Sometimes you come across a type of file that you have never seen before. This is a disk image file, but you don’t know what it means to mount this file and create a virtual drive. Depending on your operating system version and file type, you might need a third-party program like DAEMON Tools.
For years, DAEMON Tools has been the software of choice for editing these files. However, free alternatives to DAEMON tools exist and continue to become more competitive.
So why pay outright? Try these three free alternatives to DAEMON tools for editing image files.
SEE ALSO: Top 10 Best ISO Mounter For Windows 10
Do i need a virtual drive?
Before you download any software, you might be wondering if you need a virtual drive. You really only need a virtual drive if you want to mount disk image files. Disc image files are digital copies of optical media such as CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs.
It is possible to extract the entire contents of optical media and then edit it with image editing software. The software installs a virtual optical drive on your PC, which works exactly the same as a normal drive. But instead of physical media, you feed it with image files.
You can then access the disk image file as if you had inserted a physical disk into your computer. It is useful when you download software or applications but want to avoid burning them to disc. Simply mount the software you chose in the virtual drive.
Daemon Tools Lite
There is a free version of the product line DAEMON Tools , DAEMON Tools Lite . However, this version comes with ads. For the advertising compromise, DAEMON Tools Lite mounts images, virtual hard disks and ZIP archives.
It detects these types of images: .MDX, .CCD, .BWT, .VMDK, .MDS, .ISZ, .NRG, .VDI, .MDF, .CDI, .VHD, .ZIP, .ISO, .IMG, .B5T, .B6T, .TC, .CUE and .ISCSI.
As a free user, you can only mount four virtual drives.
Download : DAEMON Tools Lite (free and ad-free version: $ 5.99)
Alternatives to DAEMON tools
If you want to find alternatives, don’t worry. Maybe you are looking for simpler software and have no use for exotic file types. Whatever your reasons, here are three great alternatives to DAEMON tools that won’t cost you a dime.
1. Use Windows 10’s mount feature for ISO
If you’re just looking to mount an ISO image, there’s no need to install any third-party software. Here are three ways to do this before installing software:
- Right click on the ISO image and select ascend .
- Double click simply sure the ISO image to mount it.
- Click on the ISO image, Press on the Disk Image Tools tab, then choose ascend.
The first free and open source software is WinCDEmu. Right off the bat, you’ll notice the much more minimalist design of this program compared to DAEMON Tools.
When you open the WinCDEmu settings, you will see that they consist of a drive letter policy, your language and whether you want to require administrator rights (UAC) to mount an image.
Although WinCDEmu does not cover all of the same types as DAEMON Tools, it does support most of the major formats. The types of mountable image files are: .ISO, .CUE, .NRG, .MDS, .BIN, .CCD and .IMG.
WinCDEmu also offers a portable version. This special version of WinCDEmu does not require installation (just a quick driver installation), so it is useful if you do not want to keep an installer installed. In addition, you will have access to an unlimited number of discs.
Download : WinCDEmu (free)Download : WinCDEmu – Portable version (free)
3. Virtual CloneDrive
Virtual CloneDrive works similarly to WinCDEmu. During installation, you agree to associate it with certain file formats. Specifically, you can choose between CCD, DVD, ISO, IMG, UDF and BIN disc image formats.
Open the program to get a few more drive options. You can choose to replace your virtual drive icons with sheep (virtual sheep) icons, keep a history of your recent disk mounts, automatically mount your latest image, display a tray icon, and the eject command unmounts image files . Of these, the history setting offers the most benefits as it can easily switch between recent images.
You can also change the number of readers available at a time. However, it caps out when you hit fifteen.
Download : Virtual CloneDrive (free)
4. Portable alcohol
Alcohol Portable offers another alternative where you don’t need to install the software. Although it has an installation file, it just creates a folder with all the contents of the program. Once you are in the program, you can remove it with just one click.
Click on File, then select Exit + Remove device driver and service . This is a great option if you don’t want to leave a footprint just to mount a single file.
Alcohol Portable is also easy to use. Drag your image file onto Alcohol Portable, and it will mount automatically. By right clicking on your image file, you can choose to unmount the image file or set its drive letter as well.
The only downside is that unlike other virtual drives, you can’t locate a supported list of file types that work in the app. However, there is no problem mounting common file types like ISO or MDS.
Download : Alcohol Portable (free)
READ ALSO: 10 Best Windows Movie Maker Alternatives 2019
Explore programs like Daemon Tools
If you are looking for a free alternative to Daemon Tools, all of these programs cover the most common file types. Moreover, if you need to use Daemon Tools, you can always use Daemon Tools Lite for free. Just decide how often you use file editing software and what types of files you encounter.