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Randy Guthrie – Microsoft Technical Evangelist http://blogs.msdn.com/MIS_Laboratory
One of the small but sometimes annoying challenges of software offerings in DreamSpark and MSDN is that the software downloads are largely in .ISO format. This requires going through some extra steps to burn the software to a DVD or USB storage keys. One of the little known but very nice features in Windows 8 is the ability to “mount” .ISO files directly and run the software installation from the location where it was downloaded.
The process is essentially a “one-click” step: right-mouse click on the .ISO file and select “Mount” with a left mouse click. The extracted file list will appear. You then click the “set-up” .EXE file to install the software. Its that simple.
Select the .ISO file
Right-mouse click on the file, then Left-click the “Mount” option
The extracted image appear. Double left-click on “set-up.exe” to start the installation.
After using Linux and Mac for years, which have done this since the beginning, I'm glad to see Microsoft finally getting around to it. I never understood why they didn't have this built in, especially since they started making all the downloads from MSDN in the ISO format.
Sometimes these features are copyrighted by someone other than Microsoft, and just because it was available in Linux doesn't mean it wasn't violating a patent. It could be (just speculation) that Microsoft licensed the tech, or a patent expired. Or maybe we finally determined there was sufficient justification to add the feature. The more features, the larger the OS, and keeping the footprint managable is also a desireable feature. - Randy
When I first installed Windows 8, I saw this option. However, no it no longer appears. Could something have disabled this option?
Cancel my comment. Somehow ISO became unassociated with being opened by "Windows Explorer." Probably while I was installing one of the multitude of applications. I reassociated ISO with Windows Explorer and now they'll successfully mount.
I have done this with my Windows 8 files from one of my computers. Can I now use the DVD disc to put Windows 8 on another computer and just buy a key from the Microsoft store?
This is great and all, but how do I 'umount' the iso? My CD drive is stuck as a result of mounting some software in Windows 8..I clicked on 'eject' but I receive a generic error message. I can't find any help on this out there!
Would be great - except I get no mount option :-(
@Jewel: On my computer I right-mouse click and then click eject and it unmounts the drive and the "DVD" drive in Windows Explorer goes away. If your computer doesn't work that way I am stumped!
@Jonathan: I am using the Enterprise edition of Windows 8. I assume you are using the "pro edition"? It should work there as well. Sometimes if the .ISO file is corrupted the mount option won't work. Can you try downloading a different file?
If you don't see the option, you need to first open the ISO with Windows Explorer. After you open it once then the "Mount" option shows up...
Please help a poor PC dummy. just got windows 8 and don't know where the .iso files are located. I even did a search from windows explorer.
Hi Mea, .ISO files are compressed files, sort of like .zip files. Most of the software that Microsoft makes available for developers is distributed via download, rather than going to a store to buy it. Many people are upgrading to Windows 8 for example by purchasing the software and downloading it rather than going to a store and buying a DVD that comes in a box. Software purchased online is often compressed first to make the downloaded file smaller, and the compressed version of the file often is in the .ISO format, where the file extension after the file name and period is .ISO. After downloading you would use yet another piece of software to take the .ISO file, uncompress it, and then burn a DVD that you could then use to install the software you downloaded. The advantage of being able to mount an .ISO file directly in Windows 8 means you don't have to create a DVD to install software you have downloaded as a .ISO file. You can "mount it", which then acts like you have created DVD, but it is a virtual DVD rather than a real one. In fact if you look at the Windows file explorer after mounting a .ISO file, it will tell you have a DVD in the drive. So to finish answering your question, the only way you would have a .ISO file is if you downloaded some software you wanted to install. Windows 8 (when running on you computer) doesn't have any .ISO files that it comes with.
what do i do if i don't have an option to mount when i right click? i am also quite computer illiterate. and so far not a fan of windows 8.
If you are running Windows 8 on an ARM processor device such as the Microsoft Surface or ASUS Win RT computer, then the option for mounting an .iso file is not supported because the only way to get apps on a Windows 8 RT device is through the store. The .iso mounting option is only available on the Windows 8 Professional and Enterprise editions.
As for your not being a fan. That is understandable. Windows 8 does a lot of things differently than Windows 7 and there isn't an intuitive path from 7 to 8. You have to be told how the new things work. I suggest checking out this link that contains a comprehensive guide to how to do things on Windows 8: windows.microsoft.com/.../beyond-basics
does this work on all versions of Win8?