Right from when we only had massive computers and few computer literates, storing data has always been a challenge.
During the Desktop-only period, floppy disks were introduced, but they didn’t help much for lack of space.
Eventually, Discs came up, and fast forward to now, we can use USB drives to store huge amounts of data and transfer them with ease and speed.
While USBs solved the issue of the amount of data that we can store, the problem of assimilating a program’s core files into one file still proved a challenge, which is why tools like PowerISO were introduced.
PowerISO is a powerful disk image tool used for processing ISO-based files. You can use this tool to create, burn, edit, mount, extract, and compress files.
PowerISO is popular for creating portable drives of different Microsoft Windows operating systems. It supports a wide range of file players such as DVD, CD, and BD images.
So you can quickly process files that come in these formats and more.
However, this article is about the 10 best PowerISO alternatives that may have more features than the former or maybe better for you in particular.
Best PowerISO Alternatives
1. Virtual CloneDrive
Virtual CloneDrive is a tool that does not require you to pay a penny before you can access it. You can download it completely for free from its official website.
Virtual CloneDrive is not one of those tools that have several functions.
In fact, the only function that you can use this tool for is as a disk emulator, but it can emulate all kinds of images and can support up to eight virtual drives simultaneously.
With Virtual CloneDrive you can get access to the content of a CD or DVD file.
For example, you can access a downed ISO file that is used to install a Linux operating system as though you inserted the disc on your PC.
If done properly, the virtual drive will pop up somewhere on your screen like a regular drive in Windows Explorer. You will be able to tell from the drive letter and the sheep icon.
Installation is quick and easy. The tool will prompt you to associate the virtual drive with the appropriate file format.
So it could be associated with CD, DVD, Img, and more. Once that is verified, you can access it by double-clicking on any file that carries the extension and its contents will open up on a virtual clone drive.
Once you are done, you can again right-click on the virtual drive again to load the content under a different file.
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2. Daemon Tools
Daemon Tools is perhaps as popular as PowerISO itself.
It is definitely as good and can even be referred to as one of the best replacements for PowerISO because of its advanced and flawless options.
This tool lets you fit all types of disc images into a virtual drive and you can also create images of a CD or DVD.
The Daemon Tools software has different versions including one for Mac operating systems. The tools are priced according to how many features they contain.
This cloning software allows you to edit images and convert them into the format of your choice.
You can use Daemon Tools to create your own bootable ISO images in the event that your system crashes as long as it can be verified that they are free of errors.
Daemon Tools has a lot of storage options to ensure that you can store your images locally either on an external hard drive, a cloud server, or even optical media.
If the image you want to save is very large, then you can split your data across numerous discs and Daemon Tools will protect your files using TrueCrypt security to encrypt your files.
This tool lets you personalize some file restoration processes and you can also decide which specific folders to store files in.
That being said, Daemon Tools does not have room for more restoration functions and there is no option to run it in a pre-OS recovery environment.
Daemon software is easy to use. It has a very minimalistic look and navigation is easy thanks to its clearly labeled icon.
One thing I like about the software is that you can truly make it yours by customizing your integration and connection preferences.
The software has a capable support team plus several comprehensive manuals online to help users as much as possible.
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3. Alcohol 120%
Alcohol 120% is a PowerISO alternative developed by Alcohol Soft to author programs and disk emulators.
This tool uses a wizard-based interface to allow you to save and copy settings for audio files, games, and other data.
It has a trial version that is available for free, but if you are pleased with it after the free period and want to keep using it, then you will have to part ways with some money.
You can opt for the sister software, Alcohol 52% which has a couple of similarities and is definitely cheaper than Alcohol 120%.
However, the sister software does not allow you to burn images on discs, but it lets you create images and add them to drives.
Alcohol 120% has been around for a while now. In fact, the tool has existed for as long as DVD burners were made.
It started out on the wrong foot though. In the beginning, it gained a bad reputation because it was mostly used by pirates, but as the years passed, it has proven to be a legitimate tool.
Every year, the team improves on the product to make it as good as the best in the industry and they give special attention to their copy protection scheme.
While Alcohol 120% is very powerful software, its interface does not entertain any flashy graphics. I consider it my safe haven when I want to toss some game or movie which I don’t want to lose.
The tool is comprehensive and somewhat sophisticated, however, it is easy for new users to get accustomed to.
