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ImDisk Toolkit

imdisk toolkit ramdiskui discutils image file mount

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#1 v77

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 01:36 PM

This thread is dedicated to the ImDisk Toolkit. This all-in-one package gathers several tools to let you mount many formats of image files and making a ramdisk with only a few clicks.
 
This includes the ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver, the DiscUtils library for managing the formats of image files like VHD, VDI, VMDK, etc., the RamDisk Configuration Tool (RamDiskUI), and some new GUI to use the capabilities of DiscUtils directly from Explorer and add some features.
 
Please note that RamDiskUI is no longer available alone, but can be used exactly like before. It has no dependency (except, of course, the ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver) and uses the same parameters than the previous versions.
 
 
You can download the installer of the ImDisk Toolkit and the sources here:
 
https://sourceforge....imdisk-toolkit/
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#2 v77

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 09:24 PM

Here is a new version with the following changes:

 

- Vista and later: improved detection of used drives: some network drives will no longer be erroneously displayed in the list of MountImg.exe and the basic tab of RamDiskUI.exe

- installer: now unchecks the ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver component if its installation is not needed

- minor fixes and improvements

 

The first point modifies the way that MountImg.exe and RamDiskUI.exe are requesting the admin rights, so you will no longer see the little shield on the shortcuts and the executables.



#3 v77

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 06:02 PM

Version 20130325:

- fix in MountImg.exe: an inappropriate error message was displayed after a volume was correctly mounted (bug introduced in 20130316)
- improved handling in case of file copy errors during install
 

Sorry for the very annoying bug introduced some days ago in the Mount Image File GUI. It is now fixed. This bug was related to the new automatic refresh of the drive list, who changes when mounting, so an incorrect drive letter was checked.


Edited by v77, 25 March 2013 - 06:05 PM.


#4 Acenyc

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 01:59 PM

Can you explain exactly what this utility does?

Thanks.



#5 v77

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 04:48 PM

Can you explain exactly what this utility does?

Thanks.

 

Basically, it does the same that the ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver: mounting virtual disks, that is to say, an image file of a hard disk (or cd-rom/floppy), or a virtual disk created in RAM, usually called "RamDisk".

 

This toolkit extends the possibilities of the driver by increasing the number of supported image file formats and by adding some handy GUIs and some features related to the image file mounting or the ramdisks.

 

 

I can hardly be more accurate than that. But I must admit that the description is not complete enough. So, I will try to add something. Thanks for this useful question. :)



#6 Acenyc

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 10:11 PM

Thank you for the explanation. One more question because I'm kind of new to all this. In what situations would you want or need to use this utility?

Thanks again.



#7 v77

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:19 PM

Thank you for the explanation. One more question because I'm kind of new to all this. In what situations would you want or need to use this utility?

Thanks again.

 

I am using myself a RamDisk, notably for the advantages of non-persistant datas at the system shutdown, but also for some convenient aspects like having a temporary (and fast) space easy to reach.

 

Also using virtual machines, I sometimes need to mount the image file of a given machine for some actions, like modifying a system file without the interference of the running system, or comparing a whole (virtual) hard drive content with another one after some actions.

If you are not familiar with the virtual machines, I suggest you to simply do a Google search with "virtual machine", but also do a search of images to quickly see what it means.

 

But all this is only my own current usage. It is difficult to imagine all possible scenarios. Moreover, a developer is not always the better user of his own applications... ^_^


Edited by v77, 26 March 2013 - 11:21 PM.


#8 Reith

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 10:31 AM

Thank you for sharing this. I was just wondering, do you have a full list of all the file extensions/image file types it can support?



#9 v77

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 04:47 PM

Thank you for sharing this. I was just wondering, do you have a full list of all the file extensions/image file types it can support?

 

Well, this is definitely the most difficult question for this tool...  :suda:

 

Because of issues on some formats and different versions a format may have, it is quite difficult to get an exhaustive list.

I have tested ISO, NRG, BIN, VDI, VMDK and VHD. It probably works with UDF, DMG, SDI and XVA file formats, but not yet tested (not easy to get all these formats). It should support WIM, but this doesn't work for all samples I have.

Moreover, some formats has limitations, like the impossibility to write into an ISO file.

 

For this reasons, I prefer to not give an official full list. For now, the better is definitely to try it yourself.



#10 Olof Lagerkvist

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 08:29 PM

Well, this is definitely the most difficult question for this tool...  :suda:

 

Because of issues on some formats and different versions a format may have, it is quite difficult to get an exhaustive list.

