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Windows 8: Native ISO and VHD mounting support detailed

Microsoft has revealed some more interesting tidbits about the next generation operating system, Windows 8. This time, Steven Sinofsky posts on the Building Windows 8 blog about two important storage formats in Windows 8 and how native support in Windows Explorer makes things so much easier.

“Windows 8 enables easy access to the contents of two important storage formats, ISO and VHD files. While we generally think of these formats when they appear on media, they are also very useful as files within a file system and that is where native support in Explorer comes in handy,” Sinofsky stated.

Microsoft has implemented an easy way to mount ISOs in Windows 8. Simply mount the ISO file by selecting mount from the new Explorer UI, or by double clicking the ISO, and a new drive letter will appear. Windows 8 will seamlessly create a virtual CRDOM or DVD drive on-the-fly. Take a look at the two screenshots below:


Once finished, users can easily eject the ISO by clicking the “eject button in the Explorer UI:

Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) is another supported feature in Windows 8. “Another place we’ve simplified access is with Virtual Hard Disk files. Virtual Hard Disks are the format used by Virtualization software Hyper-V or Virtual PC,” Sinofsky stated. “Accessing a VHD in Windows 8 is as simple as what we’ve done with ISO files, but there is one important difference: rather than appearing as a removable drive (as is the case with ISO), VHDs appear as new hard drives.”

Just like the ISO process, once finished with the VHD, the user can click the eject button on the Explorer UI and changes will be saved within the file.

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