How To: Mount Images (ISO Files) in Windows XP with a Small, Free Microsoft App

Windows XP:  If you have ever downloaded a disk image (ISO file), you likely burned it to a CD or DVD and put it in your optical drive.  Well, image files don’t necessarily need to be burned to physical media – they can be mounted “virtually” in your operating system and be used just the same.  Software such as Daemon Tools (free) and Alcohol 120% (not free) can mount disk images, but why use those when Microsoft has a free image mounting program?

Virtual CD Control Panel is a free (albeit unsupported) program from Microsoft that lets you quickly mount images in Windows XP.  Although the program doesn’t list support for DVD images, I mounted the Windows 7 installation DVD without any problems.

Getting Started

  1. Download Windows XP Virtual CD Control Panel and extract the files.
  2. Copy VCdRom.sys (included in the zip file) to C:/WINDOWS/system32/drivers(or see detailed instructions below).
    1. Click Start –> Run.
    2. Type %SystemRoot%/system32/drivers and press enter.
    3. Copy VCdRom.sys into this folder.
  3. Run the program by opening VCdControlTool.exe
  4. Click Driver Control, then click Install Driver.
  5. Navigate to the folder where you copied VCdRom.sys (C:/WINDOWS/system32/drivers), select it, and click Open.
  6. Click Start, then OK.

Mounting an Image File

  1. In the Virtual CD Control Panel application, click Add Drive which will create the virtual drive.
  2. Click ‘Mount’ and select the ISO file you would like to use.  Click OK in Special Mount Options.
  3. Your disc will now be fully accessible in My Computer, just the same as if you had the disc in your optical drive.

Unmounting an Image File

  1. In Virtual CD Control Panel, select your virtual drive and click Eject.
  2. Click Remove Drive.

Virtual CD Control Panel is a free application for Windows XP.  [Download]

Published by Evan Wondrasek

Evan Wondrasek is the founder and editor-in-chief of Techerator and is a software engineer in Minneapolis, MN. Evan holds degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and is also the creator of MarkdownPad.