How to Mount an ISO File for Local Playback

Part Three Of Our Multi-Part DVD How-To!

1) How To Decrypt and Copy / Backup a DVD For Free
2) How To Copy an ISO File to a DVD
3) How to Mount an ISO File for Local Playback
4) How To Strip DVD Movies For Your Zune / Ipod / Iphone

So you made a backup copy of your favorite DVD and you now know how to burn that ISO file back to a DVD for safekeeping.

But let’s say you don’t want to carry around several DVD’s, yet you want them to be accessible for a vacation, business trip, etc.

If you have the ISO files saved on your hard drive you can use MagicDisk to create a “virtual” CD/DVD drive. Once you create a virtual drive you can “mount” the ISO image and it’s just like you popped the CD or DVD into your regular CD / DVD Drive. Sounds a little complicated? It’s not.

Here we go:

1) Download and install MagicDisk

2) You may be asked to reboot, if so, reboot.

3) You will now see and icon on your desktop and one in your tool tray.

If you don’t see one in your tool tray, find the MagicDisk icon on your desktop and click it to start the program. You may want to create a shortcut in your STARTUP folder so it launches when you boot.

4) Click the icon in your tool tray and you will get a pop-up menu:

5) Click Virtual CD/DVD-ROM -> NO MEDIA -> MOUNT …

6) Select the location of the ISO file (or any of the other supported filetypes) you want to mount.

7) The Autorun sequence will start up just as if you had popped a CD or DVD in a real drive!

Side note: If you were to click My Computer you will see that there is an additional CD/DVD drive available. This is the virtual drive we just created.

Imagine having 10 or 20 ISO images saved on your laptop and being able to watch movies just by loading them virtually! Not only does this cut down on the amount of stuff you need to carry, it prevents things from getting broken or stolen. Games will also run over 200x faster when mounted virtually.

But best of all – mounting images instead of loading disks increases your battery life because you are not spinning up a real CD or DVD drive!

When you are finished, UNMOUNT the image by following the same steps – and choosing UNMOUNT ALL DRIVES

MagicDisk has several more features you can explore – poke around! This is another fantastic Freeware program.

As always, if you have a better way of doing something I have mentioned or have questions / comments. Please let me know!

A Free, MUCH Faster Alternative to Adobe Acrobat Reader

Is it just me or is Adobe acrobat reader bloated and slow? Uninstall it and get Foxit Reader.


Foxit Reader is a free PDF document viewer, with incredible small size (only 2.55 M download size), super-fast launch speed and rich feature set. Foxit Reader supports Windows Me/2000/XP/2003/Vista.

In the past, you’ve had to download a huge PDF reader from Adobe, go through a lengthy installation process and wait for an annoying splash window to disappear just to open a PDF document. Moreover, if you want to annotate a PDF document, you have to pay US$299 to buy the full version.

Now with Foxit Reader, you don’t have to endure such pain any more. The following is a list of compelling advantages of Foxit Reader:

  • Incredibly small: The download size of Foxit Reader is only 2.55 M which is a fraction of Acrobat Reader 20 M size.
  • Breezing-fast: When you run Foxit Reader, it launches instantly without any delay. You are not forced to view an annoying splash window displaying company logo, author names, etc.
  • Annotation tool: Have you ever wished to annotate (or comment on) a PDF document when you are reading it? Foxit Reader allows you to draw graphics, highlight text, type text and make notes on a PDF document and then print out or save the annotated document.
  • Text converter: You may convert the whole PDF document into a simple text file.
  • High security and privacy: Foxit Reader highly respects the security and privacy of users and will never connect to the Internet without users’ permission. While other PDF readers often silently connect to the Internet in the background. Foxit PDF Reader does not contain any spyware.

Foxit Reader 2.3 was just released. The new version includes a multimedia player feature allowing Foxit users to not only read PDFs, but to watch and listen to the audio/video elements coming with PDFs as well.

Installation is straight-forward, no hidden settings or toolbar installers, etc.

Instead of Adobe acrobat Reader use Foxit Reader.

How To Copy an ISO File to a DVD

Part Two Of Our Multi-Part DVD How-To!

