Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Make use of your ISO files without any CD/DVD/Blue Ray discs

How to extract the contents of an ISO file without burning it into a disc?

First off an .iso file is an image file of a disc dontained into a single file. It is much like a .zip file except that there is no compression involved. It is just that all files in a cd is put into a single file this way it is much easier to transfer within a network.

The problem with an ISO file is that Windows can not natively open such a file. Usually, the contents of an ISO file is extract into a disc through a burning software. After you burn an ISO image to a cd, you will be able to browse and even at all the contents. But what if you don't want to use a CD?

A simple solution is to use what is called virtual drive. These virtual drives emulates a CD/DVD/Blue ray ROM even if you don't have any of it physically installed on your machine.

Here is what you can do:

Launch your virtual drive emulator - if you don't have one, download and install one. There are several freeware available just search using your favorite search tool. Try using the following phrase to look for your virtual drive: "virtual drive with ISO support". I specified the ISO support since there are some that may not support ISO mounting.

Mount the ISO file - look for the ISO file you want to browse and mount it into your virtual drive. If your virtual drive has its own UI then browse for the ISO file from there. But there are some virtual drives that uses the File Explorer of windows to mount and opens the ISO file as if Windows can natively open it.

Browse the contents of the ISO file - Once the file has been mounted into the virtual drive, it is now possible to look at its content. You may even copy files or if it is an installer, you may directly install the application from the virtual drive.

That's all there is. Enjoy.

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