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Best Software for Mounting an ISO Image

    Question

  •  

    There is a lot of ISO image software available (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ISO_image_software).


    I am looking for the best application for mounting an ISO optical disc image ( .iso ) to establish a virtual CD/DVD drive in Windows Home Server.  This is to install software in WHS directly from ISO.


    I would give preference to free, open-source, actively-developed projects, but i'm open minded.  Also, it seems that not all XP/Vista 32-bit utilities will work in a Windows Server 2003 WHS environment.  It will take some experimentation to find what is compatible. 

     

    What have you tried?  What works for you?  What doesn't?   Please limit responses to applications tested in WHS only.

    Thursday, August 28, 2008 3:33 AM

Answers

  • Per your recommedations I tested DAEMON Tools Lite v4.30.1 32/64 bits (with SPTD 1.56).

    The installation was simple, required a reboot, and offered options to change my web browser homepage and add toolbars (which I declined). 

    The application did create an enumerated DVD drive with the hardware signature ABEXWDA.  Other than the hardware signature it is indistinguishable from the other real optical disc devices I have installed.  There were two new devices appearing in Device Manager under SCSI and RAID controllers: AW33SB57 IDE Controller (Hardware ID Jwfer-2945) and Unknown Device (Hardware ID root\vclone).

    I was able to mount/unmount drive images using the interface that is accessible when clicking on the icon in the Notification Area of the Windows Taskbar.  Oddly this icon is a picture of a shattered optical disk with a red background even when the image is mounted, which is a rather disturbing image to have on the desktop of your Windows 2003 Server.

    During installation I chose to integrate DAEMON into the Windows Explorer shell but it did not register .ISO or .NRG extensions to the DAEMON application.  However, after checking (enabling) the associations in the application interface, the Open association was made to these and many other extensions such as .CUE, .MDS , and .CCD.

    There are a great many emulation options available for advanced users familiar with DAEMON Tools Pro for emulating copy-protected media.

    I would rate DAEMON Tools Lite the superior choice to Microsoft Windows XP Virtual CD Control Panel for the following reasons:
    1. Under active development
    2. Windows Explorer shell integration that makes mounting images very easy and quick
    3. Compatible with .ISO images and many other formats including Nero .NRG, .CUE, .CCD, and Alcohol/Macrovision/Lightning UK! .MDS
    4. Offered to non-commercial users as free of cost. (Commercial users may be interested in the DAEMON Tools Pro.)

    I would be interested in follow up posts if someone has a better solution (e.g. open-source).  I hope this thread isn't plagued by further posts of untested suggestions or references to operating environments other than Windows Home Server.
    Wednesday, September 03, 2008 10:12 PM

All replies

  • I tried Elaborate Bytes VirtualCloneDrive 5.4 and the installation hung while installing the driver. (WHS PP1)
    __________

    I re-tested a later version of this software, VirtualCloneDrive 5.4.5.0, on Windows Home Server SP2 and this time there was no hang during installation.  The product did not function properly and is obviously incompatible. 

    Thursday, August 28, 2008 3:40 AM
  •  

    Try Deamon Tools. The Lite versio nis free. I use it with Vista and WHS also.
    Thursday, August 28, 2008 3:48 AM
  • Microsoft makes a free mounting tool that works with XP.  I have no idea if it works on WHS or not.

    It's here:

    Virtual CD Control Panel

    The best part about it is it's unobtrusive.
    Thursday, August 28, 2008 3:56 AM
  • I always use PowerISO.
    Or try MagicISO.

    I'm not sure if they're open source ... I have an older version that I inherited.
    But I've used them for a couple of years now, with no problems.


    ==============
    whoops ... forgot to read;

    I'm not sure if they work in WHS ... Haven't tried that yet.
    Thursday, August 28, 2008 5:08 AM
  • Windows XP Virtual CD Control Panel: The installation was smooth, easy, and unobtrusive (does not appear in Add/Remove programs, does not manipulate the registry, does not require reboot).

    The application simply provides an interface to a .SYS device driver that is manually copied to the System32 folder.  The interface is intuitive and straight-forward but slow to operate.  Sometimes I was unable to use UNC path to mount ISO image but was always successful when using a mapped drive letter as indicated by the support documentation.

