Change Built-In Virtual CD-ROM Image in Android Phones

Some of the Android smartphones come with a special feature that allows you to switch it into a virtual CD-ROM when connected to the PC via a USB cable. Typically, you would connect your phone to the PC using any standard USB data cable and then pull down the notification bar in your Android phone to select the virtual CD-ROM mode. This will display a virtual CD-ROM in your PC. By default the CD contents that appear in your PC can be used to install drivers or other software. But if you want, then you can change the contents of this built-in virtual to anything you want. You can even replace the factory CD ISO image with a bootable Linux image so that you can boot your PC into Linux using your Android phone.

Here is how you can change the built-in virtual CD-ROM image in Android:

  1. Download or create an ISO image that you want to use. You can use Damn Small Linux ISO image as this is only 50MB in size and works very well. You cannot use larger ISO image files. Even the Puppy Linux (200 MB) fails to work.
  2. Rename the downloaded or created ISO image file to iAmCdRom.iso taking care of the character case.
  3. Copy the iAmCdRom.iso file to the memory card in your phone.
  4. In Android phone, use ES File Explorer to copy this file in the /system/mobile_toolkit/ folder. You will have to overwrite the original file so make a backup if possible. This will require your phone to be rooted and the root access enabled in the ES File Explorer.Change Android Virtual CD ISO Image
  5. This is optional, but if possible change the file permissions to -rw-r-r- again using the ES File Explorer.
  6. Reboot the phone, connect it with PC using the USB data cable, pull down the notification bar and change the USB connection mode to Built-in CD-ROM. You can now access the virtual CD in your PC.Change Android Virtual CD ISO Image
  7. If you want to boot from this virtual CD-ROM, keep the USB cable connected and reboot your PC. Then from the boot menu you can choose the USB storage device.Change Android Virtual CD ISO Image

Conclusion: You can change the default ISO image for the virtual CD-ROM that comes in some of the Android smartphones. Although you cannot use a large ISO image, you can use smaller ISO images like that of Damn Small Linux.

One comment

  1. Thank you for your excellent write up! I’ve been thinking about doing this same thing for sometime when I recently stumbled upon an excellent app called DriveDroid in the Google Play Store that does exactly this but with no file size limitation. An added benefit is that it can create and mount IMG files too! A perfect tool for IT work. Pro or no. I am not associated with the software developer I’m just passing through trying to find more tools/tricks for my phone to do.

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