If you are the type that is frantic about system requirements, then you won’t have a need for concern with this tool as the minimum requirements are 32Gb of RAM and an Intel-based system.
One of my issues though with Alcohol 120% is that it requires your system to reboot even before the installation gets to halfway.
That being said, it’s my take that the pros outweigh the drawbacks of this tool. I personally love its clean, simple, and yet powerful interface.
It helps that the icons are next to the main command so even new users will know what to do from the beginning.
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4. Nero Burning ROM
Nero Burning ROM is another software that has a lot of similarities with PowerISO. However, this tool is only available on Windows and Linux, but not Mac OS.
Nero is a complex optical disc authoring tool that supports several disc image formats which include NRG files.
It allows you to perform a wide range of tasks. You can use it to create, rip a copy, edit, and burn content to share on the internet.
Nero AG offers free trial periods, but you must be willing to pay some cash if you want to use it beyond that time.
Getting started on Nero is not the most difficult approach. When you want to install the main program, you will get a prompt to install the Ask browser. It’s okay to turn it down.
After that, you can go ahead to install the main program, like you would any other file. However, the main program does take a bit longer to install, but it almost always goes without any issues.
In the case of your installation, you will need to carry out other separate installations for Nero’s supporting programs such as the Nero Control Centre and update service. Then you are set.
You can start using the program after that and you will see why Nero is so popular especially among users that are accustomed to advanced features.
The tool offers a wide range of options and you can burn pretty much any type of disc that you want to burn.
All you need to do is select the type of disc that you want to burn and configure the compilation properties.
The file selection aspect is simple. It uses the drag and drop option to move files between the inbuilt folder and the disk window pane. You will be required to select the file and then click the burn button to proceed.
One of the major challenges I have with Nero has to do with the types of files that can be added to a certain disc. Surely you can convert files to make them compatible, but you will have to do that with an authoring software like Nero Vision, which is in fact part of Nero Suite, but it would have been great if there was an inbuilt converter within Nero Burning ROM.
Overall, Nero is a pretty decent PowerISO alternative that is generally intuitive to use.
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WinCDEmu is an open-source PowerISO alternative. It is a neat little CD/DVD emulator and can be used to perform all the basic functions that PowerISO can and more.
One of the best things about WinCDEmu is that it supposes an unlimited amount of virtual drives and it does not occupy drive letters unless it is being used.
WinCDEmu comes in more than 20 languages and also has an amazing version that does not require you to install it on your machine before you can start using it.
Among the five optical disc emulators that we have listed so far, WinCDEmu certainly does not offer as many features or emulation mode as the rest, however, apart from being a free tool, it offers something else way more than the other tools, and that is its ease of use.
The other tools do not even come close to WinCDEmu when it comes to how easy it is for users to navigate through it.
To use it, first install the program, then double click on any file format of your choice to mount it. Then let the CD/DVD autorun.
Although, sometimes it may not autorun if you have not set your Windows to do so. In that case, you can browse it and extract files yourself.
Apart from the fact that WinCDEmu does the same job that the other apps on this list do a lot simpler by mounting and unmounting in a number of clicks, it also has a pretty minimalistic look which can be warming to users especially new ones.
You can set administrative privileges to mount an image. You will find this very useful if you use Windows 7 or Vista.
Overall I find WinCDEmu fascinating because it has one job and it does it quite well.
It may come in handy for you when you simply need to mount an ISO image and don’t want to open the main interface of the application every single time.
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CDBurnerXP is an awesome PowerISO replacement that you can choose. It is free and it can be used to burn more than just CDs and DVDs.
It can also be used to burn Blu-ray discs and HD-DVDs.
It supports multiple languages, has an interface that sends a strong message, and yet, is easy to use. However, there’s only a Windows version that you can download at the moment.
When I first came across CDBurner, my first thought was that it looked a lot like an older version of CD creator because of the explorer trees and the CD tracklists.
While it may not seem like it, that is actually a compliment on my part as I was a big fan of the CD creator and was sad to see it fade off like that.
Back to the similarities with CD creator, CDBurner makes no attempt to excite you with interface tricks like animations and other crazy visuals.
Instead, it opts for the cleaner approach that makes it look like a super-efficient suite app.
Its landing page has no wizards, which I appreciate, except for a dialog pop-up that only surfaces when you first want to boot your program to ask what you want to accomplish.
