Dell KACE uses a rather neat analogy when defining a Virtual Disk Drive – “A Virtual Disk might be compared and contrasted with a USB “thumb” drive. Both are removable media containing directories and files that can be added to a system when needed, updated locally and removed when no longer needed”. For example, I often use Virtual Disks in testing.
Program files, data files, and application directory structures can all be stored on a Virtual Disk Drive and with KACE’s Virtual Disk Utility, you will have the opportunity to both encrypt, and password protect, the Virtual Drives which you have created. Keep in mind this application creates Virtual Disks – not Virtual Machines
Following installation, the screen shots which follow, illustrate just how easy it is to set up a Virtual Disk with KACE’s Virtual Disk Utility.
I should point out that in normal operation, you would launch the Virtual Disk Utility by selecting the application from the Windows Start Menu; then simply follow the same series of choices. (There are additional methods for Virtual Disk creation, discussed later in this review).
As I mentioned earlier, Virtual Disks you create can be encrypted so as to restrict mounting a Virtual Drive to only those users who can provide the correct password.
As the following screen capture illustrates, you will have a wide range of choices in picking a drive letter.
When finished, an Explorer window will open to show the initial contents of the new Virtual Disk and MyComputer windows will display the mounted drive. You can drag-n-drop files as you normally would, to the new Virtual Disk, launch applications, and open additional Explorer windows via MyComputer while the drive is mounted.
Through the Properties tab you can adjust the characteristics of the Virtual Drive.
Optionally, you can quickly set up a Virtual Drive (or, more than one Virtual Drive), by selecting a folder on any drive, and then create the drive from within Windows Explorer context menu.
Additionally, you can “dismount” a Virtual Drive from within the Windows Explorer context menu.
In this review, I’ve managed to cover only some of the features of this application. To read a more in-depth overview please read an Introduction to Virtual Disk, on the developer’s site.
System Requirements: Windows 7, Vista, XP, or Mac OS 10.5 or later (Windows 64 bit native installation available).
Download at: KACE (Registration is required).
Note: Additionally, the application will install the open source Dokan library which contains a user mode DLL (dokan.dll) and a kernel mode file system driver (dokan.sys). Dokan is used to mount Virtual Disks and make them accessible as normal drives with Explorer visibility and Command Prompt access.
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