If you are running Windows XP, there is no standard support for ISO files. These files however are quite common as an alternative to installation CDs or DVDs. An ISO file is basically an image of a CD or DVD. You can use CD Burning software to create a CD from the ISO file.
But in many cases you might not want to write a CD-ROM or DVD from the ISO file, you simply want to access the contents while the ISO file resides on your hard disk. There are software solutions available for this, which create a virtual CD or DVD drive. You can then mount the ISO file as a drive and access the contents of the ISO file.
Most of these software solutions however are commercial software, which means you need to pay for them. If you do not need the fancy user interface, you can also use a virtual cd-rom tool created by Microsoft. It is called the Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel, and can be downloaded from the Microsoft website.
The downloaded file (60KB) is an installer, which you need to execute to extract the actual software. It will simply ask for a location to extract to, so select a path and click the Unzip button. Once done, click Close.
In the folder you selected for the extracted files, you will find 3 new files, a TXT file, a SYS file and an EXE file. Basically you now follow the instructions in the TXT file. We have outlined them here with some screenshots.
- Copy the VCdRom.sys file to your C:\Windows\System32\Drivers folder (change the C: to the drive where Windows XP is installed).
- Next, double-click the VCdControlTool.exe file. This will bring up the control panel window.
- Click the Driver Control button.
- Click the Install Driver button. Now browse to the C:\Windows\System32\Drivers folder and select the VCdRom.sys file.
- Click the Open button.
- Next, click the Start button, and then click the OK button.
- Click the Add Drive button to create a virtual CD-Rom drive.
- Next, click the new drive so it is selected, and then click the Mount button. This will bring up a file selection dialog box.
- Locate and select the ISO file you want to access, and then click the Open button.
The ISO file is mounted and you can access the content through the selected drive letter using the Windows explorer.
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