Keith writes at Vancouver computer repair, a blog which touches on numerous computer help topics.

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At times you are likely to run across an ISO file which needs to be burned to a CD or DVD in order to be used. Most of the time this isn’t a big deal After all, in Windows 7 all you need to do is right click on the ISO file and choose to burn the image. However there are a number of times when you don’t want to have to deal with the physical process of burning to some form of disk.

Reasons to avoid burning an ISO

  1. If your computer doesn’t have CD or DVD burning capabilities then it is impossible to do so. Additionally, some CD/DVD burners stop working over time – so you may have purchased a burner with your computer; yet, it doesn’t work at the moment.
  2. If you don’t happen to have a blank CD or DVD at your house. These days with the prevalence of USB keys, external hard drives, and online backup fewer people are purchasing CD’s and DVD’s. However without a blank CD or DVD you will be unable to burn it and access the data.
  3. If you simply don’t want to deal with the time to burn a CD/DVD. Honestly, it may not take long to burn a disk, but it is still somewhat of an annoyance at times.

Mount your ISO instead

Fortunately free software exists which lets you mount ISO files onto your computer (basically the software pretends that you have burned a disk and placed it into your computer). One of the better free alternatives is Virtual CloneDrive which is extremely easy to use. After downloading and installing Virtual CloneDrive you can instantly mount ISO files simply by right clicking on them (and choosing the “mount” option). Once done, you can see the disk’s contents, and either copy files to your hard drive (if the CD contains music files) or install programs (if the CD contains a software application).

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Next time you are getting frustrated looking for a blank CD or DVD, quickly head online and take a look for a free ISO mounting tool (or simply grab Virtual CloneDrive). In the long run it will likely save you time and a headache.