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[Help] Mount physical disk image as virtual HDD?

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I decided to give Linux another try. 2 days, got sick of it already. XGL was nice but the bugs are just too much. Microsoft has NOTHING on Linux's bugs. Incredible.

Before installing Linux I used UBCD4Win to cd-boot my computer and used DiskTools ImageMaker (an ancient program, it seems) to create an image of my 20gb NTFS Windows drive onto a 40gb NTFS USB drive. It's one whole file and is actually extremely accurate, except the first 32kb, which seem to be corrupted by the ego-boosted program that put some DiskTools info in the header.

So when ImageMaker finally went to restore the drive, I was left with a partition-less disk with junk data. I've tried restoring the first 32kb from a working configuration (started installing Windows, let it partition the drive like I had it, saved those 32kb, restored the drive again, restored the 32kb) and it still didn't work. Let me tell you how pleased I am with this program.

In Linux I was able to mount that image as a logical partition if I skipped the first 32kb. But there is no such thing for Windows, to just "create" a virtual device out of thin air. I've decided I could do the "half installation" then just copy the data back as files from the image (using the CD, of course). But where do I get that software, that makes the virtual drive from an image?

Basically I need something that's like Alcohol or Daemon, except that it makes hard drives, not CD drives.

There should be such a thing... but what's it called? :(

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Of course it exists, it is called VDK:


I wrote a pseudo GUI for it:


Please note that the tool allows to mount a RAW image too.

If you need (for any reason) to specify a disk geometry, you need to make a .pln file and open it with VDK, not the actual file of the disk image.

Contents of the .pln file (a text file you can make with Notepad):

DRIVETYPE <ide or scsi>

CYLINDERS <cylinders>

HEADS <heads>

SECTORS <sectors>

ACCESS <your raw image file name in full path> <start> <number of LBA sectors>





ACCESS "C:\image.dat" 0 205632

If you made multivolume sets, you can use multiple "ACCESS" lines:





ACCESS "c:\...\image1.dat" 0 4096008

ACCESS "c:\...\image2.dat" 4096008 8192016

You might want to run testdisk:


on a thus mounted partition if you have problem accessing data in the image because of a bad partition table (of course, use a copy of the data).


Edited by jaclaz

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Awesome!! I'm gonna try that now, and hope it'll cope with the broken header. Also primarily hoping it'll be able to cope with the fact that I'd be booted from a LiveCD on a read-only file system... which may be a bit of a stretch if it doesn't load the driver from the media. It'll be fun. :P


ed: I'm booted from a Ubuntu LiveCD right now since only Linux has proper drivers for my WLAN card... stupid Intel can't make drivers for their own crap, what's up with that?

Edited by Falcon4

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