Do you often have to mount ISO images? If you don’t know what ISO images are, they are simply images, or copies, of the filesystem of optical disks such as DVDs. You can think of them as “zip” files containing whatever there was on the disk.
Now before you can use an ISO file, you have to do something called “mounting” the ISO file. Mounting means to make a separate filesystem part of the current filesystem used by your Operating System. It’s like you’re taking a branch, and sticking it to the side of a tree. Then by climbing the tree, you can reach your new branch and its leaves, correct?
For ISO images, this “mounting” process is done by making the ISO file be represented as a virtual drive in Windows. All this to say, you’ll just get an additional “DVD” drive in your My Computer if you mount an ISO file.
There are various tools out there to do this mounting job. The most famous ones are probably Daemon Tools and Magic ISO. Maybe even Ultra ISO.
But, I tend to like minimum effort. I tried getting Daemon Tools to give me mounting options when I right-click on an ISO file without much success. The others are either too complex or not free.
If you want a dead-simple solution, try WinCDEmu. Despite its name, it does work with DVDs huh. And even Bluray I guess, but I haven’t tested those. I’m not lucky enough to be the owner of a BR drive… yet!
So WinCDEmu is an open-sourced application that works by installing a sort of virtual driver, along with its virtual bus and drives. Nothing for you to worry about, since it’s all done automatically. But you’ll need to have appropriate permissions (being Admin, for e.g.) to grant the permission to install the driver. And it’s a signed driver at that!
The process is just a Next-Next-Next process until it’s done. And? That’s it.
You’ll be presented with that window to customize settings. Nothing much to do.
To get it working? Double-click on your ISO image. A new “DVD” drive will be created in My Computer. You can then access the ISO contents as if they were a normal disk.
To unmount the ISO image, just right-click the virtual drive and select Eject.
Also, WinCDEmu supports a variety of other disk image formats, such as ISO, CUE, NRG and IMG to name a few.
Just to mention that WinCDEmu didn’t associate with the CUE, NRG, IMG and other file formats on my machine, just ISO. If that’s the case, just right-click the image file, then select Open With – WinCDEmu Mounter. You can also change file associations in Windows to point the WinCDEmu Mounter—to have the double-click mounting functionality—like this on Windows Vista/7. For XP just Google.
- Head to Control Panel – Default Programs – Associate a File Type or Protocol with a Program.
- Locate your File Type e.g. NRG
- Select it then click the Change Program on the top right corner.
- Select WinCDEmu. Done
That’s it. Go download WinCDEmu and give it a try. A portable, but beta version, is also available. And if you know some application that can beat WinCDEmu in simplicity for this task, do share! Thanks for reading 😀