To close the circle , once erwan.l is back, I will remind him about making (if possible) a simpler (simplified, without the NET 4.0 bloat, and more limited because of the missing "hook" - or "whatever" - to discutils ) command line version of his GUI tool:
that would be useful for the few left dinosaurs like myself and for minimalistic PE use.
Yes, that would indeed be very useful. Mounting forensics image formats (e01, ewf etc) through libewf.dll should be possible without .NET, libewf.dll is not a .NET module. Most simple and minimalistic solution would probably be to use devio.exe from ImDisk and access libewf.dll through the --dll switch. DiscUtils.dll and support for virtual machine disk formats (vhd, vdi, vhdx, vmdk etc etc) of various kinds is a somewhat more complicated thing since DiscUtils.dll is .NET in the first place.
On the other hand, devio.exe has built-in support for fixed and dynamic (but not differencing) vhd files without .NET so it is possible to use devio.exe to access vhd disks with Arsenal Image Mounter too.
The problem with things like this is that even though .NET is indeed big bloated heavy stuff, it is also extremely useful and tends to attract participating developers. Over the years, absolute majority of questions regarding integrating ImDisk in various applications have come from .NET developers. You could also see how actively developed DiscUtils.dll has turned out to be. Now, the problem with that is that such solutions are not very well suited for "minimalistic" environments such as PE and similar, where various kinds of library support could be limited. That's where I feel like an "old left dinosaur" too.
I hope that my situation with one foot in each world could help avoiding some limitations!
This would be great, though the "base" issue about "common" availability of VisualStudio would remain , this might help less "advanced" programmers .
Anything that helps!
It somewhat disturbs me that WDK 7.1 was the last stand-alone, self-contained, etc, Windows Driver Kit vesion that could simply be downloaded and immediately used to build things with practically no prerequisites. Nowadays, WDK 8 and 8.1 are bloated Visual Studio-integrated things that are indeed very easy and intuitive to work with, but they require Visual Studio 2012 or 2013 and not only that, they need at least the Professional versions, the free Express version would not do. (I know there are workarounds like installing the trial version first, then WDK, then back to Express etc etc, but principally speaking.) In some way this feels like a step back to the old days some 10 years ago when driver development environments for Windows were expensive and simply not meant for anyone who simply wished to try some idea out. But, that's just me maybe.