How to mount ISO disk images in Microsoft Windows

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This article was published several years ago and the information within may not always be up to date or accurate. No further changes or updates will be done and it will remain on our website for archiving purposes.

Open ISO file in Windows

Microsoft Windows 8 has integrated features to open and manage ISO disk images in Windows Explorer. You simply double click on .iso file and system will mount it as virtual optical drive and view its content. In older Windows versions, you enable these features by using third-party optical drive emulators, for example Daemon Tools.

However, Microsoft has released a freeware software called Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel that integrates ISO disk management to older versions of Windows.

Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel

Microsoft Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel is available to download on Microsoft's website.

Supported Windows: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2.

Virtual CDRom Control Panel

Virtual CDRom Control Panel

Install Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel

It is a tiny self-extracting ZIP archive that contains virtual CD-ROM driver, settings utility and short instructions. Unpack archive to any directory.

Directory content:

  • readme.txt
  • VcdControlTool.exe
  • VcdRom.sys

Virtual CDrom Control Panel installation package

Virtual CDRom installation package content

Disk images support: CDFS Image (*.cdfs), ISO disk images (*.iso), UDF Images (*.udf)

Mount ISO disk image in Virtual CDRom Control Panel

Open the directory and copy VcdRom.sys driver (Ctrl+C) to Windows\System32\ directory (Ctrl+V) stored on system drive.

Start VcdControlTool.exe with administration rights (click by right mouse button on app and select Run as Administrator).

Virtual CDRom Control Panel driver control

Virtual CDRom Control Panel Driver Control

Click on Driver Control... button → Install Driver... button

Virtual CDRom Control Panel install driver

Virtual CD-ROM driver installation

Select Windows\System32\VcdRom.sys file → click on Start button and after that OK Button.

Virtual CD-ROM Driver Control

Virtual CD-ROM Start driver

Click on Add Drive button and after that on Mount button → select .iso file and click on Open button.

Virtual CDRom Control Panel create virtual drive

Virtual CDRom Control Panel mount .iso file

You can select other special mount options and after that click on OK button.

Special Mount Options

Mount options

Now the .iso file is mounted to virtual CD-ROM drive and you are able to install software, or copy data from it.

Windows Explorer view CD-ROM content

Content of the .iso file

To change .iso file in virtual drive open Virtual CDRom Control Panel → click on Mount button and select another .iso (or other supported disk image file formats).



Related software and links:

Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel    Microsoft Windows platform
A disk mounting utility for Windows


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This article was published several years ago and the information within may not always be up to date. No further changes or updates will be done.
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Related file extensions

cdfs - Compact Disc File System

iso - CD/DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray disc ISO binary image

udf - Universal Disk Format image

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