TotalMounter - a Free Virtual CD/DVD Burner That's Easy to Use

TotalMounter from KernSafe is a CD/DVD drive emulator. This means it creates a virtual CD/DVD drive on your computer. This virtual drive can be used to read, and burn virtual discs(image files). So it behaves exactly as if you were using a real disc drive to read, and burn a CD/DVD, except of course it runs much faster.

There are many free software products that can act as a virtual drive, and read image files. However to my knowledge, TotalMounter is the only free program that can act as a virtual burner to burn a virtual disc.

A virtual burner is a software program that burns data directly to an image file, instead of a physical optical disc. Such a program can be very useful in cases where:

  • You want to just create an image file and burn it later to an optical disc.
  • You want to create your own custom CD/DVD, and want to test it out before actually burning it to an optical disc. That custom disc can be a music CD, or a video DVD, or any other disc. This prevents wastage of physical optical discs.
  • Your notebook, or laptop does not have an optical drive. You can then burn an image with the virtual burner, and later burn that image to an optical disc, on another computer having an optical drive.

These are just a few of the possibilities.

TotalMounter has been around for a long time actually, but unfortunately, earlier versions had bugs and didn’t work as intended. But KernSafe team didn’t give up on this software, and continued their development, and in early September 2011, released TotalMounter version 1.50, which now works as advertised, making it the only free virtual burner program. This is amazing news for freeware lovers. I am quite excited with this development, and I am sure you will be as excited too.

TotalMounter is also quite easy to use. It comes with a user manual, which explains how to use the software. With step-by-step explanations and screenshots, it becomes quite an easy task to use this program. A downloadable user manual in PDF format is also available from the KernSafe site. The link for it is provided towards the end of this article.

When you install TotalMounter it creates a virtual drive on the system, using which you can read image files, or write to image files.

To use TotalMounter to read image files, mount a virtual CD/DVD ROM from the Mount menu. Select the image file on your computer that you want to use, and that’s it. You can now access the contents of the image file from the TotalMounter virtual drive. A wide range of image files are supported including .iso, .cdi, .bin, .mds, .mdf, .img, .raw, .ccd, .nrg, and virtual hard disk image files, such as .vhd and .img.

To use TotalMounter as a virtual burner, mount a virtual CD/DVD RW from the Mount menu. Select whether you want to burn a CD image or a DVD image, where the file will be stored and give it a name. Now, the virtual drive is ready as a CD/DVD RW drive. You can then select this drive as the destination drive from your usual burning software and write to it. The data will be saved in an ISO image file.

In addition to above, this virtual CD/DVD RW drive, can be selected from other programs with burning ability, like Windows Media Player, or similar programs.

Please know that TotalMounter can still be considered in early stages of development, so it may not work with all burning software. I was successfully able to use TotalMounter to burn an image file, using ImgBurn as the burning software.

In case you encounter any problems, please post them on TotalMounter forum:

http://www.kernsafe.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=6&sid=983f6737e4305099fb7cead1e846ae1c

Or, you can also post on the ongoing discussion about TotalMounter on our forum, here:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/freeware-forum/freeware-installation-and-usage/1028-total-mounter.html

A KernSafe team member has joined our forum, and will respond to user’s posts. The KernSafe team is open to all kinds of suggestions, and feedback, which will help in further development of the program.

 

   TotalMounter Image

 

TotalMounter is a 2.50 MB download, and will work on Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003/Vista/Windows 7/Server 2008. 64-bit version is also available.

I have checked the TotalMounter setup with VirusTotal, and its absolutely clean.

Product page: http://www.kernsafe.com/product/totalmounter.aspx

Download Page: http://www.kernsafe.com/download.aspx

User Manual in PDF format: http://www.kernsafe.com/white-papers/totalmounter-data-sheet.aspx

Video tutorial on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROn0WLszGg4
 

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Comments

by pfurrie on 26. December 2011 - 14:42  (86015)

It was a long road to find this kind of software, but happy I could find a working CD burner emulator.

Installation went fine, and was pleased that it didn't require me to reboot my system to make it work. After the installation, I ran the program, and fiddled with it for a few minutes. Using the "Mount" menu and choosing the "Virtual CD/DVD-RW" item is the way to get at CD burner emulator. You are given a couple of options for the virtual disk: CD or DVD, new disk or existing (I assume to add content to a previous "burn" session), and file path. I selected a location on the desktop in order to test the burning capabilities.

