This article will explain two different methods on mount an ISO/IMG image on Windows XP and Windows 7 as a virtual drive. The first option will work on all Windows flavors and for .iso, .bin, .cue, .uif, .nrg, and .img file extensions. The second option works on Windows XP only and supports only .iso files.
First lets discuss what it means to mount an image in Windows…
What is a Windows Virtual Drive?
Mounting an image in Windows refers to the process of creating a virtual drive from an image file such as an ISO or IMG file. This is useful when one wants to access the contents of a disc image file without having to burn it to a physical disc.
To mount an image in Windows, you first need to locate the ISO or IMG file on your computer. Right-click on the file and select the ‘Mount’ option. This action will create a new drive in ‘This PC’ in Windows Explorer. This drive will contain all the data from the image file, making it appear as if you had inserted a physical disc into your computer.
If the ‘Mount’ option does not appear in the right-click menu, you can also mount the image file through the ‘Disk Management’ utility in Windows. To do this, open ‘Disk Management’, click on ‘Action’ at the top of the window, then select ‘Attach VHD’. In the dialog box that appears, browse to the location of your image file, select it, and click ‘OK’.
Once the image is mounted, you can access its contents by navigating to the new drive in Windows Explorer. It behaves just like a physical disc, allowing you to install software, copy files, or play media directly from the image.
It’s important to note that when you’re done with the virtual drive, you should properly unmount it. To do this, go to ‘This PC’ in Windows Explorer, right-click on the virtual drive, and select ‘Eject’. This action will safely unmount the image, removing the virtual drive from your system.
This mounting feature is incredibly handy, providing the convenience and flexibility of accessing disc image files without the need for physical media.
Method #1: Mount Image in Windows XP/Vista/7
- Download MagicDisc which is a freeware, ad-free, spyware-free software.
- Install this software and you will now see a icon in your system tray (bottom-right corner of Windows)
- Right-click on the icon and choose Virtual CD/DVD-ROM -> E: No Media -> Mount… (Note: On your system E: may be substituted with another letter)
- An Open file dialog will now open, choose the image file you would like to mount and click OK
- Thats it! You can now access the files by navigating to the drive letter in Windows Explorer
Method #2: Mount Image in Windows XP (.ISO Only)
- Download Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel from Microsoft.
- Run the downloaded file and extract the files into a folder (e.g. c:\vcd)
- Copy VCdRom.sys to your %systemroot%\system32\drivers folder (e.g. c:\windows\system32\drivers)
- Run VCdControlTool.exe
- Click Driver control
- If the Install Driver button is available, click it. Navigate to the %systemroot%\system32\drivers folder, select VCdRom.sys, and click Open.
- Click Start
- Click OK
- Click Add Drive to add a drive to the drive list. Ensure that the drive added is not a local drive. If it is, continue to click Add Drive until an unused drive letter is available.
- Select an unused drive letter from the drive list and click Mount
- Navigate to the image file, select it, and click OK
You may now use the drive letter as if it were a local CD/DVD device. When you are finished you may unmount, stop, and remove the driver from memory using the driver control.