Windows 8 Feature: Mounting Disc Images!!!

Don’t be Hatin’

Ever since the developer preview was released ages ago, it seems that all I’ve heard is “boohoo we hate the new interface Windows is ruined for the power user blah blah blah.” Well I am here to tell you that, like many things new, it only takes a bit of getting used. As a matter of fact there are a few awesome new features in Windows 8. One of my personal favorite new features is the ability to mount disc images such as .ISO files!

What Does That Even Mean?

If you already know the basics of what a disc image is and why you might want to mount one then just skip to the next section, for anyone else read on. So a disc image is basically just a file that contains all of the uncompressed data and structure of a CD-ROM or DVD. Usually a disc image will have the file extension .ISO. Often times disc images are just used to easily distribute the information on a disc. It’s an ideal situation because after you create an image from a disc, you can easily create a disc from the image.

There is however another useful thing you can do with a disc image and that is mounting it. When you mount a disc image it’s like you are putting a virtual disc into a virtual disc drive. As you can imagine this can be very handy if you happen to have an image but no blank DVDs around, or if you have a fancy smancy new notebook without a disc drive. By mounting you avoid the hassle of burning the image to a disc, as well as the problem of labeling and storing the physical media.

Mount Up!!!

If you wanted to mount an image in Widows 7 you would need to download 3rd party software, but in 8 it’s baked right in and painfully simple! First you need to find the .ISO file you want to mount, select it, and then click manage button in the explorer ribbon.

screenshot of step 1

After that you will see 2 options: Mount and Burn. Obviously you select the Mount option and WALA you’re done.

Screen capture 2

Your computer will now act as if the physical disc of the image you chose is inserted into the computer. To prove that it worked go to My Computer and look at “devices with removable storage.” You should see the disc there.

Screenshot of step 3