I have tested ISO, NRG, BIN, VDI, VMDK and VHD. It probably works with UDF, DMG, SDI and XVA file formats, but not yet tested (not easy to get all these formats).

 

I can add that I have successfully tested .dmg with ImDisk/DiscUtils and Apple filesystem driver for Windows.



#11 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 08:48 PM

I have tested ISO, NRG, BIN, VDI, VMDK and VHD.

Allow me to doubt this :w00t: :ph34r:

 

At least VMDK and VHD can be (each of them) of MANY different sub-kind.

 

While both VMDK and VHD "static" should have NO issues whatsoever, "dynamic" (or "growing" or "sparse"), "mulltipart", "incremental" types are very likely to be NOT supported.

 

VMDK types:

http://sanbarrow.com.../disktypes.html

VHD types:

http://blogs.technet...-explained.aspx

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#12 v77

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 09:06 PM

I can add that I have successfully tested .dmg with ImDisk/DiscUtils and Apple filesystem driver for Windows.

 

I just have tested it, without success. The only software I just found to create a .dmg file, TransMac, can only format it with HFS, which is not supported by Windows. But after formatting, it works perfectly.

 

 

Allow me to doubt this :w00t: :ph34r:

 

At least VMDK and VHD can be (each of them) of MANY different sub-kind.

 

While both VMDK and VHD "static" should have NO issues whatsoever, "dynamic" (or "growing" or "sparse"), "mulltipart", "incremental" types are very likely to be NOT supported.

 

VMDK types:

http://sanbarrow.com.../disktypes.html

VHD types:

http://blogs.technet...-explained.aspx

 

:cheers:

Wonko

 

VDI, VMDK and VHD dynamic files created with VirtualBox can be mounted without any problem.

But, of course, the VMDK multipart files don't work.

Edit: the VMDK multipart files also work, if we mount the correct file. :P


Edited by v77, 27 March 2013 - 09:13 PM.


#13 v77

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 10:08 PM

I would like to also say it is probably the ability to mount dynamic files who had given me the will to make the mounting GUI and, then, the Toolkit.


Edited by v77, 27 March 2013 - 10:08 PM.


#14 Olof Lagerkvist

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 10:19 PM

While both VMDK and VHD "static" should have NO issues whatsoever, "dynamic" (or "growing" or "sparse"), "mulltipart", "incremental" types are very likely to be NOT supported.

 

Such formats are supported by redirecting image file access through DiscUtils. DiscUtils library supports many different kinds of image file formats, both dynamic, static, differential and similar. Even the new vhdx format is (at least partially) supported in latest versions.

 

I just have tested it, without success. The only software I just found to create a .dmg file, TransMac, can only format it with HFS, which is not supported by Windows. But after formatting, it works perfectly.

 

To mount HFS on WIndows you also need Apple filesystem driver for Windows. The one I used was called AppleHFS.sys and was from some Apple CD, I don't remember which one. I just registered the filesystem driver with sc create .... type= filesystem and it all worked out perfectly.

 

By the way, Olof, is there a particular reason that the mounting of ISO files fails with DiscUtilsDevio.exe? DiscUtils is supposed to support it...

 

I have never thought about that, but, without looking at the code, I would say that it probably only works with harddisk images. DiscUtilsDevio was written with partitioned harddisk images in mind and not much else. Especially since .iso images can be mounted directly by ImDisk, there has been no practical reason to test it, either.



#15 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 08:06 AM

VDI, VMDK and VHD dynamic files created with VirtualBox can be mounted without any problem.

But, of course, the VMDK multipart files don't work.

Edit: the VMDK multipart files also work, if we mount the correct file. :P

Good :).

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#16 v77

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 11:17 AM

Version 20130406:

 

- updated to driver 1.7.1
- RamDiskUI.exe: awealloc can now be used for mounting an image file
- fix in MountImg.exe: files with .raw extension or without extension was
  incorrectly mounted because of a wrong file type detection
- minor fixes and improvements

 

I finally changed my mind and added in the description a non exhaustive list of the supported formats. It may give a more accurate idea of the possibilities of the toolkit.



#17 v77

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 11:03 AM

Version 20130419:
- added in MountImg.exe: a mount point can now be defined instead of a drive letter
- added in MountImg.exe: if the file does not exist, you will be prompted to create a new raw file
- fix in MountImg.exe: some .nrg files were not properly mounted
- fix in MountImg.exe on XP: Explorer was displaying an error message after a volume was successfully mounted
- minor fixes and improvements

 

As we can see on this forum, some users prefer to mount their image files into a folder instead of a drive letter. So, I decided to do something about this. :)

For now, the mount points can only be unmounted by using the dedicated button in the mounting tool (displayed when you select "Mount Point"), or with the command line.

