ISO (International Standards Organization) files are files that contain the complete image of a disk in a single file. Think of it sort of as a zip file but not compressed. Having the contents of a disk in a single file makes it easier to download the disk from a website or to store on a shared network drive.
Many people download ISO files from the internet when they buy software or download operating systems. Normally when you get your ISO file you have to burn it to a CD or DVD to extract the files back to their original state and then you can use the disk as if you bought it that way. It’s also possible to extract the contents of an ISO file using third party software such as WinRAR.
If you use virtualization software such as VMware then you are used to mounting ISO files within the software so that your virtual machines can use them as if they had the actual disk in the drive. And if you use Windows 2008 or Windows Server 2012 then you may have noticed that you can mount ISO files directly in Windows so you don’t have to burn a CD or extract the files first.
This is where third party software such as Virtual Clone Drive comes in handy. It allows other versions of Windows to mount ISO files directly just like VMware and Windows 8/2012 does. It does this by creating a virtual CD/DVD drive on your system and then from there you can mount the ISO from your hard drive or other location. It supports other formats besides ISO such as BIN and CCD. Once the software is installed all you need to do is double click or right click your file and you can mount it in the virtual drive and start using it.
You can also have Virtual Clone Drive start with your computer allowing access to your virtual drive at all times. It will run in the system tray where you can open the program to change settings etc. That’s pretty much all there is to it so if you use a lot of ISO files then you should give it a try and see how it works from you. Virtual Clone Drive can be downloaded and used for free from the SlySoft website.
Magic ISO CD Burning Software