How to run ISOs without burning on a disk?

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Certain programs like gParted and linux ISOs are required to be burned on a CD and then read by the disk drive. But, it is fraustrating because : 1. You may have a crappy disk drive or 2. You're too lazy to go buy a blank disk.

So, here's another option for running those ISOs. You can use softwares to create virtual disk drives and mount those ISO files. Those softwares will extract the contents of the ISO files and mount it onto the virtual drive.

Below is a detailed yet simple tutorial on using PowerISO to mount an iso file.

1. Installing PowerISO

Power-ISO-Download

PowerISO is available from www.poweriso.com. It is a paid program, but the unregistered (free) version has all the features we need in order to mount an ISO file.

2. Setting up a virtual drive

  • Once, you have downloaded and installed PowerISO, go to Start > All programs > Poweriso > Poweriso.
  • Now, click on Continue unreg to continue without buying the software.
  • We will create only one virtual drive. So, click on Tools > Virtual Drive > Set no. Of drives and then select 1 drive.

  • Next, wait for some time and go to My computer. There you will see a new drive, probably named CD Drive. If you don't see it, you will need to restart your computer.

3. Mounting the ISO

Here comes the fun part.

  • Go to the location where you have the ISO file, right click on the file and select Mount to Drive.
  • Select the virtual drive's extension you've got (F: , G: etc). If you see in the picture above, our virtual drive extension is G:. You might have different extension, though.

  • Now, return to My Computer and open up your virtual drive. There you'll see that your virtual drive contains the contents of the ISO. The drive acts same as a real disk drive, meaning, it is just as same as burning the ISO on a CD/DVD drive.

4. Unmounting and removing the drive

  • You can unmount or empty your virtual drive by going to PowerISO > Tools > Virtual Drives > Unmount Drives.
  • Then you can remove the drive by going to Tools > Virtual Drives > Set number of Drives > Disable. (See the first image above.)

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