How to Read a Disk Image

by Tammy Clevenger
cd on cd image by Stephen Kirkby from

A disk image is an archive file that contains the exact contents of a CD or DVD. Disk image files may be saved as the ISO (.iso) file type, the Nero (.nrg) file type or the Bin and Cue image type, among others. Several applications can help you “mount” the disk image file, as if the file was burned to a CD or DVD, and read the files from the image. Three such programs are PowerISO, Daemon Tools and ISOBuster. All three application vendors offer a free (trial or evaluation) version of their products (see Resources).

Read a Disk Image in PowerISO

Step 1

Download and install PowerISO (see Resources). A reboot will be required after the installation.

Step 2

Right-click on the disk image file.

Step 3

Click the “PowerISO” option

Step 4

Click the “Mount Image to Drive [G:] where “G” is the next available drive letter on the computer.

Step 5

Right-click the “Start” button and click “Explore” to open the Windows Explorer file navigator.

Click on the mounted disk image drive letter in the left pane of Windows Explorer. View the folders and files in the right navigation pane.

Read a Disk Image with Daemon Tools

Step 1

Download and install Daemon Tools (see Resources).

Step 2

Open the Daemon Tools application.

Step 3

Click the “Add Image to List” from the left selection panel.

Step 4

Highlight the disk image in the "Image List" in the lower portion of the window.

Press the “Mount/Unmount” button to mount the disk image as a drive. The disk image will now appear as a mounted drive in the top portion of the window.

Read a Disk Image with ISOBuster

Step 1

Download and install the ISOBuster application (see Resources).

Step 2

Open ISOBuster and click the drop-down box on the top navigation bar. Navigate to the ISO file by using the drop-down list.

Click on the “+” sign next to the volume label entry. The folders of the disk image will be listed below the volume label title in the left pane, the files in the right pane.


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About the Author

Tammy Clevenger works in the I.T. industry while maintaining creative outlets through film making, writing and audio production. She is a published academic author and is an accomplished and certified Project Management Professional.

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