How to Copy a Computer Game

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Most PC-based computer games are installed using CDs or DVDs. When a CD is run to install a game, files are copied automatically to a computer's hard drive. Usually though, the CD/s used to install a game are still needed to run it. In order to play a computer game without using the CD, you must first create an image or "backup" of the software's files and save it in the hard drive. The steps below will show you how to copy a computer game's files to your PC and run the software with or without using the CD.""

Materials Needed:
- Computer game
- computer
- CD/DVD drive
- imaging software (if necessary)
- virtual drive software (if necessary)
Step 1
Before buying the computer game, read the system requirements as listed on the package and determine if your PC can run the software. Make sure that you have the required Operating System platform, video card capabilities, and computer power.
Step 2
Look for a place in your hard drive where you can install the game's files. This is typically the C drive and if you use the recommended game installation, the CD will automatically transfer its files to this location.
Step 3
End all programs running on your computer before installing the software. You may close the application either by clicking on the 'X' symbol on the upper right hand corner of the program or using the 'File' menu, 'Close' option.
Step 4
Place the computer game CD in your CD/DVD drive. If the 'Autoplay' feature is enabled, the game software will automatically begin installation. If it is not enabled, double-click on your CD drive by going to 'My Computer' and clicking on the appropriate drive (typically the D drive).
Step 5
As you go through the installation process, answer the questions as you deem appropriate. Depending on your answers, the game application will place desktop icons and shortcuts on your computer.
Step 6
Restart your computer to complete the installation. Once you have rebooted, check if the game is properly functioning by running it. You may either double click on the desktop icon or locate the program in your computer by using 'Windows Explorer.'
Step 7
Should you wish to run the game without using the CD, follow Steps 1 to 6 and then proceed to creating an 'image' or 'backup' file. First, make sure that by doing this is, you are still complying with the software's copyright laws.
Step 8
Create an ISO image of the disk. You may do this by using imaging/copying software. If the game is already installed, the ISO should be found on your hard drive, in the location where you installed the software's files.
Step 9
Follow the instructions of the imaging software to create the image file.
Step 10
Use a 'virtual drive' to mount your image file. A virtual drive is similar to a CD/DVD drive, only it is not a physical part of your computer. It acts like an external CD/DVD drive that allows your computer's system to assign data to it through image files. This virtual drive will run the application and you can play the game without using the CD.