Microsoft details native VHD and ISO mounting support for Windows 8

By Tom Warren, on 30th Aug 11 7:35 am with 56 Comments

Microsoft revealed on Monday that it is planning to natively support the mounting of both VHD and ISO files within Windows 8.

ISO’s are typically used by software vendors to distribute their products but have also been used by pirates to distribute films and cracked software over the year. Windows 8 now supports the native ability to simply mount an ISO as if it was a CDROM. “You can simply access the contents of the ISO file without needing either needing to burn a new disc or needing to find/download/install additional software just to logically access the ISO,” explained Rajeev Nagar, Windows 8 group program manager on the Storage & File Systems team in a blog post on Monday.

The process of mounting an ISO is simple in Windows 8. Microsoft surfaces an additional ribbon tab in the Windows 8 Explorer UI which allows users to mount of burn a selected ISO file. Once the file is mounted, Windows 8 creates a virtual CDROM/DVD drive that provides access to the contents of the ISO. Once users are finished accessing the ISO it can simply be ejected in the same way as a a real CD or DVD would.

ISO mounting in Windows 8

Microsoft will also natively support VHD files in Windows 8. VHDs will appear as a virtual HDD. Windows 8 will provide a drive letter to a selected VHD. “You can then work with the virtual hard disk just like any other file storage in your system, whether you are modifying, adding or removing files,” explains Nagar.

VHD support in Windows 8

Latest Windows 8 news:

  • http://www.searingarrow.com AlienSix

    Finally, this is long overdue

  • http://www.searingarrow.com AlienSix

    Finally, this is long overdue

  • http://www.searingarrow.com AlienSix

    Finally, this is long overdue

  • http://www.searingarrow.com AlienSix

    Finally, this is long overdue

  • hello

    wow nice =)

  • Guest

    the ‘immersive’ start button and menu can be seen in the video !

    • Guest

      Start -> Setting, Devices, Share Search,
      this is the immersive side bar !!

    • Guest

      there is also an immersive start screen seen in the laptop in the ending scene of video

  • Anonymous

    Well, ‘Alcohol 120%’, we had a good run together, but it’s over now.

    • Tonious

      LOL!  Well, Alcohol 120% feels so ancient…ha!ha!ha!

  • Ratros

    Anyone sees the new Building Windows Video? It hints a little on Windows 8 UI as well…

  • Tuxplorer

    This was probably my no. 1 requested feature for Windows 8. Now, I don’t have to install MagicDisk any more everytime I install Windows.

    Now, will they please add support for *.rar archiving so that I no longer have to install 7zip? And a simple PDF viewer? Those 2 features will make Windows 8 PERFECT for me.

  • Tuxplorer

    This was probably my no. 1 requested feature for Windows 8. Now, I don’t have to install MagicDisk any more everytime I install Windows.

    Now, will they please add support for *.rar archiving so that I no longer have to install 7zip? And a simple PDF viewer? Those 2 features will make Windows 8 PERFECT for me.

    • http://twitter.com/ondraster Ondra Moravek

      PDF viewer will be built in from what they showed us long time ago.

    • http://twitter.com/ondraster Ondra Moravek

      PDF viewer will be built in from what they showed us long time ago.

    • http://twitter.com/ondraster Ondra Moravek

      PDF viewer will be built in from what they showed us long time ago.

    • Anonymous

      theres a pdf viewer called “modern reader” i agree we need .rar suport no winrar or 7zip

    • Anonymous

      theres a pdf viewer called “modern reader” i agree we need .rar suport no winrar or 7zip

  • Anonymous

    The only thing they need to get rid now is the back/forward/close/min/mxa buttons…change it please..

  • Anonymous

    The only thing they need to get rid now is the back/forward/close/min/mxa buttons…change it please..

  • bRonCOde

    Guys, it is already possible to burn an ISO using Explorer…

    • Aaron

      The article is talking about mounting, not burning.

    • Anonymous

      This isn’t burning. It’s mounting. The computer will think that a dvd was inserted. YOu won’t have to burn the dvd if you want to just keep the program stored on your hdd.

  • mcmlxxiixxv

    @bRonCOde they’re adding support for mounting ISO files, not burning, which is already supported.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent recently, i have been using ISO files a lot so this would help me a lot
    WE ned NATIVE Webcam softwarea also,

  • Anonymous

    Excellent recently, i have been using ISO files a lot so this would help me a lot
    WE ned NATIVE Webcam softwarea also,

    • Aaron

      Yes and it’s called Skype.  Hopefully by the time W8 comes out, the acquisition will be complete and Skype can be built into Windows.  Then again, that might get MS sued for billions of dollars in the EU again.

    • Anonymous

      Not skype, skype is a video calling,conferencing, audio call and IM application. What I want is native webcam software by MSFTt so we can snap webcam photos without resorting to third party webcam softwares,

    • Aaron

      Ok I see what you mean.  Yeah that ought to be simple enough to include in Windows.