1) How To Decrypt and Copy / Backup a DVD For Free
2) How To Copy an ISO File to a DVD
3) How to Mount an ISO File for Local Playback
4) How To Strip DVD Movies For Your Zune / Ipod / Iphone

Ok, so you have created an ISO file backup of your treasured Electra Woman and Dyna Girl DVD. In the meantime you stepped on the original DVD and now you want to make a new one from your backup.

Buckle up – here we go.

First, Download the latest version of ImgBurn. Second, Install it. Good Job.

The latest version of ImgBurn has a MODE -> EZ MODE PICKER. In this mode you would select Write Image File To Disk:

The alternative would be to select Mode -> Write. They’ll both get you to the same screen.

Simply select the SOURCE file (Your ISO file you created in the last How To article) and use the icon of the folder with the green plus sign to select the ISO file you want to burn back to a DVD.

Leave the Write Speed at AUTO.

Insert a blank DVD and  . . . WAIT! Did you know there are two major DVD sizes?

  • Single Layer (4.7GB)
  • Dual/Double Layer (8.5GB)

Make sure you have the right size blank DVD. How? Right click on the ISO file you want to burn and choose Properties. How big is it? Moving on . . .

Insert the blank DVD, close anything that auto-starts and in IMGBurn select the Go Icon!

And away it goes! I usually select Eject Tray and Verify:

ImgBurn is probably my favorite “Burn Something To  Disk or DVD” program. It’s very easy to use, simple and intuitive. Play around with it, experiment. I think you’ll quickly grow to love it too.

OK, next up we have 2 more parts to this series:

3) How to Mount an ISO File for Local Playback
4) How To Strip DVD Movies For Your Zune / Ipod / Iphone

As always, I love hearing your comments about these articles. Like it? Got a better way? Leave a comment!

How To Decrypt and Copy / Backup a DVD For Free

Here Comes Another Multi-Part How To!

1) How To Decrypt and Copy / Backup a DVD For Free
2) How To Copy an ISO File to a DVD
3) How to Mount an ISO File for Local Playback
4) How To Strip DVD Movies For Your Zune / Ipod / Iphone

If you own a DVD, you should be able to make a backup copy and you should be able to watch it on the devices you own. Here is one of the easiest ways to do so. It takes several steps but I have assembled all of the software you need in this handy 5 meg zip file: RipIt4Me

In this lesson we are going to make an exact 1-to-1 copy of your DVD. .

Ready? OK.

1) Download the RipIt4Me bundle – Save it to your desktop or wherever you save zip files.

2) Unzip the zip file. You will have 3 items, a READ ME, a “RipIt4MeWithInstaller” folder and a “RipIt4MeWithoutInstaller” folder. Read the READ ME.

3) Create a Folder on your Desktop called “DVDs” or something similar. This is where the working copies of the DVDs will be stored. We will delete them at the end to free up the space.

4) Pop a DVD in your DVD drive and close whatever pop-ups and programs it tries to run. (You can also  hold down the SHIFT key when you insert the DVD. This will tell windows not to run any programs for the DVD.)

5) Open the “RipIt4MeWithoutInstaller” and select RipIt4Me

a) You might get a pop-up saying you have an older version of one of the programs like DVD Decrypter. You can ignore it and everything will work fine, of you can click YES and get the latest version – just replace the file in the “RipIt4MeWithoutInstaller” folder with the newer copy.

b) If RipIt4Me asks for the location of another program point it to the correct one in the “RipIt4MeWithoutInstaller” folder

6) You should now see the RipIt4Me Screen:

There are two ways to proceed, we can do the 1-Click Mode or the Wizard Mode. If you are going to do the 1-Click mode you need to check the settings in advance so click on LOGS/SETTINGS and select PREFERENCES.

We need to tell RipIt4Me where it’s helper programs are.

1) Check “Base path for target rips”
2) Check “Path to Decrypter:”
3) Check “Path to Shrink:”

When I say “Check” I mean click the box with the period in it and tell RipIt4Me where the helper programs are. (They are in the “RipIt4MeWithoutInstaller” folder – Remember?)

Here is a screen-shot of my settings. Note that almost all of the boxes are checked:

So our DVD is in the drive, Settings have been checked, let’s have at it! Click 1-Click Mode.

The program will read the DVD drive and fill in the blanks.

