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I've downloaded an .iso file but don't have a DVD writer at the moment - is there a recommended Virtual DVD drive that I can use to install from the .iso file?

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What OS is this on? –  therefromhere Aug 2 '09 at 18:52
    
@therefromhere Windows :) –  user4100 Aug 2 '09 at 20:22

8 Answers 8

up vote 24 down vote accepted

Without knowing exactly what operating system you're running, I recommend using either VirtualCloneDrive or Magic Disc. Both are free and work on just about any version of Windows (including 64-bit versions). Plus they don't have the crapware that Daemon Tools tries to shove down your throat.

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+1 good guess - I'm using Windows Vista :) –  user4100 Aug 2 '09 at 20:21
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+1 MagicDisc does it for me –  Umber Ferrule Aug 2 '09 at 21:30

Assuming Windows, you can try Daemon Tools.

In Linux you can mount an ISO similarly to the way you mount other volumes:

mount -o loop -t iso9660 file.iso /mnt/test

Alternatively, if the installer doesn't mandate a "physical" volume to install from you can also extract the contents of the ISO file (archivers such as WinRAR are usually able to do this, but there's also special software for this) and run the installer from there.

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1  
completely agree –  bAN Aug 2 '09 at 18:55
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+1 for mentioning that you can simply extract the contents (sometimes). –  Sasha Chedygov Aug 2 '09 at 20:05

There are a few alternatives in this question providing that your are running Windows.

I'm using MagicISO myself and it works fine, although you have to buy a license to open ISO files larger than 300MB. An alternative is MagicDisc, a freeware virtual drive from MagicISO that can be used to mount ISO files as virtual drives.

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I usually use PowerISO.

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There is a free program called AlZip that will let you open/extract an ISO file like a regular compressed file (zip, rar, etc) It also supports these other formats, of course. Get it here

edit: it used to be free (ad-supported) for non-commercial users, but they seem to have changed the policy recently...

Also check out all the other free utility programs this Korean company has created. I can't remember if it was AlZip, but one of them adds a very useful "create new folder" context menu item.

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7-Zip will open ISOs too (as well as being generally superb.)

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Does it mount a partition? I cant find the option. And yes, its a superb piece of software. –  Artur Carvalho Aug 2 '09 at 21:37
    
You can just use "Extract To..." and extract all the contents to a folder. –  Andrew Hampton Aug 5 '09 at 15:28

I use Total Commander plugin ISO:

http://www.totalcmd.net/plugring/iso.html

It won't open certain ISO files though.

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@ondatra on what OS does it work on? –  user4100 Aug 3 '09 at 8:03
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Windows (or maybe on Linux if you run Total Commander in Wine) –  the_ress Aug 3 '09 at 19:11
    
@ondatra thanks for this! :) –  user4100 Aug 5 '09 at 9:57

7Zip will allow you to extract ISO files, it also lets you extract the boot files from a Windows XP/Vista/7/etc ISO

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