I have mounted an ISO file on my Linux machine. It's an ISO file to install Windows 7. It's mounted but I have no idea how to run it. There are EXE files inside, but I don't think I should touch them (even if I try I can't because they are windows EXE files). I really want to uninstall Linux because I can't update or install any new software -- or even connect to the internet. So does anyone know how to run the ISO after it is mounted?

  • Write iso to a DVD, then boot of disk. – Zoredache Sep 23 '11 at 8:46

What you probably need to do is is to loopmount the iso, not burn it.

We will use sudo- which elevates accounts according to the sudoers file - i assume that its a standard ubuntu system and uses that. if doing this as root, ignore the 'sudo' in front of commands. These commands should work as the user you created during install without any additional work. All this is in terminal, so you can just copy and paste the commands with the appropriate changes.

Create a mountpoint if you haven't already (you seem to have, but lets assume you haven't)

make mountpoint by

sudo mkdir -p /mnt/disk

mount file at /home/user/Desktop/disk1.iso to mountpoint - this uses the standard mount command

sudo mount -o loop /home/user/Desktop/disk1.iso /mnt/disk

However you will not be able to start a windows install from linux

  • "However you will not be able to start a windows install from linux" -- that's what I need to do though... when I installed Linux it just worked instantly, why can I undo it just as easily? How would I uninstall Linux and install Windows instead? – Hanna Sep 23 '11 at 9:39
  • Well, you installed linux off either a stripped down linux install or a live cd. Likewise windows needs to run off a windows install of some sort. Use this howto to burn the iso into a cd properly. No offence, but i'm having a little trouble keeping up with your questions cause there's some seperation between what you say you want, and the end goal. – Journeyman Geek Sep 23 '11 at 9:45
  • I used InfraRecorder and followed these exact instructions and it still simply opened up the ISO file on my Linux machine instead of booting the disk. But I'll try again. – Hanna Sep 23 '11 at 9:50
  • wait.. what did run infracorder on? and what version of windows do you actually want to install? Also, you need try to put the disk in the system then reboot, go to bios, make sure the cd is the first boot device... then let it boot FROM the cd you just burnt – Journeyman Geek Sep 23 '11 at 9:51
  • I ran infrarecorder on my Windows 7 machine. And I wanted to install Windows 7 with SP 1. I'll be sure to restart the computer with the disk inside, thanks! – Hanna Sep 23 '11 at 19:20

wretrOvian's suggestion is the easiest way.

But if you don't want / can't burn the disk you can use Virtual box to help you. Windows generally doesn't support shifting from one hardware configuration to another, so you have to use the virtual machine to initiate the process and continue the rest by rebooting into the setup environment.

In pre-Vista era, windows setup has two steps -- file copying and install. Normally you get an option to copy all the installation files to a partition and run setup from there. I think you can't do this if you boot from the CD/iso, so you have to find a working Windows PE image first.

For Vista and above, the installation process seems to be simple disk imaging, so you can go through the most of the setup until the reboot after file expansion.

More elaborate steps:

  1. Partition your disk and make a PRIMARY NTFS partition that is big enough (10G+ for pre-Vista, 25GB+ otherwise) and set the "boot" (active) flag to it.
  2. Follow this guide to create a vmdk file for that NTFS partition. (Do not use the whole drive because Windows will overwrite the Linux boot loader.)
  3. Setup the VM. Make sure your VM configuration (number of CPUs, chipset and disk controller) is similar to the real hardware. Otherwise you may get a BSoD when you reboot the host computer to continue the installation process.
  4. (Pre-Vista) Boot from a PE disk, run the setup.exe on the CD and choose to copy all the installation files to disk. (It's hidden behind a button on the page where you choose system language and components.)
  5. When the setup program automatically reboots, turn off the virtual machine at the POST screen.
  6. Add an entry to your Linux boot loader to boot from the NTFS partition. For older Grub, it's a simple root command and chainloader +1. There're plenty of guides online.
  7. Reboot your Linux and choose the Windows partition in the boot menu.
  • The problem is I can't install software or anything. And I want to completely overwrite linux. – Hanna Sep 23 '11 at 9:29

What you could do is - burn the ISO to a Disc using a iso-burning software (not as a file). Then boot with the disc to run the Windows setup. (this is assuming the iso is bootable)

EDIT - An ISO is like a zip (compressed file) - it may contain multiple files and directories. And it also contains boot information that is meant for the boot sector of your disc. Hence, you don't burn the file itself. You also don't burn the contents of the iso file by themselves. What you need to find is a burning software that supports creating discs FROM an ISO file. I hope this helps.

  • I used InfraRecorder and used the option to "write the contents of a disc-image (iso) to a CD". I also tried the native software that Windows 7 has but I got a stream-write error. – Hanna Sep 23 '11 at 9:45

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