After doing an in-place upgrade from Windows 7 to 8, I was keen to check out the inbuilt ISO support. An ISO file is a single file which contains the image of a CD or DVD (or even a Blu-ray), similar in a way to a ZIP or RAR file. An ISO can be burnt back onto optical media, but more conveniently it can be mounted so the operating system presents it as a seperate drive, without actually needing any actual optical media.
Windows 8 has the option of mounting an ISO file natively. All you do is right click an ISO, choose ‘Mount’ and you’ll see an extra drive (often E:\ is your first available) with the ISO contents. This is great, but I was missing the option completely after my upgrade!
I discovered that this was because I had Daemon Tools installed, which in Windows 7 gives you the same functionality, but doesn’t work after upgrading. To fix this, and get Windows 8 to do it you’ll need to reassociate .ISO files to Windows Explorer.
Search for the phrase ‘File Association’ and choose the option ‘Change the file type associated with a file extension’
Once in this program, find the .ISO extension and click ‘Change program’. You should just be able to choose ‘Windows Explorer’ from this point, but if not, click on ‘More options’ then ‘Look for another app on this PC’ – then from the ‘Open With…’ dialog, locate and open the file ‘C:\Windows\explorer.exe’
Once this is done, the .iso option will actually disappear from the list of file extension associations. Go back to Windows Explorer, right click on the ISO file and you’ll now have your Mount and Burn Disk Image options!