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Windows 8 to Support Native ISO and VHD Mounting

By - Source: MSDN | B 106 comments

Mount those ISOs in Windows 8 without any additional tools.

Many of you have likely handled disc image files or even virtual hard drives. Sometimes there's no need to burn a DVD if you already have the disc image on your hard drive. While there is third-party software that will quickly and conveniently mount a disc image so that it appears as a DVD drive, such functionality will be baked into Windows 8.

Rajeev Nagar, principal group program manager for Windows, detailed Windows 8's built-in ISO and VHD mounting support.

"So how does this work in Windows 8? It’s quite simple – just 'mount' the ISO file (you can select mount from the enhanced Explorer ribbon or double-click or right-click on the file), and a new drive letter appears, indicating that the contents are now readily accessible," he wrote. "Underneath the covers, Windows seamlessly creates a 'virtual' CDROM or DVD drive for you on-the-fly so you can access your data."

Windows 8 will also support mounting of virtual drives.

"The Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) format is a publicly-available image format specification that allows encapsulation of the hard disk into an individual file for use by the operating system as a virtual disk in all the same ways physical hard disks are used," Nagar explained. "VHDs are handy for portability of system settings or to play back what has been saved as a snapshot of a system."

"Accessing a VHD in Windows 8 is as simple as what we’ve done with ISO files, but there is one important difference: rather than appearing as a removable drive (as is the case with ISO), VHDs appear as new hard drives," wrote Nagar.

Check out a demo of this function in the video below:

Windows 8 ISO and VHD

Discuss
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Top Comments
  • 20 Hide
    hyssar , September 11, 2011 10:12 PM
    Welcome to 2002, Microsoft.
  • 19 Hide
    chumly , September 12, 2011 12:27 AM
    Will it work for my MS_OFFICE_2010_NO_CDKEY_REQUIRED.iso?
  • 19 Hide
    mavroxur , September 11, 2011 10:55 PM
    About f*$%ing time.


Other Comments
  • -8 Hide
    nforce4max , September 11, 2011 10:07 PM
    I personally hate the ribbon, all it should be is just right click and be done with it.
  • 17 Hide
    runswindows95 , September 11, 2011 10:10 PM
    This is handy considering I use ISO's to install a lot of my programs. Maybe I might just stick with my XP system till 8 is launched.
  • 20 Hide
    hyssar , September 11, 2011 10:12 PM
    Welcome to 2002, Microsoft.
  • 12 Hide
    Firehead2k , September 11, 2011 10:34 PM
    unless they get support for all the other image formats as well , this is just a half-***ed attempt.
  • 16 Hide
    techseven , September 11, 2011 10:51 PM
    Quote:
    lol windows XP fail, thats like saying yeah I think im gonna stick with my windows 3.1 till something with less of a footprint comes out.


    Skipping over Windows 7 might be a good idea for anyone who is happy with windows XP, seems to me there will be many new and useful features in Windows 8

    Personally, I am done with windows XP...
  • -5 Hide
    mikeangs2004 , September 11, 2011 10:53 PM
    I know when I change partitions on a dual boot system (Ubuntu and Windows) the GRUB gets corrupted. Will this VHD and image mounting thing affect this GRUB? I am not sure if Windows 8 will address this realm of issues. Also which HDD should you install the boot loader (Ubuntu HDD or Windows HDD)? I install it onto the Ubuntu HDD under advanced installation. This way Windows Backup works correctly if I boot to Windows w/o using GRUB.
  • 14 Hide
    zybch , September 11, 2011 10:54 PM
    Firehead2kunless they get support for all the other image formats as well , this is just a half-***ed attempt.

    The problem is that pretty much all of your other formats are not formalized standards in any way.
  • -5 Hide
    dioxholster , September 11, 2011 10:55 PM
    haha too late, barely anyone uses discs now. and i hate the stupid ribbon! sticking with 7.
  • 19 Hide
    mavroxur , September 11, 2011 10:55 PM
    About f*$%ing time.


  • -8 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , September 11, 2011 10:58 PM
    i have a utility that does this, to be included with an OS makes no real difference to me.
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , September 11, 2011 11:01 PM
    This "news" is 12 days old.
  • 5 Hide
    runswindows95 , September 11, 2011 11:05 PM
    Personally, I would love to go to 7, but my 4 year old hardware is too old to run 7 properly. So, I'm trying to save up to get new hardware, and right now, XP is working fine for me.
  • 16 Hide
    Anonymous , September 11, 2011 11:09 PM
    these comments are making me laugh... don't like the ribbon - hide it... sticking with xp - it's insecure and more than a decade old... happy computing
  • -3 Hide
    COLGeek , September 11, 2011 11:09 PM
    Finally catching up to Linux....good job (not) M$! Get with the program!
  • 6 Hide
    waethorn , September 11, 2011 11:14 PM
    Firehead2kunless they get support for all the other image formats as well , this is just a half-***ed attempt.


    BIN/CUE and IMG files are treated the same as ISO by Microsoft. All of their existing tools work just fine with them. If you really think some other proprietary image format is important and needs recognition, you're delusional.
  • 5 Hide
    christop , September 12, 2011 12:00 AM
    Nice feature now I wont have to use ultra ISO.
  • 19 Hide
    chumly , September 12, 2011 12:27 AM
    Will it work for my MS_OFFICE_2010_NO_CDKEY_REQUIRED.iso?
  • 1 Hide
    ravewulf , September 12, 2011 12:39 AM
    Windows 7 already supports mounting and booting VHD files, granted it isn't nearly as convenient. You have to open up Computer Management and then go to Disk Management in order to mount them. I'm glad they're making this easier and adding iso support, but this should have been added to Windows a long time ago. Even Mac OSX has had built in disc image mounting and tools for ages.
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