Many software distributors use disc image formats like ISO and IMG to provide their operating systems and application suits in downloadable form. Whether you are downloading a trial version of Windows 8, Microsoft Office 2013 or are looking to download a Linux distribution like Ubuntu, you will have to download a disc image file. Many users feel confused regarding the use of these files and how to extract the contents of the software from them. Let’s take a look at a few methods by which you can use these files from various formats such as ISO, BIN, CUE, NRG, MDF and others, followed by download links for free disc mounting tools for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
How To Open Disc Image Files Like ISO
Disc image files can be used in the following way:
- You can burn the image directly to a CD/DVD. This will turn the burned image as a workable CD/DVD. You can burn a disc image directly to an optical drive (CD/DVD) using tools like 7Burn and Nero Kwik Media.
- You can also extract the file using a program like WinRAR. The extracted content can then be used to either create a CD/DVD or you can run the setup file to execute the software. It is worth mentioning here that burning extracted disc images for bootable software like operating systems can result in the creation of a non-bootable disc. It is therefore advised to burn the disc image without extraction.
- You can mount the file to a virtual ROM using free tools like MagicDisc or Daemon Tools.
How To Mount A Disc Image
To use option three, follow the simple steps given below. These steps can allow you to create a virtual drive and add (mount) the disc image to it, so that you can use your virtual drive like a physical drive. This way, you can run games, application suites and other types of software.
Install A Disc Mounting Program And Create Virtual Drives
Install a disc mounting program (e.g. MagicDisc, Power ISO or Daemon Tools) and select the number of virtual drives to create.
Virtual Drives Will Appear Like Actual DVD ROMs in My Computer
This will display virtual drives that can be used to mount the images from ISO, NRG, IMG, BIN, CUE and other formats.
Select And Mount Disc Image
Simply select the disc image that you wish to execute, by giving it the path from your mounting software. In the case of MagicDisc, simply right click on the system tray icon and go to Virtual CD/DVD ROM –> No Media –> Mount and select the file from your hard drive. In the below example, I selected the virtual drive “G” to Mount a Windows 8 ISO image to it.
Use Disc Image Like Running A Real CD/DVD
This will allow you to run the CD/DVD image as if you had inserted it in a real optical drive. As you can see from the below image, the Windows 8 DVD was ready to be used like a real DVD after it was added to virtual drive G. You can find out more about using CD/DVD images from this post: Install Windows 8 Without DVD or USB Media.
Video Demonstration For Mounting An ISO Disc Image
For more details, refer to the following video tutorial from our YouTube or Vimeo Channel. How To Mount And Use ISO And Other Disc Images.
Windows Disc Mounting Tools
If you are a PC user, you can use the following free tools to mount files from ISO, BIN, CUE and other formats.
Download MagicDisc (Free)
Download Daemon Tools Lite (Free)
Mac OS X Disc Mounting Tools
While applications are usually mounted in Mac OS X by default, you can also use various tools to open files like ISO. Here are a few handy tools for Mac computers:
Download ToastMount (Free)
Linux Disc Mounting Tools
In case you are looking to mount disc images on a Linux computer, then here are a few free tools for you:
Download Furius ISO Mount (Free)
Download Mounty (Free)