked great, until my computer was turned off (that night) and back on again (the next morning). It allows you to emulate a blank DVD/CD, which is sooo useful, when creating/updating recovery or other discs for storage.
The KernSafe SCSI Controller Driver that installs with it has major issues initializing during PC Boot. One of two scenarios are nearly guaranteed for some OS's... The system won't start and requires a system recovery or the system hangs "trying to repair" for a long time and will finally boot with the KernSafe driver being removed and detected as an "unknown device". Reinstalling the driver for the "unknown device" repeats the problem. It, also, causes the computer to hang, when going into standby/suspend. Windows Vista Home Premium 64 bit "and" 32 bit (fully updated with no other issues) both had the identical problem. I attempted to register for their forum and notify them of the problem, but they took my information and never sent a confirmation email to activate the account(most likely why the only complaints listed are a couple years old). There is NO updated driver to resolve this issue.
Very disappointing; the ability to properly emulate a blank CD/DVD, that can be written to, was something I've been trying to hunt down for days. I suppose if you never turn your computer off or let it go into standby, you'll have a great product (until your CPU or hard drive burns out). Yet again, C-Net gives a raving review on a poor product... what are you guys doing over there? Bring a tech on board to do your app testing for Pete's sake.
Lets you create CD/DVD image instead of using optical media.
Caused system problems under Windows 8
This product worked very well for me under Windows 7. The interface takes getting used to, and it's not something you can just drop in and use without making an effort to figure out how to create a drive, image, etc.
When I upgraded a computer to Windows 8, things fell apart. I got a BSOD whenever I tried to put the computer to sleep, meaning the laptop blew up whenever the lid was closed. Once I traced it to their driver by analyzing the dump, I tried to uninstall it. I got a BSOD each time shortly after the uninstall started. I then removed the devices using Device Manager and was able to do the uninstall. But the devices kept returning and showing up in Device Manager even if I uninstalled them again. Disabling them did the trick, and manually deleting the driver (once the product was uninstalled and disabled) and deleting the registry entries manually fixed the problem.
I hope they get this working under Windows 8 some day. If you want to do something such as create an image of a rescue disk, or something else that requires an actual optical drive, this works great. It even works on Windows 8, if you don't mind the rest of the system not working properly.
As with any software, it's always best to do a complete backup before installing it, or at least create a restore point. A restore point might have saved me, except it was already on the system from before the OS upgrade.
The guy below who claimed this gave his comp. BSOD was correct. The same thing happened to me; windows repair diagnostics confirmed that the problem came from the driver this program installs. Thank God for system restore.
This program is broken and WILL trash your computer.
Installed OK, but upon first use discovered that in DVD mode it is capable of "burning" only a DVD-5, 4.7GB capacity (i.e., single layer) DVD. It is not designed to create a dual-layer DVD-9 virtual disc. Therefore it is useless as an intermediate step before using DVD Shrink to burn a > 4.7GB project (e.g., from a video-editing program) to a single-layer actual optical disc. But this doesn't matter, because it doesn't even do that — at least it didn't for me. What it did do is lock up Windows 7, and upon reboot cause Windows to hang at startup for longer than I was willing to wait (>15 minutes).
Not only didn't work, it required me to restore Windows to a pre-TotalMount state. Try it if you dare.
Updated on May 26, 2012
What appears to be me cursing ("—") in my review is actually HTML code for an em-dash, which wasn't revealed until I had already posted - and I can't remove it. So go ahead and consider it me cursing.