How to Open an ISO in Windows
Submitted by James Robert
In The Beginning
An ISO file is an archive that contains any number of smaller files. ISO files are typically referred to as "data image" files, and are often used to create digital backups of CDs and DVDs. The easiest way to open an ISO file in Windows is to "mount" the file to a virtual disc drive, which requires special software. The programs used in this article are available for free download and usage.
The Main Steps
Download and install the freeware program MagicDisc. (See the "Resources" section at the end of this article for a link to the MagicDisc website.)
Open MagicDisk by clicking the icon that appears in the Windows task bar after installation.
Click "Virtual CD/DVD-ROM" from list of options in the menu.
Click any of the available virtual drives. The default MagicDisk virtual drive is "K: No Media," unless your system has already assigned the letter "K" to a drive.
Click "Mount." A new window will pop open.
Navigate to the location of the ISO file you would like to mount to the virtual drive.
Click the name of the ISO file to select it, and then click "OK."
Click the Windows "Start" button, and then click "Computer." If you're using Windows XP or earlier version of Windows, click "My Computer."
Click the icon or letter of the virtual drive to which you mounted the ISO file in Step 4. This will open the virtual disc as if it were physical disk being inserted into your computer's disc drive. If you would prefer to explore the contained files manually, bypassing any "autoplay" or "autorun" features on the data image, right-click the ISO's icon and select "Explore" from the list of options in the menu.
Download and install the freeware program DaemonTools Lite. (See the "Resources" section at the end of this article for a link to download the program.)
Open DaemonTools Lite by right-clicking the icon that appears in the Windows task bar after installation.
Click "Virtual CD/DVD-ROM," and then click "Device 0."
Click "Mount Image." A new window will pop open.
Navigate to the location of the ISO file you'd like to mount. Click the ISO file to highlight it, and then click "Open."
Download and install the freeware program Virtual CloneDrive. (See the "Resources" section at the end of this article for a link to the Virtual CloneDrive website.)
Click the Windows "Start" button, and then click "Computer." (In Windows XP or previous version, click "My Computer.")
Right-click the icon for the virtual drive, which is labeled "CloneDrive." (The icon is a cartoon sheep.)
Click "Virtual CloneDrive," and then click "Mount."
Navigate to the location of the ISO file you'd like to mount. Click the ISO file to highlight it, and then click "Open."

TIPS & WARNINGS

  • DaemonTools Lite may install a web browser extension that is not required for the program to function normally. Uncheck the box labeled "Daemon Tool Search Bar" if you do not wish to install this extension.

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