How to mount and unmount ISO or IMG in Windows

Windows 8 or 10

Since Windows 8, there has been support in the OS for mounting an ISO or IMG file to a drive letter.

  • To mount, open Powershell and use Mount-DiskImage command:
$ Mount-DiskImage -ImagePath C:\MyFiles\foo.iso

Remember that you need to provide the full path to the file. The file will be mounted on the lowest available drive letter.

  • To unmount, open a command prompt with administrator privileges and use the mountvol command:
$ mountvol F: /d

Windows 7 and older

Windows 7 and older versions of Windows do not have internal support for mounting ISO or IMG file. Use the Virtual CloneDrive tool as described here to mount and unmount.

How to mount and unmount ISO using Virtual CloneDrive

A lot of software is available as ISO files or IMG files and most folks would like to install this directly without having to go through the hassle of burning a DVD. This can be done by mounting the ISO file as a drive and installing from that drive.

Windows 7 and older Windows do not include the capability to mount a ISO file, but there are tools that offer this feature. The best I have found is Virtual CloneDrive. Download it, install it and any time you need to mount a ISO file, right-click it and choose Mount. When you are done and unmount it by clicking on the Virtual CloneDrive icon in the system tray.

Tried with: Virtual CloneDrive 5.4.6.0 and Windows 7 x64

Ubuntu in VirtualBox on Windows

It is useful to have a copy of Ubuntu around on Windows. Dual-booting is too painful, but having Ubuntu running in a virtual machine makes it convenient to quickly try or check anything over in Linux-land. Getting Ubuntu to run in a virtual machine on Windows is really easy.

1. We need software that can mount an ISO file as a drive under Windows. I have used Virtual CloneDrive for many years for this purpose.

2. Download the ISO file of Ubuntu and mount it as a drive using Virtual CloneDrive.

3. VirtualBox is a simple virtual machine for Windows that can host Ubuntu. Download and install it.

4. Run VirtualBox. Choose to create a new virtual machine. Choose Ubuntu and click Next on all the dialogs so that the default settings are chosen. When asked to pick the installation media, pick the drive where the Ubuntu ISO is mounted. You should be able to boot the Ubuntu install disc and install it. This will take quite a while and you will be required to pick a timezone and create a username. After the install is over, unmount the ISO. You can now open Ubuntu whenever you want under Windows.

Tried with: Virtual CloneDrive 5.4.4.0, Ubuntu 11.10, VirtualBox 4.1.10 and Windows 7