6. WinArchiver Virtual Drive
Power Software makes WinArchiver Virtual Drive and gBurner Virtual Drive. They are both free and very similar but we’ll look at the WinArchiver version here because it has a few extra features. Power Software also makes WinArchiver, PowerISO, gBurner, and the freeware disc burning software Anyburn.
The program is able to create up to 23 virtual drives from around 25 different image formats. Each drive can have a specific letter assigned to it. A useful feature is the ability to mount just about any type of file archive as a virtual drive. Zip, 7z, RAR, WIM, CAB and many other archives can be mounted without extracting the contents of the archive first. WinArchiver Virtual Drive is from 2012 but worked without issue in Windows 10
As we’ve mentioned, gBurner Virtual Drive is slightly different and not quite as powerful. It lacks the archive mounting feature, can create 16 virtual drives instead of 23 and doesn’t have a custom Temp folder option. However, it is much newer being released in 2018, so might have better compatibility in the future.
7. ImDisk Toolkit
The Toolkit version of ImDisk takes the standard ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver and adds a more friendly user interface along with a few other tweaks and improvements. This makes it much easier to use. ImDisk can also mount and create Ramdisks but if you don’t want to use it the option can be turned off during install.
An image file can be mounted to any available drive letter. Right click on a file and select “Mount as ImDisk…” or launch the Mount Image File shortcut. Apart from drive letter selection or the ability to mount the image file on startup, the other options in the mount new window don’t need to be touched unless you know what they do. The standard ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver user interface and Control Panel applet are still there if you want access to the more advanced options.
Yubsoft’s ImgDrive doesn’t seem to get much mention around the internet but it’s a lightweight and useful virtual drive mounting tool to have around. In addition to an installer version, there’s also a portable version of ImgDrive. It needs to install a driver while running but the driver can be removed again before you exit the program.
ImgDrive can mount up to seven virtual drives at once and it supports six different types of image file. Files can be mounted with a double click, from the context menu, from the tray icon menu or from the GUI. A useful feature is the ability to mount a folder as a virtual drive. There’s also a couple of options to create an ISO from a folder or from a physical disc. ImgDrive supports command line options which is great for batch files or mounting from desktop shortcuts.
9. PassMark OSFMount
OSFMount is a freeware tool which is designed to be used alongside Passmark OSForensics but can be freely used by anyone to mount virtual drives. It started out life as a version of IMDisk which was then branched into a separate tool. Note the latest version of OSFMount is 64-bit only, download a previous version if you need 32-bit.
You can pretty much mount as many virtual drives as you have available drive letters, a total of 11 image file formats are supported. OSFMount has some more advanced features such as mounting the ISO as a virtual RAM drive or creating a new RAM drive, mounting as a removable drive, writing to some image formats (not ISO) and selecting the drive emulation and type. All of those advanced options can be ignored if you don’t need them, just press Mount new, select an ISO file and click Next > Next > Mount.
10. Microsoft Virtual CDRom Control Panel
Virtual CDRom Control Panel dates back to 2001 and was re-released in 2013 with the announcement that the program does still run on XP, Vista and 7. The biggest problem with this tool is it doesn’t work on a 64-bit Windows or properly on Windows 10 32-bit. It’s now a bit of a niche tool for old OS users.
The whole package is under 60KB in size consisting of only a driver file, an executable and a Readme file. The executable is portable (needs to be run as admin) and can be used from anywhere but the driver still needs to be installed correctly. It isn’t as intuitive and easy to use as many other tools and requires some manual work to install the driver, so make sure to read the Readme.txt carefully.
Mounting ISO Files in Windows 10
As we mentioned earlier, Windows 10 has a basic ISO mounting feature already built in. While it has no extra features or advanced options, this makes the ISO mounter very easy to use and it might be all you need.
All you have to do is locate the ISO file and double click on it or right click and select Mount. The ISO will automatically mount itself to the first available drive letter. If you want to mount another ISO file simply do the same again and it will attach to the next free drive letter. In addition to ISO files, Windows will also accept and mount IMG files.
Unmounting an ISO from the virtual drive is quite easy. Open a File Explorer window and go to This PC, find the drive in the list, right click on it and select Eject. There are also options to mount and eject ISOs from the File Explorer ribbon menu, which are in the Disc Image Tools or Drive Tools tabs.
If the right click or Explorer ribbon mount options are not visible, it’s likely a third party tool has at some point taken over the ISO file type. To reset the association back to Windows, download this ISO Mount Reset registry file. Open the Zip, double click the .REG file and import the data into your registry. The options should then become visible again.