    This solution has the advantage of being a genuine Microsoft product.  However it has the disadvantage of being a genuine Microsoft product.  It is not under current development.  It was intended for a Windows XP 32-bit environment.  It will do the trick but I'm interested to see what else is available.

    Thursday, August 28, 2008 5:46 AM
  •  Jeffrey Perkins wrote:

     

    Try Deamon Tools. The Lite versio nis free. I use it with Vista and WHS also.


    I also suggest Daemon Tools.  I use it on all my pc's and it hasn't failed me yet.
    Saturday, August 30, 2008 11:39 AM
  •  Enchanter wrote:
     Jeffrey Perkins wrote:

     

    Try Deamon Tools. The Lite versio nis free. I use it with Vista and WHS also.


    I also suggest Daemon Tools.  I use it on all my pc's and it hasn't failed me yet.


    I also use Daemon Tools.   My XP Pro system is hooked up to my HDTV.    All my dvds are ripped as ISO files on my WHS box.   I mount them and play them back using Power DVD and it works flawlessly.
    Sunday, August 31, 2008 12:01 AM
  • Per your recommedations I tested DAEMON Tools Lite v4.30.1 32/64 bits (with SPTD 1.56).

    The installation was simple, required a reboot, and offered options to change my web browser homepage and add toolbars (which I declined). 

    The application did create an enumerated DVD drive with the hardware signature ABEXWDA.  Other than the hardware signature it is indistinguishable from the other real optical disc devices I have installed.  There were two new devices appearing in Device Manager under SCSI and RAID controllers: AW33SB57 IDE Controller (Hardware ID Jwfer-2945) and Unknown Device (Hardware ID root\vclone).

    I was able to mount/unmount drive images using the interface that is accessible when clicking on the icon in the Notification Area of the Windows Taskbar.  Oddly this icon is a picture of a shattered optical disk with a red background even when the image is mounted, which is a rather disturbing image to have on the desktop of your Windows 2003 Server.

    During installation I chose to integrate DAEMON into the Windows Explorer shell but it did not register .ISO or .NRG extensions to the DAEMON application.  However, after checking (enabling) the associations in the application interface, the Open association was made to these and many other extensions such as .CUE, .MDS , and .CCD.

    There are a great many emulation options available for advanced users familiar with DAEMON Tools Pro for emulating copy-protected media.

    I would rate DAEMON Tools Lite the superior choice to Microsoft Windows XP Virtual CD Control Panel for the following reasons:
    1. Under active development
    2. Windows Explorer shell integration that makes mounting images very easy and quick
    3. Compatible with .ISO images and many other formats including Nero .NRG, .CUE, .CCD, and Alcohol/Macrovision/Lightning UK! .MDS
    4. Offered to non-commercial users as free of cost. (Commercial users may be interested in the DAEMON Tools Pro.)

    I would be interested in follow up posts if someone has a better solution (e.g. open-source).  I hope this thread isn't plagued by further posts of untested suggestions or references to operating environments other than Windows Home Server.
    Wednesday, September 03, 2008 10:12 PM
  • well, if you'd prefer you can turn the emulation options on and the icon will be green instead of red.  :D

    It sill looks like a broken disc, but that's their logo.

    I've used Daemon Tools for years and it's a great piece of software.  Very versatile and unobtrusive.
    Thursday, September 04, 2008 2:08 AM
  • I would recommend to use opensourc, the driver can be unloaded and does not consume a driveletter when unused.

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/wincdemu/files/

    http://wincdemu.sysprogs.org/

    • Proposed as answer by Perry Codes Monday, July 30, 2012 5:14 AM
    Friday, May 11, 2012 9:45 PM
  • Hmm - I have been waiting for almost 4 years for that response!

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

    Friday, May 11, 2012 10:16 PM
  • There is now an open source option available... I've tested it and found it to be on par or better than anything else I've used (Alcohol 52/120, DAEMON, etc...).  I give extreme preference to low-level utilities that I can compile myself.  It's much quicker to read source code than it is to decompile / runtime debug to make sure what's actually going on...

    Jason

    Monday, August 20, 2012 7:09 PM
  • Seems that link is broken.

    Given the time that has passed since it was posted it's not surprising I guess.

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012 5:43 PM