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Windows XP & Vista mount ISO

October 31st, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

I was recently looking for a utility to mount an ISO so that I could install a program from the ISO image. Most of the applications that I have ever used for this (Daemon Tools, Alcohol 120%) require a reboot after installation to initialize the virtual CD-Rom drive before it can be used. I actually didn't want to reboot my workstation so I thought id have a quick Google for an alternative application. It turns out that Microsoft have written an application called 'Virtual CD Control Panel' (I've called it VCP for short).

I can't find any information relating to VCP from Microsoft directly but it seems that VCP has been out for a while. Its available for direct download from here:

winxpvirtualcdcontrolpanel_21

Inside the self extracting archive are 3 files:

readme.txt
VCdControlTool.exe
VCdRom.sys

The readme for the application is pretty straight forward, within a few steps you should be mounting and unmounting ISO image files from your virtual cd drive. The instructions say to copy VCdRom.sys to your %systemroot%system32drivers folder, but I found that when you browse for VCdRom.sys using VCdControlTool.exe it actually doesn't matter where it is. Here are the instructions from the readme anyway:

Installation instructions
=========================
1. Copy VCdRom.sys to your %systemroot%\system32\drivers folder.
2. Execute VCdControlTool.exe
3. Click "Driver control"
4. If the "Install Driver" button is available, click it. Navigate to the %systemroot%\system32\drivers folder, select VCdRom.sys, and click Open.
5. Click "Start"
6. Click OK
7. Click "Add Drive" to add a drive to the drive list. Ensure that the drive added is not a local drive. If it is, continue to click "Add Drive" until an unused drive letter is available.
8. Select an unused drive letter from the drive list and click "Mount".
9. Navigate to the image file, select it, and click "OK". UNC naming conventions should not be used, however mapped network drives should be OK.

Here is how I used it:

To remove/uninstall the CD-Rom driver do the following:

VCP worked well for me, it allowed me to install my program from ISO, I could even 'eject' or unmount the ISO that I had mounted in order to mount another halfway through the program I was installing (it was a 2 CD/ISO program). I've tested VCP on both Windows XP and Vista. It worked flawlessly on both operating systems and served it's purpose of letting me install from an ISO without having to restart my workstation after installing the driver. The best point of all though- its free.

  1. Roman
    August 18th, 2008 at 14:08 | #1

    Thanks!!!
    I really searched for this solution. M$ did sometimes fine things but nobody knows about it.

  2. stuart
    January 25th, 2009 at 18:43 | #2

    i cannot get the virtual cd-rom device driver to load into the driver control.. have copied the VCDrom.sys file to the %%systemroot%\system32\drivers folder. and it still won't load, this thing is driving me crazy , am just trying to get my ms vpc 2007 to work with xp. the host os is vista ultimate. any suggestions?? stuart from flagstaff

  3. Athelstan
    February 8th, 2010 at 12:39 | #3

    Nero Image drive does the same thing and if installed from the outset doesn't require a reboot when either mounting or dismounting an ISO image

  4. James Clements
    February 9th, 2010 at 12:14 | #4

    The reason for this article was not to avoid reboot's when mounting or dismounting an ISO image, it was to illustrate that you can install some free software (without rebooting after installation) and mount images.

    Most of the ISO mounting applications I have ever installed (Alcohol 120%, Daemon Tools etc) all require a reboot after installation to initialise the virtual drive - this is what I wanted to avoid.

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