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I recently downloaded software in an .iso format.

Do I need to download any special software to run this file?

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You might want to state your operating system--the answer is different depending on the OS. – CarlF Dec 15 '10 at 22:48

Short Answer: Yes.

Long Answer: An ISO is an optical media (CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, etc.) image. Normally you would use some sort of burning software (ImgBurn, CDBurnerXP, Nero, Roxio, etc.) to burn this ISO to a disc, then use the disc to install from.

Alternatively, there is software available like Virtual Clone Drive, DVDFab Virtual Drive, or Daemon Tools (among others) that will let you create a virtual CD/DVD drive and mount the ISO to a drive letter.

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+1 for Virtual Clone Drive, – Svish Dec 15 '10 at 2:05
+1 for DaemonTools – Iszi Dec 15 '10 at 3:50

Most decompression programs can also simply extract an ISO file to a folder. You can then run the setup executable directly from the extracted files.

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An iso (short for ISO 9660) is a CD image. On most desktop operating systems other than Windows, you can access its contents by mounting it through FuseISO (e.g. Ubuntu: fuseiso Install fuseiso).

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If you are using Windows consider using PowerISO. There are plenty of reviews on CNET and I consider it one of the better shareware versions. It is not only capable of reading ISO formats but it can also mount them as virtual CD/DVD drives.

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