An ISO image is one of the most popular file formats used worldwide to distribute OS, patches, games and other digital content which requires installation. The primary advantage of an .ISO file is that it can be burned onto a CD/DVD or you can mount it as a drive and extract its content. You can even transfer it over the internet or via portable drives.
Due to the popularity of the .ISO file format, Microsoft has added native support to mount, extract and create ISO files right into the core of Windows 8, but all its predecessors, namely Windows 7, Vista and XP required third party tools to mount ISO image files.
If you are looking for a similar free third party tool for Windows using which you can mount .ISO files instantly, then check out our compilation of the four best free ISO imaging mounting tools.
1. Gizmo Drive
Gizmo Drive has a very user-friendly interface.
We can mount images using Gizmodrive in two ways.
The first way-
1. Open Gizmo Manager by clicking on its icon in the system tray on the bottom right corner of the screen.
2. Select the option ‘Mount ISO, BIN, VHD to virtual drive’
3. The Virtual Drives tab opens.
4. Select a device name.
5. Click on ‘Mount image’ at the top. In the dialog box, select the location of the image file and the drive letter to be assigned to the Virtual Drive and click on ‘OK’.
6. The image is mounted to the selected device number with the specified Disc letter.
The second and easier way to do it is as follows-
1. Go to the image file location.
2. Right click on the file.
3. Select ‘Mount image’ from the drop-down menu.
4. The same dialog box appears(which appears in step 6 of the previous way). Continue with the same procedure and the image is mounted.
Overall, Gizmo Drive is an easy to use-application that gets things done pretty fast. Even its installation takes a few seconds.
2. Pismo File Mount
Pismo file mount is another desktop application that can be used to mount images. It is straightforward to use.
Mount an image using Pismo by following these steps-
1. Click on File.
2. Select ‘Mount’ and then select the image file you want to mount. The file is mounted to specified drive
Pismo is a desktop application that keeps things minimal and at the same time is very efficient.
3. Magic Disc
Magic Disc is an application that lives in the system tray. Here’s how to mount an image to a virtual disc drive using it-
1. Right Click on the Magic Disc icon in the system tray on the bottom right.
2. Select ‘Virtual CD/DVD ROM’.
3. Select the drive you want to use for mounting the image (the only one if you’ve selected the number of drives as one).
4. Select ‘Mount’ and the specified image file is mounted to the drive.
Overall, Magic Disc works fine, however we would have liked it even more if it had a better user-interface.
WinCDEmu can be used to mount an image in the following way-
1. Right click on your image file.
2. Select the option ‘Select Drive letter & Mount’
3. Specify the drive letter you want to use and the disc type.
4. Click on OK and the disc is mounted.
Overall, WinCDEmu is again an application that does not have a very good interface but it does have functionality.
Among all the desktop softwares, Gizmo Drive seems the most appealing because it has superb functionality along with a great user-interface.