Unlike some Linux distributions, Windows does not provide any native way to mount disk image files. But you can download and install third party applications that may help you mount such disk images. The OSFMount program is such a software that allows you to mount various formats of disk images like ISO, BIN, NRG and more. This free utility supports all versions of Windows including Windows XP, Vista and 7. Both 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows are supported.
OSFMount allows you to mount local disk image files in Windows with a drive letter. These are mounted as read only disks so that the original image files stay un-altered. It also supports the mounting disk images as RAM disks. A RAM disk is basically a disk mounted into your computer’s RAM. They have speed benefits as RAM is faster to access compared to your hard disk’s memory. On the other hand, RAM disk would claim a substantial amount of your RAM which might make your other applications slower. But RAM disks are great for applications which require frequent and faster disk access like games, database applications etc.
You can download the OSFMount program from the PassMark software website. It is a free application and is available in form of a setup installer. After the installation, you can run OSFMount from its desktop shortcut. In the main OSFMount window, you can click on the Mount new button to start mounting a disk image.
In the dialog that shows up, you can select a disk image file and various other options to mount it. You can choose whether to mount it in RAM or on local hard disk. If the disk image contains more than one partitions, then you can select which of those partitions are to be mounted. You can select a drive letter, drive type (HDD, CD or floppy) and whether to mount it as read only media or mount with both read-write capabilities.
As soon as you click on the OK button, the selected disk drive would be mounted on the selected drive letter. You can use it as normally you would use a hard disk partition or a CD/DVD drive. When you are done using this mounted disk drive, you can select it and click on the Dismount button to unmount it from Windows. You can also click on the Dismount all & Exit to unmount all the mounted disk images and then close the OSFMount program.
OSFMount can mount more than 10 different types of disk images. It can mount them as RAM drives for faster access. It can mount them both as a read only disk or as a read-write enabled disk. It is also able to save the contents of your hard disk in various disk image formats like ISO, BIN, DD and more. So if you want more than a disk mounting tool, then you can check OSFmount out. You can download OSFMount from http://osforensics.com/tools/mount-disk-images.html.