You will get a couple of options to pick from including ‘burn data to CD/DVD’, ‘erase rewritable disc’, ‘burn image’, etc.
I feel like it would also have been useful to include an option for ‘Create an ISO image’, but it comes as no surprise that CDBurner did not add that taskbar as a result of the lack of video disc creation.
All in all, CDBurner is a great tool to burn discs and create ISO images and is especially perfect for users who are not comfortable with advanced features and do not need them anyway to merely burn media.
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K3b is a PowerISO alternative that is popular among Unix users. It was developed using the C++ programming language and it makes use of the Qt GUI toolkit.
Just like a couple of other PowerISO alternatives on this list, K3b is free to download since its release under a GNU general public license.
It does offer all the basic features that are expected of it and more.
It proffers several unique solutions among Unix-like OS users and has an amazing range of customization options that you can adopt for your needs.
While K3b was in fact developed for KDE, it will work elsewhere, but it just wouldn’t look as good as it would on KDE.
At first glance, you may think that K3b does not have a lot to offer, but you’d be wrong. Apart from its ability to write data, you can also use the tool to copy and rip CDs and a bunch of other cool stuff.
It’s pretty easy to find a K3b package to install on your machine since the application is present on any repository that you can think of. It is already present in KDE-powered desktops, Arch Linux, Ubuntu, and Fedora.
If you don’t have it inbuilt, you can install it from the Ubuntu software center, but be mindful of the instructions on the page as there are options that you will need to check if you want all the features of K3b.
K3b comes with three major features: data project, audio project, and copy medium.
These features are pretty much the same as some other features you will find in applications just like K3b, just under different names.
My major issue, and perhaps the only issue with K3b, is that it takes so long to release an update. To put things in perspective, their last update was issued in 2011.
Other than that, K3b is a great piece of software in the Linux environment and any type of environment for that matter.
AnyBurn is another free PowerISO alternative that supports Windows XP. It is also free and easy to use.
AnyBurn is an embodiment of the adage that good comes in bits.
And the great part about AnyBurn is that it is light on system resources, so you do not have to worry about reduced system performance once you have installed the app.
I like how the app classifies its features on separate panes. From the panes, you can choose your files and perform the disc burning operation that you want to do.
You can set the burning speed to what you want and choose the target drive that you want to file to land in.
With AnyBurn, you can burn files to disc, copy, or erase discs. You can also create image files from discs and convert images to ISO. You can also create backups in the form of CDs, DVDs, or Blu-ray.
Like I have already mentioned, one of my favorite features of this app is the fact that it does not require too many resources from your computer.
It only requires little CPU power and little or no memory. The system requirement is equally low. You can run AnyBurn on an old Intel Pentium with memory as low as 64MB.
AnyBurn supports up to eight languages and they have a decent support team to assist you with any issue.
UltraISO is one of my favorite image recording and editing applications.
As the name implies, UltraISO can do a lot of things with only a few clicks, but other than that, what makes it special?
For starters, UltraISO is one of the most powerful tools you will come across when it comes to ISO files.
There’s no limit to what you can edit. You only need to open the ISO file with the software then add and delete it as you like.
You can also use the tool as a virtual DVD player emulator. I’ve used it to power my games on different occasions and it came out great.
It was always a nightmare using a disk as a single scratch would mean that I lose all of my files.
But with UltraISO, I only need to right-click on the file and move it to the virtual drive.
Of all the tools mentioned already on this list, UltraISO is arguably the simple most functional application among them.
Thu software uses system requirements economically so it has little or no effect on the performance of the computer.
However, PowerISO has an edge over UltraISO when it comes to OS and language support. The former works with Win 98, ME, and 2008 and supports more languages.
Brasero is another PowerISO alternative that you will love, especially if you have a KDE-based device.
The tool presents itself as simple and easy to use and it is no exaggeration.
With only a few clicks after you launch the application, you can burn and categorize projects of your choice.
That does not mean that the application is limited. On the contrary, Brasero can be used to manage rewritable media.
You can write an ISO media and easily burn it on the app.
Well, there are certainly more PowerISO alternatives in the market, these 10 should set up well.
Daemon Tools is our top pick for the best PowerISO alternative on this list because it’s not just a program for creating bootable drives, but it also comes with advanced options such as converting other image formats to ISO.