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.
      winxpmountcd_run
    2. Type %SystemRoot%/system32/drivers and press enter.
      winxpmountcd_system32drivers
    3. Copy VCdRom.sys into this folder.
  3. Run the program by opening VCdControlTool.exe
  4. Click Driver Control, then click Install Driver.
    winxpmountcd_drivercontrolwinxpmountcd_installdriver
  5. Navigate to the folder where you copied VCdRom.sys (C:/WINDOWS/system32/drivers), select it, and click Open.
  6. Click Start, then OK.
    winxpmountcd_start

Mounting an Image File

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

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.