Advanced computer tips and tricks...
   
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1.How To Access ISO Files Using Archiver or     Virtual Drive

posted by Nishant on October 18th, 2007

An ISO image (.iso) is a disk image of an ISO 9660 file system. ISO 9660 is an international standard originally devised for storing data on CD-ROM. We can burn ISO files to CD or DVD. Microsoft has started to distribute ISO files which you can buy online and burn them to CD/DVD.

We can also backup our whole CD in ISO image in case if the CD/DVD media is missing or unreadable. Burning ISO files is very easy. You can use Nero to select the ISO file and it'll burn. There are times that I need to pull a few files off the ISO without burning it to physical media. I will show you two methods I know which allows you to access your ISO image and pull out the files that you want.

First method to access files in ISO image is to extract the ISO image with archiver software that supports ISO format.
Here are a few archiver that supports ISO format. Universal Extractor, ALZip and 7-Zip are freeware while PowerArchiver and WinRAR are shareware.
1. Universal Extractor
2. 7-Zip
3. PowerArchiver
4. WinRAR
5. ALZip

Usually you can simply right click on the ISO image file and select extract from the menu if you are using an archiver software that supports ISO image. For example, I have Universal Extractor installed and right clicking on an ISO image file brings up the menu to extract files from ISO image.

Many people thought that WinZIP supports ISO but in fact it doesn't. I've installed the latest version of WinZIP PRO v11.1, open the ISO image and I got the error message "Cannot open file: it does not appear to be a valid archive. If you downloaded this file, try downloading the file again.". Honestly, I can't even remember when was the last time I use WinZIP...

Second method to access files in ISO image is to create a virtual CD/DVD drive and map the ISO image to it. Gamers should find this method familiar because Virtual CDs are alternative to NO-CD patches. It is a solution for not having to put CDs in the drive to play games. A very popular software used by gamers to create virtual CD/DVD drive is Alcohol 120%. Unfortunately I won't be discussing about it because it's shareware.
You can instead try using SlySoft Virtual CloneDrive or Microsoft Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel which is both freeware!
1. SlySoft Virtual CloneDrive*
2. Microsoft Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel*

It's very easy to map ISO image to a virtual CD-ROM using SlySoft Virtual CloneDrive. Just installing Slysoft Virtual CloneDrive, you'll have the option to create the number of virtual CD/DVD drives.

After creating a virtual CD drive, you'll notice a new drive letter. Right click on the new drive letter, select Virtual CloneDrive and select Mount. You will then need to browse for the ISO image file to map it to the virtual drive. To unmap, right click on the drive again, select Virtual CloneDrive -> UnMount.

As for Microsoft Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel, no installation is required. Just download, extract, and run VCdControlTool.exe.
1. Click Driver Control... button.
2. Click Install Driver... button.
3. Select VCdRom.sys which is located at the same folder as VCdControlTool.exe
4. Click Start button and then OK.
5. Click Add Drive button and then OK. You'll notice that a Z: drive will appear.

6. Now click on the Mount button and look for the ISO image file that you want to map and click OK. You will now have access to the files in your ISO image.

Important Note: If you have both SlySoft Virtual CloneDrive installed and Microsoft Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel installed, Microsoft Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel will fail to mount ISO images. Uninstalling SlySoft Virtual CloneDrive will do fix this problem. You can use either one but not both.

Of course, there are also powerful ISO softwares such as PowerISO, MagicISO, UltraISO, IsoBuster and etc which can be used to create/edit/extract ISO images. If you only need to extract a few files from ISO images, the methods above should be sufficient and you don't need those powerful ISO software on your computer to do it. Moreover, most of the popular ISO tools are sharewares.


Huge Database of Cheats and Walkthroughs for Games

posted by Nishant on October 18th, 2007

 I can give up on games real easily if I felt that it's impossible to play. But it's a waste not to finish up the game since I've already bought, downloaded and installed on my computer. To finish up the game, I'll need some help either using some cheat codes that gives me God mode (unlimited health) or trainers that can hack the game and also freezes the money and health. Searching for cheats from one website to another can be tedious since most of those sites are filled with pornographic pictures, popups and advertisements.

I found a freeware that has most of the cheats and walkthroughs collected from Jan 1998 until February 2007. That's a 9 year database! Not only it has hints and cheats for PC games, it also has cheats for console games such as playstation 3, xbox and etc...

CheatBook-DataBase 2007 is a freeware "cheat-code tracker" that makes hints and cheats (for PC, Walkthroughs, Playstation, Playstation 2, Playststation 3, Sega, Nintendo 64, DVD, Gameboy Advance, Gameboy Color, N-Gage, Nintendo DS, PSP, Xbox, Gamecube, Dreamcast, Xbox 360, Super Nintendo) easily accessible from one central location. If you're an avid gamer and want a few extra weapons or lives to survive until the next level, this freeware cheat database can come to the rescue.

Covering more than 11900 Games, this database represents all genres and focuses on recent releases.

Games are listed alphabetically in the left-hand window. When you click on a game name, the relevant cheat is displayed in a editor window, with convenient buttons that let you print the selection or save any changes you've made.

You can always visit this link** for updates to install on CheatBook-Database 2007. There should be updates every month. You don't need to bookmark or memorize this page because you can get to the update page from Update > Update infos in your CheatBook program.

[ Download CheatBook-Database 2007 ]**




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