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Windows 7: "Mounting" files - Can somebody explain this term to a "non-techie"?

24 Nov 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
"Mounting" files - Can somebody explain this term to a "non-techie"?

I was browsing the web recently on the general subject of Image File creation and am puzzled by several references to "mounting files"

I'm pretty hazy about this process and would appreciate an explanation without getting too technical if that would be possible .

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2011   #2

Windows 8.1 ; Windows 7 x86 (Dec2008-Jan2013)

General explanation is here.

In case of ISO (and other image files) mounting would be loading that image file in the emulator of CD/DVD drive, so it can be accessible in My Computer. In My Computer it will look like you have another dvd drive with dvd loaded in it (but that would be just an image file loaded to an emulator).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2011   #3

Windows 10 Pro X64

Can you provide a link to one of these articles?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Nov 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate

I'm pretty sure(!) that "mounting files" only applies to certain kinds of files that may act like a disk or CD drive, e.g. .iso files. Like any other file, you can read/write/delete them without mounting, but they won't act like a drive unless "mounted".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2011   #5

Win7 Home Premium x64 W10Pro&Home

Virtual CD by Slysoft is free and easy to use. After installing and setting for one drive, right clicking an .iso file and selecting Mount, puts all the files in the .iso on a virtual CD drive you can see in your My Computer drives list. This is quicker and easier than burning a disk to install programs and operating systems that are downloaded in an .iso format. For instance, Windows 8 Developer Preview can be mounted and double clicking on the setup.exe file in the Sources folder will let you install the operating system to the partition of your choice. No more burning CDs or DVDs to install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2011   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1

I understand the Windows 8 will support the mounting of ISOs natively.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2011   #7

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit

"Mounting" is most often applied to CD/DVD drive emulators as mentioned above - but any time an operating system is discovering a new filesystem (such as when you plug in an USB drive) and making that filesystem ready for use and accessible to applications, that process is what mounting is.

When Windows first boots, it mounts the C: drive and all other NTFS-formatted partitions found on the harddisk at that time. Filesystems are unmounted (safely closed and all cached writes flushed out) when you shut down the computer.

You may have heard of mount points as well. These are basically the points of connection through which you access the mounted filesystem. Typically, drive letters are the mounting points in Windows, but it's also capable of mounting a drive (partition with NTFS filesystem on it) as a folder within another drive. In this case, the folder is the mount point.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2011   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1

Linux users understand this concept much more clearly than Windows users as for the most part it is hidden from us.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2011   #9

Windows 7 x64 SP1

In addition, backup images of the system partition (which is saved as a single file) can be mounted by some Imaging programs (Macrium Reflect for example) so that files can be inspected and retrieved.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2011   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

As the original poster to this thread I'd like to thank all who contributed explanations to my request in that post.

As a result I have a much fuller understanding of the subject.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 "Mounting" files - Can somebody explain this term to a "non-techie"?

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