Okay, so you’ve got yourself a new laptop, and decided a netbook rather than a full size notebook is more your style. They make a great substitute (I recently purchased the Asus 1000HE 10″ model), but they lack an optical drive for reading CDs or DVDs. So what happens when you need to install a piece of software that you have only on CD?
What You’ll Need:
- Windows XP Virtual CD Control Panel
- ISO Recorder by Alex Feinman
For my example, I was attempting to install the Adobe Creative Suite 2 package, which uses 4 CDs for installation. What we need to do first is pull the image of each CD into an ISO. We’ll do that with the ISO Recorder software. After you have finished the installation of ISO Recorder, insert the CD you wish to convert, and open up My Computer. Simply right-click on the optical drive icon, and you should see an option for “Create Image from CD/DVD”.
Click this, and ISO Recorder will load, and ask for a location to save the ISO. Once you pick a location, simply click next and allow it to finish processing (it should take around one or two minutes).
Once you have the ISO files for all the installation discs, now transfer them to the laptop by whatever means you have. I prefer to use a USB drive, but you can transfer them through a network if you have one set up.
Now we’re going to move to the Virtual CD Control Panel. Open virtualcd file you downloaded, and it will again bring up a dialog asking where to extract the files. I recommend saving it in a folder in your Documents file, or on your Desktop. Navigate to the place you extracted the files, and open the file VCdControlTool.exe. Click “Driver Control…”
and you will see an option to “Install Driver…”. Click that, and you should see the file VCdRom.sys. Double click to open it. Now click the “Start” option underneath, and then click OK.
Now we’re going to add a Virtual Drive. Click the “Add Drive” button. You can do multiple drives, but we’ll only need one right now, typically it will start with Z:\.
This will work fine. If you open My Computer, you will see that you have a new Removable Disc for Drive Z. Go back to the Virtual CD Control Panel, and select Mount.
Here we’re going to tell it where the ISO is that will be acting as the CD. Navigate to where you stored your ISO files, and select the one you wish to mount. Click “Open”, and you’ll be presented with the Special Mount Options dialog.
These three options you won’t need to select for now. Suppress UDF, and Suppress Joliet I am not entirely certain what purpose they serve, but the Persistent Mount option allows the ISO to stay mounted even after rebooting the computer (which is useful when a software requires a reboot in between portions of the install process, such as a Windows installation). Now click OK, and you’ll see that your ISO has been mapped as drive Z:\. You’re ready to go!
You can now use this just as you would a normal optical drive, but the last thing we’re going to do is “swap” discs. Partially through the installation, Adobe asks to insert Disc 2. We’re going to go and mount the second disc, but the important step to remember first is to eject the drive before mounting the second disc. If you simply mount the new ISO without first ejecting the original ISO, the installation will not recognize the new ISO, and leads to several other problems (through my own experience!).
I hope that this information is able to help some of you out there. Please share your experiences if you wish in the comments!