The latest ESET v4 comes with SysRescue which is a Live CD to. However when I wanted to create SysRescue Live CD, I was asked to download and install Windows Automated Installation Kit first. The size of the file is shockingly huge at 1.34GB! After finished downloading, I thought it was a setup file where I could run and install the required WAIK. Then I found out that it was an ISO file. No big deal because I normally use PowerArchiver to extract the ISO file so I can access the files without burning it to a disc. It took merely 2 seconds to extract and there is only 1 README.TXT file in the extracted folder. In the text file it says “This disc contains a “UDF” file system and requires an operating system that supports the ISO-13346 “UDF” file system specification.”
Looks like PowerArchiver doesn’t support extracting ISO-13346 (UDF) images. I’ve even tried using Universal Extractor to extract the ISO-13346 UDF image but failed. I certainly don’t want to burn that ISO to a disc so the next solution to access the files in the ISO image is to use Virtual CD/DVD-ROM emulator to mount the image file to a drive letter.
Here are 10 free virtual CD/DVD emulator that you can use to mount images. Some are very simple and small that are just meant for mounting image files but some has more features such as allowing you to create images from a CD/DVD.
The list below are arranged based on the file size (from small to big) of the installer. Reason is I am looking for a simple software to mount the Windows Automated Installation Kit ISO image.
1. Microsoft Virtual CDRom Control Panel
- There is no official page for this tool and you can’t even search for it in Microsoft website. What I like about this tool is it doesn’t require installation and the whole package is very small in size. The only drawback is it can only run in XP.
- Mounting an ISO image file using WinCDEmu is really easy. Just install and all you need to do is to double click on the ISO image file to automatically mount it to a drive letter. If you want to unmount, just right click on the drive and select Eject.
- Very straight forward interface for you to mount an image file. However this tool is unable to mount ISO-13346 (UDF) images. It can create ISO images from disc though…
- MagicDisc is created by the same developer of the popular MagicISO. It can mount a wide range of CD/DVD image formats and can also create CD/DVD image from disc. Supports from Windows 98 to Windows 7!
5. Virtual CloneDrive
- Supports XP and Vista. Mounting a CD/DVD image is as easy as double clicking the file.
6. Pismo File Mount
- This tool works a little different by mounting the image file like a network mapped drive.
7. Phantom CD
- Phantom CD supports XP and Vista 32-bit. This software installer is quite huge in size compared to the above and it can only mount 1 drive letter plus cannot create image from disc.
8. DAEMON Tools Lite Commercial
- The “Commercial” keyword for the title of the software is a little confusing. Usually commercial means shareware but for this one, it is a freeware. Be careful during installation because it will ask to install Browser Toolbar and also set DAEMON Tools default Search Provider. It can create image from disc. Supports XP and Vista.
9. Gizmo Drive
- This is the only free virtual disc emulator that can create image from both disc and folder. Support both 32 and 64 bit of XP, Vista, 2003, 2008, and Windows 7.
10. Alcohol 52%
- Can create image from disc. You have to go to Virtual Drive option to set the number of virtual drives before mounting an image because by default it is set to 0.
I have Windows XP, so I only needed to use Microsoft Virtual CDRom Control Panel to mount the WAIK. Extract winxpvirtualcdcontrolpanel_21.exe to a new folder and run VcdControlTool.exe. Click Driver Control button, click Install Driverand select VCdRom.sys that is located at the same folder as VcdControlTool.exe. Click Start and click OK. Click Add Drive button. Finally click Mount button and look for the ISO image. Click OK and I now see a new Z drive letter in My Computer.
If you’re looking for more features, try Gizmo Drive and Alcohol 52%.