I’m surprised at the amount of traffic that one simple post about testing Windows Vista brought to this blog. It looks like a lot of it came from the trackback I sent to help.net’s article about using the “Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel for Windows XP” to mount Vista ISO’s to get Vista to install without burning a DVD. That method has helped me install Vista several different times now, and I’ve since realized that I didn’t really spell it out very well. If you’d like to try out Vista without having to burn a DVD, here’s what you need to do.
- Download the desired ISO image and save it to an easily accessible location on your hard drive.
- Download the Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel for Windows XP. It’s an executable archive that contains 3 files: VCdRom.sys (the virtual cdrom driver), VCdControlTool.exe (the control panel application), and a readme file. Extract those files somwhere handy and run VCdControlTool.exe
- Click “driver control,” “install driver”, then browse to and select the VCdRom.sys file. This loads the driver for use in Windows.
- Close the driver control window.
- Click “add drive” to obtain an available drive letter for your virtual drive. That drive will appear in the list at the top of the control panel with the message “no image mounted.”
- Click “mount,” then browse to and select your ISO file. The file will be mounted as a virtual drive at the drive letter you specified.
- You can now use this new virtual drive as you would a regular DVD drive to install Vista however you’d like. VirtualPC recognizes these virtual drives, but you can also install Vista from within WindowsXP if you’d like.
This technique works for installing linux ISO’s into VirtualPC as well. I hope that makes more sense than before…..