How to Run an ISO File Without Burning on a DVD

By Brad Chacos

An ISO file is a virtual image of a physical disk, typically created for back-up purposes and then burned to a CD or DVD. Some people prefer to occasionally run an ISO file directly from their hard drives rather than utilize physical disks. Multiple third-party ISO imaging programs allow an ISO file to run in a virtual environment. While many ISO imaging programs charge fees, several free options are available as well.

Daemon Tools Lite

Step 1

Download the Daemon Tools Lite software.

Step 2

Save the file to your desktop, then double-click on the program's icon. Follow the installation instructions, and open the program when prompted at the end of installation.

Step 3

Click on the Daemon Tools Lite icon, and click "Virtual device."

Step 4

Select the desired ISO file in the dialog box that opens. Click "Open." The file will mount in the virtual device and can be run by double-clicking on the image file on your desktop.

ISOBuster

Step 1

Download the ISOBuster software.

Step 2

Save the file to your desktop, then double-click on the ISOBuster icon. Follow the installation instructions, and open the program when prompted at the end of installation.

Step 3

Scroll through the drop-down list on the top left side of the program window to select a hard drive to browse.

Step 4

Click "Open Image File" in the toolbar.

Step 5

Browse the hard drive to find the desired ISO image. Double-click on the ISO image to mount and run the file on a virtual device. Multiple ISO files can be run at once using ISOBuster.

Tips & Warnings

  • Both Daemon Tools Lite and ISOBuster have free and paid versions with different functionality.
  • Virtually running several ISO files at one time consumes a lot of system resources.