what is a good windows utility for accessing an iso file as a disk
April 3, 2016 3:02 PM   Subscribe

I would like to be able to use an image of a CD/DVD ( a .iso file on windows ) so that I can access that image as if it is an actual cd. In the past, maybe 3 years ago or so, I used "Virtual Clone Drive" which worked pretty well but I don't know if this is still a good choice.

I would like to be able to use an image of a CD/DVD ( a .iso file on windows ) so that I can access that image as if it is an actual cd. In the past, maybe 3 years ago or so, I used "Virtual Clone Drive" which worked pretty well but I don't know if this is still a good choice.

The qualities that I am looking for, in order of importance. are :

-- works well ( of course )
-- free of sneaky tag-along software that gets installed along with it.
-- inexpensive ( free would be best but that's not crucial )
-- open source ( nice but not a requirement )

If you can suggest anything please let me know. Ideally I am looking for recommendations based on fairly recent first hand positive experience.

Thanks!
posted by metadave to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I've used Daemon Tools a lot in the past. It's not free or open-source, but the 'Lite' version is under 3 Euros. I found it to be completely reliable, and I'm not aware of anything sneaky that installs with it (although they do offer an ad-supported version).
posted by pipeski at 3:08 PM on April 3, 2016


WinCDEmu is free and open source. The older versions of DTLite were completely free and don't have any ads. (You may have to decline something in the installer, but I'm using 4.45 and have never once seen a single ad or any kind of malware.)
posted by Rhomboid at 3:23 PM on April 3, 2016


Windows 8 and 10 can natively mount disk images. Just right click an .iso file and choose mount. For XP, Vista, and 7 you can get Microsoft's Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel to mount images.
posted by zinon at 3:29 PM on April 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


Daemon Tools works, but it had adware crap in the installer last I checked (a few years ago).

If you're just interested in getting files out of ISOs without burning them, WinRAR or 7Zip can extract them to disk.
posted by neckro23 at 4:00 PM on April 3, 2016


I should have mentioned that I'm using 64-bit windows 7.

According to the Wikipedia page for "Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel" it only works on 32-bit windows versions. I couldn't find anything from Microsoft confirming this so I tried to get it to work anyway on my 64-bit windows 7 box. That didn't work ( maybe because it's not supported on 64-bit os's or maybe because I did something wrong ).

In any case it does not look like Microsoft takes "Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel" too seriously. From the readme.txt that comes with it: "THIS TOOL IS UNSUPPORT BY MICROSOFT PRODUCT SUPPORT SERVICES" The current release is from April 2013 .

Thanks for the heads up re "Daemon Tools", necro23. I want to actually access the ISO as a cd - not just extract files so I need something more than WinRAR or 7Zip.
posted by metadave at 4:14 PM on April 3, 2016


WinCDEmu is the best fit based on your list:

Features (from the website):
One-click mounting of ISO, CUE, NRG, MDS/MDF, CCD, IMG images.
Supports unlimited amount of virtual drives.
Runs on 32-bit and 64-bit Windows versions from XP to Windows 10.
Allows creating ISO images through a context menu in Explorer.
Small installer size - less than 2MB!
Does not require rebooting after installation.
A special portable version is available.
Translated to more than 20 languages.
Does not occupy drive letters when not used.
Supports data, DVD-video and BD-video images.
WinCDEmu is free for any kind of use - it is licensed under LGPL
posted by thewildgreen at 8:23 PM on April 3, 2016


I've been using 7zip to extract the contents of .iso files- no emulation required.
posted by zamboni at 8:28 PM on April 3, 2016


When I was running Windows 7, I used Virtual Clone Drive. Free, no adverts, no nagging and works well.

https://www.elby.ch/en/products/vcd.html

I'm on Windows 10 now so just use the built in ISO mounting capability.
posted by mr_silver at 7:25 AM on April 4, 2016


Thanks everyone for your answers. I decided to try out WinCDEmu and it seems to be working fine. If I run into any problems I'll post here but until then, no news is good news.
posted by metadave at 8:20 AM on April 4, 2016


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