CD Image Manager for Games
July 15, 2005 5:05 PM   Subscribe

I have way too many games that require a CD to run.

I know I've read somewhere about a program that basically rips the CD image and stores it on your hard drive. You then open up the "manager" to load the CD you need for whatever game you're playing and voilĂ , the game loads and all without having to search for the CD and open the CR-ROM and close it and on and on (actually, that's all I think). Anyway, if you know what I'm talking about, awesome. Please tell.
posted by panoptican to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
odinsdream's suggestion about the No-CD patches is the better choice, yeah. I don't know the legality surrounding them, but if you paid for the game, then I don't see what you have to worry about. They're just cracked executables that replace the .exe you've already got installed. Last I checked, gamecopyworld is a decent resource for no-cd patches.
posted by jimmy at 5:26 PM on July 15, 2005

Yeah, a lot of games have decent no-cd patches. My one caveat would be to make sure you have a decent anti-virus running before installing any of them, as you can't exactly get them from

With the disclaimer that these should ONLY be used if you have a legal copy of the game: is a good source.

On preview: whoops, too slow.
posted by selfnoise at 5:27 PM on July 15, 2005

Oh, one more thing. If you're expecting a patch for your game which you'll want to have, you might want to wait on the No-CD patch as I can imagine the one might wreak havoc with the other.
posted by selfnoise at 5:31 PM on July 15, 2005

Keep in mind no-cd patches may break other things, since they're mucking with binaries.

Having a backup ISO of the CD is nice, so I prefer using the Daemon Tools method, since I know it'll work no matter what. Besides that, DT has some copyright protection features so you don't have to worry about the ISO not working.
posted by angry modem at 7:09 PM on July 15, 2005

Best answer: I believe Alcohol 120% is the current big name in CD image creation and use. Daemon Tools is a close second, and was released before Alcohol, but doesn't handle the creation of images. Daemon-Tools is also free.

Alcohol 120% will handle making a backup file (a "cd image"), managing virtual cd drives, and burning images to discs. It's likely the most straightforward and easy to use solution.
posted by SemiSophos at 8:04 PM on July 15, 2005

There are supposedly games that will check for Daemon Tools (probably others, too) running and refuse to run.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 9:50 PM on July 15, 2005

Not that you care, but be assured, no CD patches are illegal. :-D [unless the author did not revoke your right to modify the software in the EULA you never signed nor agreed to in any meaningful way but the courts still think its valid]
posted by shepd at 12:51 AM on July 16, 2005

I'm not so sure that such clauses in a EULA are binding, at least not until tested in a court. However the nocd patch is definitely illegal under the DMCA. Use nero to rip the cd and daemon tools to load it.
posted by Manjusri at 1:00 AM on July 16, 2005

use the no-cd EXEs for sure. Most games nowadays install fully and only need the cd for copyprotection.

just rename the orignal files like oringal.bak or something, so if a patch comes out you wont have to reinstall the game.

The no-cd patches are also a good idea because on MANY games the cd-checks and other protection crap slow your game down ALOT. Morrowind was the best example, people who used the no-cd exes got alteast a 30-40 percent increase in frames-per-second.

you pretty much cant take just cd images any more because of all teh stupid copyprotection, that stops honest users like you from doing what you want, but provides zero protection from actual pirates.
posted by Iax at 1:20 AM on July 16, 2005

Thanks for asking this question panoptican. I've been trying to figure out how to not carry my original NWN play disk around. I'm parinoid I'm going to scratch it and a copy of the disk doesn't work. I'll have to try the suggestions here.
posted by Mitheral at 7:36 AM on July 16, 2005

You should be safe to use the No cd patches IF the games are non online play. If so, I wouldnt want to do it especially for games newer than one year old. My Battlefield 1942 is patched to latest version and has a no cd patch works perfectly. Lets say I pulled this on my BF2 install: Maybe not next month.

As stated previously, Daemon tools rocks. I also recommend ISO buster to rip them onto the HD. That way, you have an active backup of your stuff and you dont have to jump around for CDs.
posted by Dean Keaton at 5:06 PM on July 16, 2005

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