Microsoft releases tool to mount .ISOs for Windows XP, Vista and 7

Microsoft has released a new tool today that should make quite a few folks happy who have struggled to find easy to use software to mount .ISOs in older versions of Windows. The application allows users of Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 to mount ISO disk image files as virtual CD-ROM drive which should help with installs of Windows 8 and other software.

Microsoft notes that the application, while built by the company, will not receive support and users should install it at their own risk. In addition, those of you with Windows 8 do not need to install the application as that platform supports native ISO mounting.

The Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel utility enables users of Windows XP, Vista, and 7 to mount ISO disk image files as virtual CD-ROM drives. This can be highly useful for reading disk images to install software or recover backup files. Notes: This tool is not supported by Microsoft; use at your own risk. Windows 8 users do NOT need this tool.

This application will likely be widely used as options available for older version of Windows to mount .ISOs are either riddled with bolt-ons and are free, or are a premium product. This free application will make it easier for those user to be able to download a Windows 8 .ISO from Microsoft and install the software without having to utilize third-party software. 

Download: Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel

Thanks for the tip, @windows4live!

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65 Comments

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This story is misleading. Apart from the fact that the tool was released a decade ago, it cannot help whatsoever in installing Windows 8 from a DVD iso image since it can only handle CD-ROM iso images.

Must admit I had never heard of this, so still glad NeoWin posted up about it... quite cool, I prefer using Microsoft stuff where possible, although it's been a while since I've needed to mount anything! OOO ERRR

Those saying this tool is a decade old, has it been supporting ISO-13346 (UDF) since release? I don't think so, maybe improvements have been made.

LauRoman said,
Those saying this tool is a decade old, has it been supporting ISO-13346 (UDF) since release? I don't think so, maybe improvements have been made.

UDF was released in 1995 and supported on Windows 95. This tool is from 2001. Why would it not support UDF?

Also, it's at version 2.0.1.1, so obviously improvements have been made since first being released.

There's the usual load of whingeing old sods in here today I see!

It may well be an old tool , but I think it's useful to be reminded of these things now and again , thanks Brad!

Pikey said,
There's the usual load of whingeing old sods in here today I see!

It may well be an old tool , but I think it's useful to be reminded of these things now and again , thanks Brad!


Not when 1.) It doesn't work on 64-bit and, 2.) It doesn't work with DVD images and therefore, 3.) Can't actually be used to install Windows 8 because it's a DVD image.

Nothing wrong with being reminded of old tools, as long as tools from 9 years ago aren't said to be "new" with potential uses that won't actually work. The article is therefore almost entirely pointless. Mainly thanks to Microsoft and their incorrect publishing dates for the confusion.

I installed Windows 8 on a laptop that doesn't have a CD/DVD reader. The laptop was UEFI compatible.
First, use DISKPART to clean up a USB memory stick, convert it to GPT and create one single partition and use FAT file system. Set the flag that indicates that the partition is bootable (also done using DISKPART).
After that, close DISKPART and use XCOPY to copy everything from the DVD to the new partition on the memory stick.
Once done, just boot any UEFI machine with it.
The UEFI system will find the boot loader on the stick (it's in the /efi directory) and use that.
This might not work on some computers with shady UEFI implementations.

The Windows installation program will install legacy MBR boot loader even on fully UEFI compatible computers if the installer is launched through the legacy boot loader.
To have full UEFI compatibility, make sure that you boot the Windows installation disc/memory using the UEFI boot loader.

I always do clean installs instead of upgrades.

Radium said,
...

and your point is?

This tool is not made for installing Windows 8, so what does installing Windows 8 from USB have to do with anything?

mikeyx12 said,

and your point is?

This tool is not made for installing Windows 8, so what does installing Windows 8 from USB have to do with anything?


Mounting Windows 8 DVD to upgrade Windows XP/Vista/7?
I thought that was possible since long back... Insert disc and upgrade.

If Microsoft is releasing a tool, why is it unsupported? No faith in their programming staff? Blatant attempt to force people to use Windows-8? Some other reason?

TsarNikky said,
If Microsoft is releasing a tool, why is it unsupported? No faith in their programming staff? Blatant attempt to force people to use Windows-8? Some other reason?