    • Prakash Heda

      this is exactly what stops ms to add these features before, not sure how they would get by not getting sued….btw vhd support is already there in win 7, goto diskmgmt.msc andckick action–>create/attach vhd

    • http://www.jeffkibuule.com Jeff Kibuule

      Probably some aversion to getting into another anti-trust lawsuit. They just got over the “watch” period from the 90′s trial.

      Do remember it’s not having a monopoly that’s illegal but abusing it. Microsoft was accused of giving their programs special low level access via undocumented APIs that 3rd party developers didn’t have access to. It’s that kind of funny business that landed them in court (oh, and contributing to the death of Netscape). 

      These days, I think they play mostly fair because they’ve got a lot more to worry about on their plate. Apple is gaining in mindshare, Google is attacking them from the web, so they want Windows software to work the best, regardless of if it’s written by them or not.

  • Anonymous

    Lastly, we need native .rar support

  • Anonymous

    Lastly, we need native .rar support

  • JJose

    Long overdue. Goodbye Daemon Tools, virtual clone drive and the like.
    Now Microsoft needs to build a good archiving tool (rar support pls) and we are talking!

  • Anonymous

    ISO support is long long long overdue.  Now will IE10 get a spell checker?

  • Anonymous

    For those who want ISO support now, I suggest Daemon Tools LITE.  It’s free.  The LITE version has a tiny tiny footprint and doesn’t require a re-boot.

  • Anonymous

    For those who want ISO support now, I suggest Daemon Tools LITE.  It’s free.  The LITE version has a tiny tiny footprint and doesn’t require a re-boot.

    • Aaron

      I like VirtualClone.

  • Anonymous

    For those who want ISO support now, I suggest Daemon Tools LITE.  It’s free.  The LITE version has a tiny tiny footprint and doesn’t require a re-boot.

  • Anonymous

    For those who want ISO support now, I suggest Daemon Tools LITE.  It’s free.  The LITE version has a tiny tiny footprint and doesn’t require a re-boot.

  • Anonymous

    I understand that double clicking is mounting the ISO, but surely for continuity for less technical users a double click should also open the ISO’s new virtual drive?

  • http://twitter.com/genussystems genus systems ltd

    This seems to be long overdue especially useful for software downloads from MSDN. Not so good for the writeable DVD manufacturers

  • http://twitter.com/genussystems genus systems ltd

    This seems to be long overdue especially useful for software downloads from MSDN. Not so good for the writeable DVD manufacturers

  • Sulfide Smolder

    Damn, looks like i’ll be buying windows 8….the good news keeps getting better and better.

  • Sulfide Smolder

    Damn, looks like i’ll be buying windows 8….the good news keeps getting better and better.

  • Sulfide Smolder

    Damn, looks like i’ll be buying windows 8….the good news keeps getting better and better.

  • Aaron

    Thank god.  Slowly but surely MS is witteling down the number of 3rd party apps I have to always remember to install when setting up a computer.  Great experience out of the box is very important for windows.  Hopefully they vastly expand the amount of native codecs in Windows Media Player.  Heck, maybe even include Flash in IE10 by default (we all know we still need it).  Also, if they already bundle .NET framework then why can’t they go ahead and bundle Silverlight plugin by default.  All of these steps would have a small footprint on disc space but vastly improve out of the box experience.

  • Aaron

    Thank god.  Slowly but surely MS is witteling down the number of 3rd party apps I have to always remember to install when setting up a computer.  Great experience out of the box is very important for windows.  Hopefully they vastly expand the amount of native codecs in Windows Media Player.  Heck, maybe even include Flash in IE10 by default (we all know we still need it).  Also, if they already bundle .NET framework then why can’t they go ahead and bundle Silverlight plugin by default.  All of these steps would have a small footprint on disc space but vastly improve out of the box experience.

  • Aaron

    Thank god.  Slowly but surely MS is witteling down the number of 3rd party apps I have to always remember to install when setting up a computer.  Great experience out of the box is very important for windows.  Hopefully they vastly expand the amount of native codecs in Windows Media Player.  Heck, maybe even include Flash in IE10 by default (we all know we still need it).  Also, if they already bundle .NET framework then why can’t they go ahead and bundle Silverlight plugin by default.  All of these steps would have a small footprint on disc space but vastly improve out of the box experience.

  • Anonymous

    So how long before MS follows Apple’s lead and there are no more cd/dvd drives?

  • Anonymous

    So how long before MS follows Apple’s lead and there are no more cd/dvd drives?

  • Anonymous

    So how long before MS follows Apple’s lead and there are no more cd/dvd drives?

  • Anonymous

    It seems like there should be some cue on what double-clicking the file does. A user who is inexperienced might not notice that a new drive was added to their system. Even just navigating the explorer to the new drive might be the right thing to do.

  • http://twitter.com/iAmNowDiamonds Carl

    Lol kinda funny seeing everyone ask for ISO mounting and rar support.. Open that rar file, mount that iso, enjoy that game. ;)

  • Guest

    Windows 7 had native VHD support.

  • Blau34

    No one use Rar anymore :)

    7z is more importent. A lot of people (like Adobe use it).