Steve's blog

A blog about what's going on in Analysis UK...

Windows 7 .iso file handling – Close but No Cigar!

Typically when I have an iso file what I want to do is mount it as a DVD Drive, not spend 10 minutes burning the thing just so I can then read it on the same machine and in the process wasting a DVD and causing more environmental damage with the plastic. OK so that's useful if I take it to a different machine or need to boot from the disk, but that's rare for me now days.

Guess what, in Windows 7 you can burn a iso image to disk. Great, that's a nice touch, but you can't mount the thing!

Windows 7 burn iso image to disk

One cool addition to Windows 7 is being able to create and map a .vhd (virtual disk) as a disk on the machine in Disk Management (I've not tried it yet – apparently you can even boot from it – freaky & cool!). Now tell me why can I do that and yet I can not attach a iso image file, that's massively frustrating.

What makes it really crazy is that when you download from MSDN you get .iso files, now even with Vista you have to go and get extra software to handle them. At least you can burn them easily in W7 but really, I should be able to download a SQL server 2008 iso from MSDN, right click and mount it in W7 and install it.

I store all the iso's I download from MSDN on a network share and access them as I need them. If I burn them to disk I just loose them, so the bulk iso storage works really well for me.

It's similar in Server 2008 R2, no option to mount the CD/DVD and by default the burn option isn't their either – but then that's for the best really as I'd want the default install to be locked down as much as possible.

I did wonder if their was some kind of legal, patent, copyright issue around the iso image thing, but Hyper-V can mount an iso image to be use as a CD/DVD drive in a Hyper-V instance so why can't Windows 7 do that?

Please Microsoft give us the ability to mount an iso image as a DVD drive!

Until they do I'm sticking with MagicISO which works a treat – and it's freeware! (Thank you MagicIso inc!).

I'm also hoping one day we see DVD drives that can do LightScribe or similar without having to flip the disk but I doubt we will ever see that (at least for a reasonable price!).

Comments are closed