CDs and DVDs can store a lot of data, but over time they have a tendency to get lost or damaged. When either of these tragic events happens the data on the disc becomes unusable or impossible to recover. Follow these steps to create a digital archive of all of your software discs and never have to worry about these issues again.
First you'll need to download and install Daemon Tools. For general use the Lite version will provide all the options you'll need--and it's free! However, there is also a Pro version if you're feeling adventurous.
To create an image
Step 1: Insert a CD or DVD into your computer's disc drive.
Step 2: Right-click on the Daemon Tools icon in the Windows System Tray and select "Make Disc Image..."
Step 3: Select your computer's CD/DVD drive from the drop-down list at the top of the window.
Step 4: Adjust the location where you'd like to save the new image file.
Step 5: Cllick "Start" to begin creating your image.
Once the process completes you will have a digital copy of the CD or DVD. You can now store the physical disc with less worry about it being damaged or lost.
To use a CD image
Step 1: Right click on the Daemon Tools icon in the Windows System Tray and navigate to "Virtual Devices."
Step 2: Select the virtual drive you wish to use and then click on "Mount Image" from the menu that appears.
Step 3: Navigate to the image you want to mount and select "Open" to mount the image to your virtual drive.
If Autoplay is enabled on your computer, then the CD's or DVD's auto-run program will open up for you as though you had just inserted it into your computer's physical disc drive. If this is not the case, then you can open Computer and see the disc loaded in a new virtual drive, listed under "Devices with Removable Storage."