My test was to make a Windows 7 repair disk directly to an ISO file. The repair disk creation utility in Windows requires the user to go directly to a CD, but I wanted to avoid that step and go directly to an ISO, and from there move it to a multi-boot USB thumb drive. And, it turns out, the repair disk creation utility worked just fine with TotalMounter. I ended up with an ISO file, just as I had hoped. I compared it to a real CD version of the repair disk, and it is identical (as hoped).

The program interface does have an "ad window" at the bottom, but it appears to only be showing items from their own company, and doesn't appear to be a problem at all.

by Anupam on 26. December 2011 - 15:11  (86016)

Glad it worked well for you :). It has still some bugs, and will need to be removed, but atleast the program has started to work as it should.

To check if the ISO has been generated successfully, and it works, you can mount it on TotalMounter itself, to read it. Or, you can also use software like MagicDisc.

by Anonymous123 (not verified) on 11. September 2011 - 3:01  (79399)

Problems doing install/install on XP SP3. Stack overflow in DriverInstall.exe (*). The application log contains entries for:

"Faulting application DriverInstall.exe, version 1.2.5.901, faulting module DriverInstall.exe, version 1.2.5.901, fault address 0x000013e5."

Drivers appeared to be correctly installed, but they conflict with XP entering suspend mode and cause a hang. (Power off, then reboot). I've been unable to capture a dump.

During startup, the following is in the system log: event 9 for KScsiPrt:

\Device\Scsi\KScsiPrt1

0000: 0f 00 10 00 01 00 6a 00 ......j.
0008: 00 00 00 00 09 00 04 c0 .......À
0010: 01 01 00 50 00 00 00 00 ...P....

(*) This is from the Visual Studio Debugger started by Dr. Watson.

by Radekb (not verified) on 26. June 2012 - 5:43  (95385)

I noticed same behavior with Win 7 64bit.
I am going to uninstall TotalMounter after use.

by Anupam on 20. September 2011 - 8:07  (79940)

Sorry for a delayed response. I had to test it on my XP SP3. I had tested on SP2 earlier when I wrote the article.

TotalMounter worked fine on XP SP3. I think there might be some sort of conflict with drivers on your system.
You should post it on TotalMounter forum.

by PlayHardAllDay on 8. September 2011 - 22:05  (79249)

I was eager to try this program, but, unforfunately, it triggered BSOD and memory dumps. I didn't have the patience to troubleshoot it today, but, the errors disappeared after uninstalling.

Win 7 64/SP1

I have an Iomega NSD which may have had conflicting drivers. If I conclude that TotalMounter was not the culprit, I will update my post.

Regards,

Jesse B.

by Anupam on 9. September 2011 - 5:06  (79262)

Thanks for feedback. If you encounter the problem again, you can post about it on the TotalMounter forum, and they will look into it.

You can also post on our forum too. The link for both has been provided in article.

by ekadim on 8. September 2011 - 6:14  (79187)

Thank you Anupam! You would remember my posts in the forum thread you mentioned above (https://www.techsupportalert.com/freeware-forum/freeware-installation-an...).

Till the last spring, I kept on checking the website but then I lost my hope in its development. But now, seeing the article you prepared and a final working update, I am very glad. Your article is clear, detailed enough.

Thank you for all your efforts.

by Anupam on 8. September 2011 - 6:20  (79188)

I remember very well ekadim :). I know you will be very glad, I am too :D. I too had lost hope in the development of TotalMounter, but I am glad that they kept on with the development, and finally we have a working product.

Thanks for the kind appreciation :).

by Matt_Williams (not verified) on 8. September 2011 - 3:28  (79177)

Anupam,

Thank you for this article! It really shows for what you can use TotalMounter and allows other users to decide if they need such tool or not.

I hope it can benefit to everyone and if someone will have any suggestions, just please visit one of linked forums and ask your question there.

