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Does Windows 7 have native support for mounting CD/DVD ISO images? If not, what is the best tool to use for that under Windows 7 64-bit? I am looking for a solution to allow installing MSDN downloads without burning them to CD/DVD.

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I wish there was native Windows support for mounting ISO's for as many images as Microsoft has for download. –  Jim Anderson May 28 '10 at 18:23
    
I believe windows 8 supports this by default (as usual, more than 5 years too late). –  Falcon Momot Oct 24 '12 at 7:31

11 Answers 11

up vote 55 down vote accepted

My preference is Slysoft Virtual Clone Drive. It's great because:

  • you can mount/dismount by right-clicking on the drive
  • the drive remembers what has been mounted before
  • you can mount an iso by right-clicking the ISO itself.

No issues with device driver signing, etc. I dumped Daemon Tools a while ago. Using it on Win7 7100 64 bit with no problem. Feels quite fast.

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VCD = perfect, except that it gets buggy with multiple virtual drives. Note Daemon Tools doesn't work at all yet. –  tsilb May 1 '09 at 2:47
    
Also, make sure you have the latest version of VCD. When I initially ran the windows 7 Beta with VCD I was get a bug with explorer hanging. The latest version fixes that. –  Sam May 1 '09 at 9:57
    
I just downloaded and tried Daemon Tools with the Win7 RC and it still does not work. Slysoft VCD installed as expected and works even better. –  Brian Boatright May 3 '09 at 1:24
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Daemon Tools now works greatly with Windows 7. –  Massimo Aug 19 '09 at 13:03
    
+1 And it's freeware! –  SteveBurkett Jun 23 '10 at 14:55

MagicDisk works with Vista. They have a download for Windows 7 as well, but I haven't tried it.

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Confirmed - it works with Windows 7 RC –  Frode Lillerud Jun 1 '09 at 10:56
    
Works with Win Server 2008 also. –  LwoodyIII Dec 7 '10 at 15:15

I have used Virtual Clone drives for a very long time but one application that made me change is: Pismo File Mount Audit Package. Quoting from their website

Pismo File Mount Audit Package is a Windows application that allows users to mount the contents of ZIP, ISO, Compact ISO, Compact File Set and Private Folder files to the file system as virtual folders.

Basically - this application can convert your ISO files as Folders and/or a virtual CD or DVD Rom. Solves multiple purposes and it is Windows 7 Compatible.

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See my comment above. Pismo cause VS2010 and MS Expression installs to fail. SlySoft VCD worked fine. –  BrianFinkel Aug 5 '11 at 13:35
    
If you have issues with Pismo unable to find a path to file during setup or crashing during an install, try to NOT install directly from the mounted virtual drive letter. Instead, mount the ISO to a virtual drive letter with Pismo, copy all content from the virtual ISO drive into another folder on a non-virtual drive, and install from there. This "ISO unzipping" (sort of) and installing from a real drive with no virtual layer resolved my issues. –  Kerry Dec 24 '11 at 1:13

I recommend to those who have had problems with the daemon tools, using virtual clone driver first because it is free, second because it can mount up to 15 units unlike daemon free which is very limited, it does not require a restart to install , is light ram to use, easy to use. See here the different free tools to Mount ISO image in Windows 7 - http://www.techarena.in/guide/27150-how-mount-iso-image-windows-7-using-free-tools.htm.

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By far the best free ISO mounting tool out there is Pismo file mount.

Some highlights:

  • Works great on Windows Vista/7 x64 (not natively x64 but completely compatible)
  • Drives only exist when an ISO is mounted and are removed when there is no ISO mounted
  • Small memory footprint
  • Has simple minimalist right click shell integration
  • Unattended installation
  • No Branding or silly logos to speak of (very clean professional feeling program)
  • Fully featured command line control that is automatically working right after unattended install
  • Plus all the normal features you would expect from an ISO mounting tool
  • Free for corporate use

Some things you will want to pay attention to though is that by default it will not mount the ISO to a drive letter but instead mount it to a UNC path which can cause some software installers to fail when installing from the mounted path. Just make sure you specify that you want Pismo to mount to a drive letter when you are doing the mount and it will work fine.

Here is the unattended install of SQL to demonstrate my real world use of Pismo.