 

This version also has a lot of bug fixes, especially in MountImg.exe and setup.exe (install, uninstall and General Settings).


Edited by v77, 19 April 2013 - 11:04 AM.


#18 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 04:35 PM

The original post that was here was "manually" reposted on the split thread, here:
http://reboot.pro/to...et-20/?p=172085
 
:cheers:
Wonko

#19 Olof Lagerkvist

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 09:04 PM

Just FYI, I moved posts related to DiscUtils, vhd, vmdk, .NET 4.0 vs 2.0 etc to a new topic.

 

There is however some problem with the forum software which makes it impossible to move Wonko's post above. :dubbio: Sorry for that.



#20 Nethan

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 09:56 PM

Hi,

 

I want to ask few questions regarding the creation of correct CDROM images for your toolkit, and about the choice of DiscUtils.

 

I mean, DiscUtils is a .NET library and as .NET is a pretty big framework, I wonder if it doesn't cost too much memory to use :confused1: I am unsuccessful to know how much on my Windows 7 system, but I am not an expert... I want to remove Daemon Tools for a more small and useful solution (as I need a ramdisk too), so you can understand my doubts  :smiling9:

 

The second question is about making correct images. Nearly everything I have use the standard ISO format, but I have some BIN and IMG too (old games with data + audio, ISO can't do that)... and I failed to make them work with the toolkit. But I wonder if it is because this files are not alone (the BIN has a CUE, I tried too and failed) but I don't know how get just the BIN for exemple. I still have the original discs, so can someone give me an idea of what I need to create a correct file ?



#21 v77

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 12:42 AM

I mean, DiscUtils is a .NET library and as .NET is a pretty big framework, I wonder if it doesn't cost too much memory to use :confused1: I am unsuccessful to know how much on my Windows 7 system, but I am not an expert... I want to remove Daemon Tools for a more small and useful solution (as I need a ramdisk too), so you can understand my doubts  :smiling9:

 

The second question is about making correct images. Nearly everything I have use the standard ISO format, but I have some BIN and IMG too (old games with data + audio, ISO can't do that)... and I failed to make them work with the toolkit. But I wonder if it is because this files are not alone (the BIN has a CUE, I tried too and failed) but I don't know how get just the BIN for exemple. I still have the original discs, so can someone give me an idea of what I need to create a correct file ?

 

Fortunately, only the needed components of .NET are loaded. I have just tried to mount a .vdi file and taken a look at the RAM usage. On Windows XP, the entire process of mounting has increase the used RAM by 15 MB. The same test on Windows 7 64bits increases the load by 22 MB (64bits code is usually bigger). Sounds quite reasonable.

About the BIN and IMG images, there is indeed some files who cannot be mounted with ImDisk. I, too, have some old games on these formats (PSX games), and this does not work.

Despite this, if you really need manage this kind of image file and are searching for something lighter that Deamon Tools, you can for now take a look at ISO Toolkit. It can mount these .bin files, and I also successfully mounted a .img by renaming it into a .bin.



#22 v77

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 02:59 PM

Version 20130513:
- updated to driver 1.7.2
- ImDisk-UAC.exe: no longer uses CRT library to reduce size of executable, this also removes some false positives of antivirus

 

(an issue prevents me to upload the source, I will do as soon as it will be fixed)



#23 Nethan

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 09:12 AM

Hi, sorry for the late response (damn week...)

 

Thanks for your answer. This is not a big consumption so I will keep it. About the ISOs problem, I think I will keep an instance of ISO Toolkit just in case that I need to mount special images. But after some tests, I realize that your toolkit (or maybe Imdisk itself) support the NRG file format, who is like IMG/BIN but in one file. It is not free unfortunately and it needs Nero Burning Rom, but I guess that an old shareware version will do it for the remaining CDs I still have.



#24 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 09:58 AM

@Nethan

I am not sure about what you are after, but there are several (slightly different) versions of bin/cue images.

You can try on yours this other driver:

http://wincdemu.sysprogs.org/

which does support at least *some* bin/cue images.

The "portable" version is very handy, and at 230 Kb it is slightly less bloated than a .NET based solution.

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#25 R o x

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 01:10 PM

hi,

may I request: please add functionality for auto saving disk image at system shutdown, and auto reloading of same image at system up again.







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