Matt Williams
KernSafe Technologies

by Anupam on 8. September 2011 - 5:24  (79181)

You are welcome Matt :). I hope TotalMounter develops into a really fine program. Best wishes!

by Rick_S (not verified) on 8. September 2011 - 0:43  (79172)

Sarah Susie, I believe that I can answer your question, since I have used virtual drives for several years. I create them whenever I am need to read a data disk over and over, such as a complex tutorial on a disk, something I am going to be showing to others many times, or computer games that need the disk inserted to play. The virtual disks save thr original disk from any possible harm, since once they are created, the original can be put away safe and sound. As for the virtual burner, I would probably use it for saving off a something that I was working on that was long and complex, to keep it safe from viruses. A manuscript, a project plan or doument, a presentat ion for work, etc. The virtual drive is seen as separate from your hard drive, and safe. A small partition, if you will. The main hard drive could even be reformatted, and it would not affect the virtual drive data. I am sure others have more ideas for uses than I do. :-)

by Sarah Susie (not verified) on 8. September 2011 - 3:09  (79176)

Here is an example of not enough explanation, why would I want to do this: "To mount your first virtual CD/DVD ROM using any of the following image types...please do as follows..." versus this: "Using this option, you may mount a virtual burner that will burn all data directly to ISO file, which can be later mounted as a virtual CD/DVD ROM." (This was taken from the Users Manual).

There's not enough information to know which option to use here. It sounds like they may be the same but they are listed as different options to select, so evidently they're different.

Confusing, to say the least.

SS

by Anupam on 8. September 2011 - 5:36  (79184)

They are indeed different. A virtual burner will create an image file, which can be thought of as a virtual disc. A virtual CD/DVD ROM can only read these virtual discs, while a CD/DVD RW can write to such virtual discs.

So, when you mount a virtual CD/DVD RW, it will burn a virtual disc(image file). Now, if you want to read that image file, or access its contents, then you have to mount a virtual CD/DVD ROM.

TotalMounter has the ability to perform these two jobs, that is, it can write to a virtual disc, as well as read from the virtual disc, that it created.

I hope its a little more clear now :).

by Mike C on 7. September 2011 - 19:57  (79165)

I was just wondering what is the difference between burning a virtual disc and creating, for instance, an .iso file with ImgBurn? Burning always implied to me the actual burning to a physical disc. In other words, would this program do anything more than could be done with a combination of Alcohol 52% or CloneDrive, and ImgBurn or IsoMaker? I understand that it may be a more all-in-one package.
For Ms. Suzie, I would say that an image disc file is like a combination of various folder(s) and/or files wrapped in one container, that has a single extension (in other words, a single file.) For instance, I rip a Dvd (which is a bunch of folders and files) to a single image disc file and then watch it with VLC media viewer. If I find that I want to rip one scene from that image, I can 'mount' it in a virtual drive (like it was a physical Dvd) and author out a scene for a presentation, say for work or church. As mentioned by garth, there are wonderful tutorials regarding this on the Internet. Most of my schooling came from the Videohelp website. I've only touched on this slightly.

by ianjrichards (not verified) on 7. September 2011 - 23:30  (79170)

The main difference is that Windows sees a virtual burner as a writeable device. This means that data can be added to or deleted from the "drive" at will.

In contrast an image file created by ImgBurn or similar product is read only. You cannot change its contents without re-creating another image file. With a virtual burner you can do this on the fly.

This is useful for creating and testing CDs and DVDs prior to physically burning a disk. For example you could create a customized Linux boot CD and test it fully before burning it.

Some applications may also need be run from a writable device such as a hard drive or USB flash drive. These could be run using a virtual burner but not from an image file mounted as a virtual drive. Used in this way a virtual burner can be thought of as a virtual hard drive. As such it shares the benefit of a much faster access times and data transfer rates compared to a physical disk drive.

Gizmo

by Sarah Susie (not verified) on 7. September 2011 - 14:40  (79141)

Can someone put this in plain English?
Why don't you just burn a cd/dvd?
What is the "mounting" you speak of?
Are not image files created by photo-type software (.jpg, .png)?

by Anupam on 8. September 2011 - 5:28  (79182)

Sarah, this article was written for such users who already have an idea of burning discs, disc image files, virtual drives, virtual burning etc.

So, its obvious that anyone who is not familiar with these terms will find the article difficult to understand.

Its not possible to explain things here, as it will take up much space. I invite you to join our forum

http://www.techsupportalert.com/freeware-forum/

where we can ask questions, and we will gladly answer them, and explain things in simple terms.

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