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Virtual DVD Writer?

Here's the setup:

I just purchased a new laptop, and instead of including restore CDs in the package, the restore software is on a second hard drive partition.  However, the default setup includes a utility to burn your own recovery CDs or DVDs.  The problem is that this computer doesn't have a DVD burner, although my desktop does.

What I'd like to do is find some program that pretends to be a DVD drive, but actually writes the data to a file on the hard drive, which I could then transfer to the desktop and burn.

Googling turned up quite a few programs that will take an existing drive image and make it look like a CD or DVD, but I couldn't find one that pretended to be a DVD burner.  Does such a thing exist?  I'm on Windows XP Home.

Thanks for any help!

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Are there any ".iso" files on the second partition?  This is a typical format for storing an image of a CD to disk.  If so, you may be able to just copy them off to your other drive.

Disclaimer: I don't have a DVD burner (yet), so I don't know if DVD images are ever stored as an .iso.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Nero does it. It will "burn" a DVD iso to your hard disk and also burn an iso to a real DVD disc. I think you can download the demo and have full functionality for 30 days or something like that...

Giles Gregg
Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Nope, the stuff on the second partition is in some proprietary format that I don't recognize.  (And, for the record, DVDs can be saved as and written to ISO images).

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Will Nero pretend to be a DVD burner so that a different program sees it and burns to DVD?

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

many of the dvd authoring tools allow you to use Nero drivers and then write a "practice" burn to the HD

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

"Will Nero pretend to be a DVD burner so that a different program sees it and burns to DVD?"
Why pretend?
When one uses a DVD-ROM emulator, he puts in the virtual drive ISO files. When one wants to use a DVD writer, it means he would like to get the ISO file from a real DVD. And both things might be done with Nero and its add-on for virtual drives, except it won't emulate DVD writing unit for other apps.

Luci Sandor
Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Can you network them together and share the DVD burner??

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

What the guy wants is a virtual device so that he can get the archived data out of it's proprietary format and into a more standard iso file.

I think a lot of the previous posters completely missed the point.

That said, I'm not aware of any programs that emulate a DVD-R.  It seems to me that this is a VERY specific problem and there probably isn't a lot of demand for a tool that does what you describe.  Most people will have files or an iso to burn to a DVD.  Not many are going to be in your situation.

You may have to code your own solution.

muppet is now from
Wednesday, June 23, 2004

That's an interesting question.  Can you use a mapped drive as a burner?  I don't think you can write to a networked CDR, but that'd be interesting.

muppet is now from
Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Nero Virtual drive. Installs with Nero 6.

1) Enable virtual drive

2) Open Nero

3) Select "Image Drive' as the writer

4) Choose files from H/D to burn.

5) Burn to an Image File (.NRG) on the H/D.

6) Load that .NRG file into the Vitual CD/DVD Drive (Nero 6 supports both)

7) Map that Virtual Drive onto a Network Share

8) From the PC (the one with the DVD Writer) copy the virtual CD/DVD onto an actual one

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

I've never posted here before and maybe never will again, but the people missing the point drove me so crazy I had to jump in.

Look, the original poster doesn't want to use Nero to burn some existing files to a an ISO, then transfer that ISO to the computer with a burner, then burn that ISO to a DVD.  Come on, people, THINK!  What would the POINT be of doing that?  Nothing, because they could just transfer the damn files themselves to the computer with the burner and then burn them from there.

They're not trying to make an ISO just for the sheer thrill of it.  The problem is they have some proprietary crap in some folders along with proprietary software that will take that proprietary crap and use it to create a DVD they can use to do a system restore.  So they want to have create a virtual drive that will fool the proprietary software into thinking it's making an actual DVD but will instead make an ISO.  Then they can burn that ISO from the other computer.  Nero's ability to burn files to an ISO does not help.

Unfortunately I don't know of anything that would do that.  My only suggestion (aside from the obvious one of temporarily hooking up a burner) would be to see if you can figure out all the files (programs, DLLs, data) needed to run the stupid software so it can make the DVD.  Transfer all of that to the computer with the burner and run the program from there (assuming it doesn't do some bogus check to make sure it's run from the original computer).

Some Ranting Idiot
Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Some Ranting Idiot illuminated this subject for me.

What Larry, Curly and Moe would probably do were they faced with this quandary:

Go back to the store where you bought the laptop. If mail order, go to Best Buy or some other big, evil retailer that sucks.

Temporarily "buy" an external firewire/USB2 DVD burner.
Take it home, connect it to the laptop.
Burn the recovery DVD.
Package up the DVD burner back in the original packing.
Return to the store, get credit for purchase return.

What could be simpler?

Bored Bystander
Wednesday, June 23, 2004

This is close to my own problem, which I have yet to solve (due to laziness).

I download large files with are iso (cd images) or dvd images (whatever format that is) and want to use them without a cd or dvd burner.  Yes, they are legitimate system backup cds, although another friend has mentioned the same problem from dvds of movies he has downloaded via bittorent.

So, say I have this iso image on my harddrive.  I want to burn it to a virtual cd because I don't have a cd/dvd burner.

I own Nero and am a bit familiar with the Image drive option but it doesn't seem to work for me correctly in this context.

If there's a way I can take an bin/cue set of files or an iso image and actually burn it to my hard drive so it looks like a normal cd or dvd in a normal drive I would be happy to hear it.


14 Month Lurker
Wednesday, June 23, 2004

14 Month Lurker-

What you're describing is exactly what Nero's ImageDrive program is supposed to do, when it works correctly.  I'd give the latest version a try; it worked pretty well for me.  If that doesn't work, google for "virtual cd" and you'll get a number of results that should help you.

As for me, it looks like the manufacturer's software uses some low level stuff to talk directly to the CD drive, so even if I managed to convince Windows that a DVDR drive existed, the software wouldn't care.  If I wasn't extremely pleased with the laptop otherwise, I might be more disappointed than I am.

Thanks to everyone who offered help, especially those who understood the question.  I still might try Bored Bystander's suggestion.  Thanks everybody!

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Is there no way you can do it via a shared network burner as someone else suggested? That seems far the easiest way.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Ah! OK. Sorry. I get it now.

Check out

Thursday, June 24, 2004


This link :


StarPort - iSCSI Initiator and RAM disk

* Map remotely located SCSI device just as it would be your local one
* Share any CD/DVD burners over the network and use them with your favorite burning application on a local machine
* Share hard disk drives for fast storing large amounts of data
* Share SCSI tape devices
* Work with the virtual volumes, dynamic snapshots at server side, incremental backup applications
* Create extremely fast RAM disk drives
* Create Virtual DVD-ROM (MDS-format compatible!)


Thursday, June 24, 2004


Thanks for the motivation.  I spent another hour with Nero and finally got it to work using the imagedrive option.

I found a couple articles on the internet about doing it but each version of Nero is slightly different is seems (I have an old version).  Oh well, just took some playing around with.

Good luck on finding your solution.

14 Month Lurker
Thursday, June 24, 2004

Skip Nero!

#1. Get Acronis True Image Backup.

#2. Restore the original O.S. and all the crap that you will never use.

#3. Remove all the crap that you will never use.

#4. Make your backup with True Image.

Dude, where's my backup?

Thursday, July 8, 2004

DVD Shrink (free download) will allow you to make a virtual-drive-playable ISO image from any DVD files you may have. It's actually a snap.

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

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