How to Mount an ISO File as a Drive on Windows 2003

By Andrew Mikael

Virtual drives can expand the capabilities of Windows Server 2003.
i rackmount server farm datacenter image by Adryn from

Windows Server 2003 administrators often need to deploy software or operating systems to several different computers on a network. Rather than slowly distributing a physical copy of a software disc, you can set up a virtual drive everyone on the network can access and use to install programs or download files. Virtual drives work with disc image files such as ISOs and operate as an entirely digital disc drive, requiring no additional hard drive or physical discs. Mounting an ISO in Windows Server 2003 requires downloading and installing virtual drive software on the system.

Locate and download a virtual drive program. Software that works with Windows Server 2003 includes proprietary software such as Alcohol 120% and PowerISO, and free options including ImgBurn and Daemon-Tools Lite.

Install the software to the server's hard drive using the downloaded file and open it.

Select the "Mount" option from the software's menu and browse to the ISO file you wish to use. If you have a physical CD or DVD instead of an ISO file, most virtual drive programs can also create ISOs from a physical disc. A mounted ISO will behave the same as a physical disc would in another drive.

Open "My Computer" from the Start Menu and scroll down to the "Devices with removable storage" section.

Right-click on the new virtual drive and choose "Sharing and Security." Check the sharing box to give network users access to the drive.