Drive emulators can be useful for testing purposes as well as for saving the hassle of changing discs frequently. Furthermore, they come in handy when dealing with disc image files; ISOs, IMGs, etc. While most emulators offer the ability to mount images to virtual drives, they do not allow modification to the image, or creation of your own disc image. There are some advanced tools that come with this functionality, but most of them are not free. TotalMounter is an advanced and powerful free optical disc emulator for Windows coming with a rich feature-set and supporting CD/DVD-ROM/RW/RAM functions.
Where it differs from other software is it’s ability to create a virtualized CD/DVD-RW drive and allow the user to burn their own data into this image using a disc burning software. The virtual drive is mounted as a regular feature (standard) optical drive and burning software will recognize it as one. The user can also specify the size of the image file. This tool works with most image file formats, including iso, bin, cdi, mdf, ccd, nrg etc.
Furthermore, TotalMounter is also a full-featured iSCSI initiator as well as being a client of INetDisk for mounting to an INedDisk server. Refer to the product page for the full overview of features being offered. The settings dialog allows the user to select whether to start TotalMounter on Windows startup and the path to be used as temporary storage.
The software’s memory footprint ranges between 12-13MB, and generally will not boggle your system down in any way. One of the downsides is that its disc emulation drivers are not signed for Windows 7, and hence you will have to allow an unsigned install, leaving the possibility that the software may become buggy at points, although our testing with Windows 7 went seamless.