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[Help] Mount physical disk image as virtual HDD?

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    teh Fighting Falcon™

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  • Joined 15-May 05
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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    The Finder

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  • Joined 23-July 04
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, 08 August 2006 - 11:09 AM.



    teh Fighting Falcon™

  • Member
  • 40 posts
  • Joined 15-May 05
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, 08 August 2006 - 03:10 PM.