Fix: Unable to Mount ISO on Windows 8

One of the main feature of Windows 8 is the ability to mount ISO image without the help of third party application. We often use this feature because large software downloads like Office 2013 or Visual Studio and sometime games too, are available for download in the .ISO format. In such cases, rather than burning to disk and running it, it becomes a lot easier to just mount it and run it just like a disk.

Unable to Mount ISO image on Windows 8

Last week my client ran into this issue where he was unable to mount ISO image on Windows 8. The mount option itself is missing. My initial thought was that he may have messed up with some of the system files. So I ran SFC /SCANNOW or System File Checker. To run SFC /SCANNOW:

  • Press Win + X
  • Click on “Command Prompt (Admin)
  • Type in SFC /SCANNOW

I rebooted the system and tried to mount the ISO image again. But still I could not see the option. Then I noticed that he had installed a 3rd-party application to Mount the ISO image – called Virtual Clone. But the version he had installed was unsupported for Windows 8. When I tried to upgrade it to new version, it failed. I used a free uninstaller software Revo Uninstaller to remove it completely and rebooted the system. Then I tried to mount again – but still no luck!

So I went to Default Programs to check if the file associations were set correctly. To go to Default Programs go to a Windows UI screen and type in Default Programs  and press Enter.

Unable to Mount ISO on Windows 8 Fix: Unable to Mount ISO on Windows 8

I clicked on “Associate a file type or protocol with a program” and looked for ISO but I couldn’t find it.

Finally I decided we may need to run a Repair Install or Refresh Windows 8. But before doing a repair I thought of trying something. I went into the Windows Registry and checked the Shell entries for:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.iso\OpenWithProgids

It was still being associated Virtual Clone instead of Windows.IsoFile.

The 3rd-party software had failed to uninstall correctly, and even Revo was unable to uninstall it fully!

I had Windows 8 installed on my laptop so I went and extracted all the Shell keys related to ISO from different locations and merged into one. I then imported that key in his registry and rebooted the system.

It worked!

Download Registry Fix

I am now, able to see the mount option and it works perfectly fine. I have attached the registry file here so in case if you run into similar problem you can just import this registry key. You can download the file to fix this problem by clicking here.

Do always create a system restore point first, before making any changes to your system. 

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Shyam aka “Captain Jack” is a Microsoft MVP alumnus and a Windows Enthusiast with an interest in Advanced Windows troubleshooting. Suggestions made and opinions expressed by him here are his personal one's and not of his current employers. He blogs at captaindbg.com.
  • Duane

    wow, you could have just right clicked on an iso image and choose explorer.exe as the default app. It would have put the bar back and fixed the problem…

  • http://captaindbg.com Shyam Sasindran

    I tried that as well. But registry fix was the only thing that helped me.

  • Duane

    strange, I had the exact same issue with Alcohol 120% and my fix worked. Good info to have. thanks for sharing it!

  • Heliomail

    HI

    I think I have the same problem after installing daemon tools.

    I cant find .iso folder in the registry… as you describe…

  • http://www.facebook.com/suraj.vtec Suraj Singh Bhui

    This new feature by windows 8 is the best according to me. But not many are aware of it.

  • Sol

    I also tried using virtual clone, used advances uninstaller pro11 to remove it. Then simply right clicked on the file, selected open with explorer.exe
    After that, the disk image tab showed at the top of the explorer window and can mount there or by right click.

  • Gothicus

    I had an issue in Windows 8, where it said “Unable to install file” despite mounting the image. Your solution fixed it – no error any longer. :)

  • Nile

    Duane’s solution worked for me.

  • Stefan

    I thought I this would be the answer to my problems, but I am still having issues!!! VCD has been running me mad for a week now. I have uninstalled and reinstalled it about 1000 times trying different setups. Now it is uninstalled and the Win8 mount does not work. I tried this fix with no luck. I really think I might have a problem with my drives. My CD drive does not appear under “my computer” either. any suggestions??

  • Vasudev

    Try this for your DVD Drive not showing in Windows 8 http://forum.thewindowsclub.com/windows-8-management-support/33936-fix-dvd-drive-not-shown-windows-8-cp.html
    Create a restore point before trying this!

  • Thomas

    Very thanks! Explorer was not listed in open with.. menu. If I selected explorer.exe is threw an error to me, and stopped working! This works!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Phoenix/1484271152 John Phoenix

    There is an easier, faster way to do this without downloading a registry hack.

    1.Right-click the .ISO file, choose Properties.
    2.Click the Change button next to “Open With” in the General tab.
    3.Choose Windows Explorer from the application list.
    4.The Opens With option will change back to Windows Explorer.
    5.Click Apply, then OK to close the properties window.
    6.Right-click the ISO file. Mount will be one of the top options.

    You can do this easily and quickly every time another app tries to associate itself with your ISO files without changing the registry with a hack.This is the default way built into Windows 8 to re-associate the your files with the correct programs. No need for any type of “fix” at all. Just needed a better understanding of your operating system.

  • http://twitter.com/PlexusIT Plexus IT

    Right-click and selecting Ooen with > Windows Explorer will mount the IMG or ISO file so that it can be viewed like any other Windows volume. My problem is that Windows 8’s context menu in the ribbon should produce a Manage tab, and within that an option to Burn. I do not get this new tab. Has anyone else faced this problem?

    Thanks!

  • rafi milo

    enable uac (user account control)

  • Chad

    Thank you this was the only fix that worked for me. My problem was exactly as you described…unable to change iso file associate or right click file and change how program opened (no file explorer option) also tried opening by explorer.exe in windows directory with no luck. This fix worked. THANK YOU!

  • Damian….

    thanks alot homie respect

  • johnwerneken

    Sometimes the SFC, setting file associations, and registry file fix works, sometimes not.

    Usual cause is alternative burning/mounting software, uninstalling which frequently leaves the registry with orphan entries.

    I found an additional method, using regedit.exe manually. I recommend anyone wishing to follow my suggestion (1) export the current registry file and (2) create a system restore point before fooling live in the registry, as to do otherwise has at least once led me to complete partition reimage, which is a pain.

    I did this: (1) searched for EVERY mention of “.iso” in the registry and deleted every single such key (that was related to .iso and not to something like system.isolation or the disk image manager); (2) rebooted; (3) ran the registry file, which in theory should have reset the defaults; (4) in the Classes Root hive, added a key “.iso” with a subkey “OpenWithProgids” and set the subkey default to explorer.exe.

    Worked!

    (This is for when the theoretically built in methods are broken: selecting disk image tools, context menu, etc)

  • johnwerneken

    it occurs throughout the registry; the key one seems to be in classes root, .iso key.

  • johnwerneken

    that only works when the registry has no conflicting key.

  • ray

    yep, your hardwork has helped me.. Thank you

  • jack747

    Import the registry that you left off, restart, but it si still not working as I don`t know what to do

  • Waseem

    Right click on the ISO file, Properties, then next to “Opens with” click on “Change” and choose Windows Explorer. Now when you go back to the iso and right click the mount option should be there.

  • Guadalupe Monroy

    It still not working, please help me

  • Recent Comments