Software developers who sell software don't give support to the use of their freebie tools.
It's not that they don't have faith in their code, it's about not giving support for tools that shouldn't be used by people who don't know what they are doing.
They lose money if they give support to freebies.
Professionals find the bugs and report them.
Many large software developers hand out free tools that stand in the shadows and are released AS IS. Look at many freeware out there with a worthy EULA, they say the same as Microsoft in this case. No support and released AS IS.

TsarNikky said,
If Microsoft is releasing a tool, why is it unsupported? No faith in their programming staff? Blatant attempt to force people to use Windows-8? Some other reason?

They released it in 2001. I highly doubt it's a blatant attempt to force people to use Windows 8. lol

1. As others have said, this is a very old tool.
2. Virtual CloneDrive is also free, much easier to use and has also been around for a long time.

Damn, there goes the only windows 8 selling feature!

haha no. but having windows auto mount ISO files really screwed me up when I accidentally double clicked and then couldn't delete it.

srbeen said,
Damn, there goes the only windows 8 selling feature!

haha no. but having windows auto mount ISO files really screwed me up when I accidentally double clicked and then couldn't delete it.


That's why you "eject" it first. Just like you can't remove a disc from the tray without opening the tray first.

Virtual CloneDrive is the one you want!
worked for me for years, right after a new version of deamon tools became bloated.

This tool was released in 2001, and this version released in 2004. It doesn't seem to work on 64-bit and doesn't seem to work with DVD images.

greenwizard88 said,
Maybe that's why it was updated today?

Did you not read my comment? The part about this version being released 9 years ago and not today?

PoohGQ said,
Looks like Windows 8 doesn't like this driver! It's blocked from Installing..

Windows 8 can already mount ISOs natively. It's the default action for "Open" on a .iso file.

PoohGQ said,
Looks like Windows 8 doesn't like this driver! It's blocked from Installing..

Derp.

Did you not read the article OR the download site? Wow.

COKid said,
Never mind. You can't it seems. Guess I'll stick with DT Lite.

Interesting... I wonder why they say you can install Windows 8 using this, given it's on a DVD and all

PoohGQ said,
Which is better; Daemon Tools or PowerISO?

I use SlySoft Virtual CloneDrive. It's free and doesn't have adware or any other crap.

mikeyx12 said,

Interesting... I wonder why they say you can install Windows 8 using this, given it's on a DVD and all

Probably due to a lot of the ultra thin devices not actually having DVD drives.

Virtual Clone Drive is the best. Free, no ads, fast, no errors.

Daemon Tools were my first choice, but I really dont need the extra functionality together with all the bloat.

UltraIso is great for creating or editing Iso files and other formats and it also comes with a great fake cd/dvd drive just like Daemon tools BUT it works with way less fuss and hassle than DT. Super cool program i think.

mikeyx12 said,

I use SlySoft Virtual CloneDrive. It's free and doesn't have adware or any other crap.

Virtual Clone Drive is perfect. Lightweight, free and crapware free

shial said,

Probably due to a lot of the ultra thin devices not actually having DVD drives.

It would help if you actually followed the thread before commenting. My point was this tool (from what COKid) was saying does not work with DVD images, so therefore Windows 8 cannot be installed using this tool because the image of Windows 8 is a DVD image.

Honestly, who cares if it was released 1,5,10 years ago? Lots of people never heard of it, handy to have, esp. on older XP boxes.

cybertimber2008 said,
It does say date published 4/23 (yesterday) beside the download... so while maybe it hasn't been a new tool release, it is a new update to said tool.

That version (2.0.1.1) is from 2004, so not really. It's Microsofts fault for the incorrect info.

This isn't actually new. This is just a re-release of the old VCdRom.sys driver and app. I've been using this exact tool from Microsoft since 2003.

Sly_Ripper said,
This is years old, even version 2.0.1.1, at least 2008.

the digital signature on the file says it was signed on january 2003.

so it is 10 years old. It has not been updated since.

the update date on the download center has changed just because MS updated the product description to warn users not to install it on windows 8.

definitely not newsworthy.