November 9, 2007

Mount DVD ISO Image on Windows?

Posted in Software tagged , , at 6:35 pm by mj

Recently, I bought the Fluenz Mandarin 1+2 learning software. I’m impressed with it thus far. It was first released in January, and the company itself sounds like a great place to work. There is definitely room for improvement in future versions, but it’s quite engaging. And the license agreement is liberal for the 21st century.

Unfortunately, it requires to be run direct from DVD. This is a problem for two reasons. First, my laptop has a secondary battery in the media bay, so it means I can’t reasonably use this software unless I’m plugged in. And second, it slows everything down. The workouts, especially, would be much better if they were smooth, instead of pausing periodically. (And my microphone is so sensitive I have to wait for the drive to cycle down before recording myself.)

I searched online, but even the once-virtuous provides no good answers. The one piece of software reviewed by an editor has complaints about trojans.

Right here’s where you learn that I’m not a gamer, because apparently this is pretty common requirement among game manufacturers. It’s so prevalent, in fact, that the very practice of running DVD/CD ROMs from your hard drive seems to be closely associated with the pirate trade, and all of the concomitant teenager trojan/adware/fake reviewer con games. And I’m not 15 anymore.

The only semi-safe software I’ve tried is the unofficial Microsoft Windows XP Virtual CD Control Panel. That mounts the ISO (built from Nero–yes, fully paid for) perfectly, but I still get the dreaded “Could not find CD-ROM” error after running the executable.

So, here’s my challenge. Do you have a favorite piece of software for doing this? Does it cost less than $20?

Or, can you produce a minimalist software to do the same thing? Or tell me how one would go about doing it? It’s been ages since I’ve worked with the Windows API, but it can’t be that hard, can it?

I know some of my current and former co-workers are Windows programming gods. Surely, somebody I know has a good answer.