Microsoft appears to have refreshed/re-released Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel, a free utility that allows users of Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP to mount ISO disk image files as virtual CD-ROM drives. The Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel can be useful for reading disk images to install software or recover backup files.
How to use Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel:
- Copy VCdRom.sys to your %systemroot%\system32\drivers folder. Execute VCdControlTool.exe
- Click “Driver control”
- If the “Install Driver” button is available, click it. Navigate to the %systemroot%\system32\drivers folder, select VCdRom.sys, and click Open. Click “Start”. Next Click OK.
- 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.
- Select an unused drive letter from the drive list and click “Mount”.
- Navigate to the image file, select it, and click “OK”. UNC naming conventions should not be used, however, mapped network drives should be OK.
- You may now use the drive letter as if it were a local CD-ROM device. When you are finished, you may unmount, stop, and remove the driver from memory using the driver control.
Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel download
Download Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel from Microsoft. UPDATE: This download is no longer available
Since Windows now natively supports the mounting of ISO files, this kind of tool is not needed for Windows 10/8. In Windows 10/8, you can simply open an ISO file and Windows automatically assigns it a drive letter and reads it as a virtual drive.