1) Make sure your “Target Directory for DVD files” is correct. (We set this up above as “1) Check “Base path for target rips“)

2) Click “Make DVD jump to menu upon insertion

Here I am backing up a Space 1999 DVD for safe keeping:

Hit Next, You might get a pop-up about virtual player and setup panel – just hit OK:

What the program is doing is telling you that you need to set the language. Assuming you speak English click the “en” in the box on the left and the three option boxes will change to English. The DVD will also be region free! You should only have to do this the first time you run these programs.

Hit OK and DVD Decrypter will fire up.

If you get any weird errors about PSL (Protected Sector List) don’t sweat it. Hit Ok, Yes, etc.

In the worst case it will throw you back to the RipIt4Me menu – Just click the 1 Click Mode button again and DVD Decrypter will work on the second go around. It may or may not auto-run when you get to the screen that looks like this:

You can see the log file in the bottom Window. All the encrypted crap has been detected:

19:25:30 Found 1 DVD±RW!
19:25:34 Protected Sectors List Imported Successfully!
19:25:34 20 areas have been marked as ‘suspect’.
19:25:34 Dummy sectors will be inserted where necessary.

In the top window of the image above, highlighted in blue, you see the .VOB files. The bigger VOBs are the movie parts. The smaller VOBs are menus and previews and special features. Anyway – If DVDDecrypter is waiting – click:

We are now decrypting the DVD and making a copy of the files in a temporary directory. We will still have to take those files and create something watchable. More on that in a moment.

If you got any weird errors up to this point or your laptop tried to hibernate, just (turn off hibernation) start again. Be patient, it will work.  Just reply to any errors you get, go back to the RipIt4Me screen and click 1 -Click Mode. I actually had all that happen to me while writing this. I am using a virgin laptop with Windows XP on it and muttered WTF a few times, but like I said, just reply to any errors you get, go back to the RipIt4Me screen and click 1 -Click Mode again.

When everything is chugging away as it should it will look like this:

Go get a cup of coffee, this will take a few minutes . . .

Once DVD Decrypter finishes, RipIt4Me will start cleaning up the VOB files and making final preparations:

What we have accomplished up to this point is to break any encryption that was on the DVD and make copies of the files that make up the DVD to our hard drive. But those files alone can’t really be read by anything. We want to “recompile” all this separate files back into a single file – an ISO.

Ok, I’m Lying – VLC player will play them. But the files are huge and have ugly names:

Let’s finish making our disk image, our ISO file.

When DVD Decrypter is finished DVD Shrink will start up, scan the video and open up this window:

Select BACKUP!, then change the Select Backup Target to ISO Image File and select where you would like to save the ISO image file to. Like So:

The program was a little uncooperative here when I tried to save the ISO to my desktop so I selected MY DOCUMENTS. I’ll just move it later.

You will now see your DVD’s video playing in fast motion:

Once you are done,

  1. Close down any programs we used.
  2. Delete the temporary DVD files from your hard drive.
  3. Locate the ISO image file.

That ISO image file is a direct 1-to-1 back up of your DVD. Store it somewhere safe on your hard drive.

How to restore or copy the ISO file to something watchable will be addressed in . . .

2) How To Copy an ISO File to a DVD
3) How to Mount an ISO File for Local Playback

This procedure takes a while the first time, but print these directions out and follow along. I haven’t met a DVD yet that I couldn’t back up this way. You’ll get the hang of it and be backing up your Sigmund and The Sea Monsters DVDs in no time.

Did you notice we never discussed the “RipIt4MeWithInstaller”folder? Same programs, the difference was way back in Step 2 – Read the Read Me file.

Problems? Questions? Suggestions? Please leave ’em in the comments!

Where To Download the Google Chrome Browser

Unless you were sleeping under a rock today, you must know that Google has created it’s first web-browser. Originally the comic book was leaked, then Google followed up by releasing the application for download.

Google “Chrome” is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier.

One box for everything
Type in the address bar and get suggestions for both search and web pages.

Thumbnails of your top sites
Access your favorite pages instantly with lightning speed from any new tab.

Shortcuts for your apps
Get desktop shortcuts to launch your favorite web applications.

List of Features

Go Get Yourself a Copy (Windows Only)

So far the first thing I have noticed is that it is FAST. Notably faster than Firefox.

Second thing I noticed is that I am seeing ads because I cant use Adblock plus . . .

I don’t think I will be abandoning Firefox anytime soon, but its fun to be able to say you installed Google’s first web-browser the day it was released!