There's plenty of software to mount an .iso image for reading, but is there anything (for Windows XP) that would do the reverse, i.e. act as an "virtual CD-R drive" so that burning onto it would result in an .iso image to be created? Like PDF printer drivers, but for CD-R.

I have a legacy application that can only burn onto CD, but I would like it to create .isos instead.

  • It's an interesting idea you have. I don't think its been done, but it should be trivial for a driver writer. Do you have a need for this other than academic curiosity? – Justin Dearing Oct 4 '09 at 17:07
  • What is the legacy application? It may have command line switches available as well which you could utilize to pipe the data to another application and create an ISO. – John T Oct 4 '09 at 17:07
  • interesting problem. what's the application? where is its data coming from? – quack quixote Oct 4 '09 at 17:09
  • The app is Steinberg Wavelab Essential. It's an old audio editor, but it does all I need (except the .iso:s). – Joonas Pulakka Oct 4 '09 at 17:13
  • what will these ISOs contain? if it's just data files you've worked on, can't you find those in the filesystem, and use a standard tool like ImgBurn? or is it more than that? i guess i'm trying to figure out if another burning tool can help recreate what you get from this legacy app. or what this does that another app can't. ...if the app is just creating backup CDs of data you've edited, that's no problem with ImgBurn; if it's just creating audio CDs from your wavs, EAC can do that. – quack quixote Oct 4 '09 at 17:35

Phantom Burner does exactly what you're looking for, the only downside is that it's not free - $29.95.

Phantom Burner is a virtual CD-R/DVD+RW/DVD-RAM/BD-RE/CD-ROM/DVD-ROM/BD-ROM emulator. It extends the ability of Phantom CD by adding burner emulation. It not only allows you to mount disc image files as virtual CD, DVD or Blu-ray discs, but also lets you create disc image files by burning to the virtual CD-R/DVD+RW/DVD-RAM/BD-RE burner drive, from using any disc burning software.


Here is another one, even costlier then John's burner ($39,95).

Virtual CD

The Virtual CD program not only lets you create virtual drives-you can create virtual CD burners, too. A VCD virtual burner can be used with any Windows application just like a physical CD/DVD burner. You can put together your choice of CD content, even video DVD material, and burn it on a virtual CD. This is a great way to test the results without wasting a physical blank. And that's just one example of the possibilities.

A virtual drive that has been configured as a burner can also be used as a virtual encrypted hard disk. All you have to do is insert a virtual DVD-RAM in the virtual burner, which has the same properties for reading and writing data as a hard drive, and activate the optional encryption feature. Absolute data security, easy as 1-2-3!


and another one ...

Original CD/CDRW/DVD Emulator

Original CD Emulator now works as virtual CDRW drive.

Original CD Emulator is shareware (USD 34.95), try before you buy.

  • Tried this one out and can't get it to work. Not sure if it has something to do with the fact I'm working in a VM. – Jared Harley Jan 3 '10 at 1:22
  • oh dear, double-virtualization, so to speak? :) – Molly7244 Jan 3 '10 at 1:24

As ~quack mentioned, ImgBurn should work quite well for building images.


Folder2ISO can create ISO from folders and it is a lightweight tool that helps you create ISO images.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.