SET MSDNIsoPath=\\itapp\ISO Library\MSDN
SET ScriptPath=%~dp0
SET ScriptPath=%ScriptPath:~0,-1%
SET MountPath=m:
SET pfmMount=pfm mount -m %MountPath%
SET pfmUnMount=pfm unmount

echo -Installing Pismo File Mount
"%ResourcePath%\pfmap-051.exe" /q

echo.
echo Install and configure Microsoft SQL Server 2005 
echo -Installing Standard Edition
%pfmMount% "%MSDNIsoPath%\en_sql_2005_std_x86_dvd.iso"
%MountPath%\Servers\setup.exe /settings "%ScriptPath%\Configuration\Microsoft SQL Server 2005.ini" /qb /norestart
%pfmUnMount%
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Thoroughly impressed by this software, Freekin awesome: Right click 'Quick Mount' and there is the iso! –  Josiah Nov 29 '10 at 1:50
    
It is really slick, however when installing Office 2010 from the technet iso, the installer repeatedly asked me to browse to the file location; it seemed like it couldn't find all the files in the iso. –  Keith Twombley Mar 13 '11 at 2:49
    
@Keith Did you right click on the ISO > Select Mount > and then give the mount a drive letter? If you just double click some applications have trouble with the default behavior of using symbolic links especially when trying to install software. –  Chris Magnuson Mar 16 '11 at 20:07
    
But why does the license exclude: Robert Bosch GmbH and its subsidiaries? Ah well, I'm not Robert so I'll just enjoy. –  extraneon Jun 5 '11 at 9:41
    
Pismo seems to have bugs... I could not install VS2010 from the DVD ISO with this tool. Expression studio install failed, as well. Both worked fine with SlySoft Virtual Clone Drive. –  BrianFinkel Aug 5 '11 at 13:34

I've been using H&H Virtual CD for years, it's not free but I have found it's worth the small investment as it will even support virtual BluRay drives

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i had a problem with Daemon tools when i first started using the Win7BETA, but since the RC i haven't had any problems with Daemon Tools Lite. It's free, easy to use, and allows you to have numerous virtual disks. Windows 7 also has a nice built in burn ISO feature to burn to a disk, just right click on the iso file.

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I'm totally happy with Daemon Tools Lite.

Simple, easy, lightweight, totally compatible with Windows 7 (x64 ed. too).

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Seriously, I've tried every ISO mounting software out there. I liked UltraISO for a long while but recently just read the post left by another gentleman above for the software Pismo File Mount Audit Package.

Love it, not going to drop UltraISO completely but I like the interface much better and its also free...

One difference which is not really a problem at all but Pismo File Mount Audit Package uses network drive symbolic link mount points instead of assigning a free drive letter. I load several (15) sample CDs from an external HD and I have no problems whatsoever. I would recommend it.

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You can have Pismo give you a drive letter, you just have to right click and then select mount instead of just double clicking. The mount option will then present you a window where you can change some of the options including which drive letter it mounts to. –  Chris Magnuson Mar 16 '11 at 20:05

Since nobody mentioned it... Winrar, will let you open a .iso file, and let you extract it, or run the setup from there. I don't recommend this for large installers though, as it will need to extract to a temporary folder. It comes in handy sometimes though if you don't really need to mount the image.

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Good to know. I regularly use 7-Zip for that functionality. Unless the ISO is bootable or I need to burn it as is, then I just extract all the files and keep the ones I want, deleting the ISO and anything else I don't need (like other languages, etc.) –  Jim McKeeth Oct 19 '10 at 21:32
    
I use the excellent and free 7-zip for ISO content extraction too. If you need to burn, you can use the built-in Windows 7 burning tool. –  Lamnk May 18 '11 at 13:27

If you like free open source software, try http://wincdemu.sysprogs.org/ I use it both on Windows XP and Windows 7. Works great and there is no risk of spyware etc.

Edit: There is a portable version as well.

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Excellent program. I haven't had a problem with it (though I have only mounted about 15 ISOs with it). –  Merlyn Morgan-Graham Sep 6 '11 at 19:09
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+1 for suggesting an open source program :) –  Aamir Sep 8 '11 at 3:12

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