Home » CD/DVD burner, office tools, open source

WinCDEmu – Free Open Source CD/DVD Emulator

by Johnny Karp 22 June 2009 8 Comments


WinCDEmu is an open source CD/DVD emulator that is extremely easy to use: you just have to double-click the image file in Windows Explorer and it will be mounted in a virtual drive!


The freeware CD/DVD burner that I’ve been using for almost a year now, StarBurn, has also a module called StarPort in which you can create virtual drives and mount disc images into them. But when I found the open source program called WinCDEmu that promised to mount images with a single click I said to myself: “I have to try this one!”. Now don’t get me wrong, the virtual drive creating and mounting in StarBurn works very well, but WinCDEmu promises to be a lot easier to use and most important, a lot faster.

After installing the program it will install the Windows drivers that it needs in order to work. After that step is completed it will all go downhill… Just double-click an image file and it will be mounted in just a few seconds! I used for this purpose a backup of a movie DVD.

WinCD Emu screenshot 1

Let’s verify if it’s mounted… And it is, drive J.

WinCD Emu screenshot 2

To unmount the image you can click eject from the drive context menu or you can double click the respective image file again. And it unmounts in a few seconds.

WinCD Emu screenshot 3

The program supports ISO, CUE, BIN, IMG and RAW image file formats and it simply just works. You can’t customize anything about it, just install and use it. Another important thing is that you can simultaneously mount virtually an infinity of disc images, there is no limit, each mounted image will have its own virtual device.

Version Tested




Operating System

Windows (Win32 and Win64 platforms)

Download link


Very fast and easy to use.

It’s open source.

You can’t customize anything about it.



Overall WinCDEmu is a great piece of open source software to have in your computer because you won’t have to open any program to mount your disc image files, just double-click and it’s there. I hope that the future versions will bring support for other image file formats (like NRG or UDF) and maybe give the user some options to customize. Until then it’s a solid freeware program that I definitely recommend.

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If you have any trouble with this software just leave a comment, I’ll help you out! If you know better free programs in the same category, please let me know!



  • Rono said:

    Total Mounter, the latest addition in the virtual DVD drive category.

    Total Mounter comes with support for many disk image formats including iso, bin, b5i, mdf, cdi, nrg, ccd, sub, img and raw. Even better is the fact that the program does not have to be running after mounting a disk image which will obviously reduce its memory footprint and resource usage. Up to eight drives can be emulated by the software program. Images can be mounted in the application’s interface. One interesting aspect of Total Mounter is the ability to create virtual CD-RW and DVD-RW drives that can be used to write date to a virtual CD or DVD drive.

    virtual dvd drive

    Another interesting feature provided by the software is the virtual disk creation option. This makes it possible to create and mount virtual disks from within the application. TotalMounter will install a new driver to the computer system during installation to offer the functionality.It also offers the following niche features that might be interesting to some users:

    * Provides a iSCSI Initiator for mount iStorage Server and other iSCSI Target.
    * Provides a INetDisk client for mount INetDisk Server.
    * Provides a network-bridged method. It exports an existing partition, disk, CD/DVD-ROM to clients as a virtual iSCSI drive.

    The program is easy to use and does support most image formats that are popular these days.

  • Rono said:

    Gizmo Drive is yet another tool to mount CD and DVD images in Windows. It can mount ISO, BIN, CUE, MDS, MDF, NRG and VHD images which are essentially the most popular image formats. Images can be mounted using the shell in Windows Explorer, the command line or the graphical user interface.

    Gizmo Drive can mount as many CD, ISO or Virtual Hard Drive images as there are free drive letters available. Each image can be remounted during Windows Startup or write protected so that the data does not get changed.

    mount image

    It is also possible to create new ISO images with some interesting features besides being able to mount existing images. Gizmo Drive can create virtual hard drive images, ISO images from disc and virtual hard drives that reside in RAM and act as a RAM drive. The virtual hard drives can be compressed and encrypted for additional security.

    The drive mounting software has a surprisingly low resource usage when minimized in the Windows System Tray with less than four Megabytes of computer memory total. Make sure you only check the GDrive option during setup unless you want to install other programs as well.

  • asfasfasf said:

    Horrible piece of software, the installer is broken, keeps asking to enable testsigning and reboot and won’t let the user actually install the software.

  • Johnny Karp said:

    The installer isn’t broken, you have to click on “Continue anyway” when it asks for the test signing and then reboot and everything works. At least that’s what happened on my PC.

  • Nick C said:

    I’ve been using Daemon Tools Lite for quite a while now and love it. It integrates into the shell (i right click, then ‘mount image with daemon tools’) instead of taking over the file association as I like the default action of an image to be ‘burn’.

    It has done everything I’ve asked so I’m not likely to switch unless I remember next time I need to mount an image and don’t have Daemon Tools Lite installed…but I appreciate the heads-up.

    This type of software is VERY handy when doing work on a netbook with no optical drive to share out from another computer and software installation from that type of thing is essential.

    Thanks for the review, as always!

  • Johnny Karp said:

    Hello Nick! I’ve been using DTools too a few years ago, now I’m a bit put off by the fact that it has a “Pro” version with more features… WinCDEmu is open source and that’s a big plus in my book 🙂

  • Tieum said:

    Nice program but wants to be evrywhere which is very annoying. No I do not want to open my 7z files with it.

  • Nick C said:

    No complaints switching from Daemon Tools Lite. Installed Windows 7 and thought I’d try a few new programs. This one works as it should…no hassle, no trouble. Didn’t even require a restart.

    Thanks for the recommendation!

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