If you created a image from a drive with a tool like dd and are now wondering how it can be mounted on Windows, well then this post will answer that question. In my opinion one of the best tools for the job is OSFMount a free application by PassMark that can mount all sort of image files such as ISO, image files and even VMDKs. **Note:**When mounting an image file in Windows they need to be formatted with NTFS, exFAT or FAT in order to be able to view the contents. Windows is unaware of other file systems like EXT2/3/4, XFS, UFS, etc….
Probably the image you intend to mount has an extension ending with .bin, .img, .dd.
Start OSFMount and click on Mount new… Click on the button and browse to the location where the image file you wish to mount resides. Select the image and click on Open. The image I’ll be mounting for this tutorial was created with the help of dd from a hard drive with Vista installed. When mounting an image with OSFMount you have mount the individual partitions, otherwise Windows will ask you to format the image instead of mounting it. I’ll be mounting Primary parition 1 50.1GB because this is the partition where all of the files I want reside. Partition 2 contains the recovery partition. I suggest you stay within the default settings picked by OSFMount since its pretty accurate at choosing them. By default the image will be mounted as read only to prevent changes to the source image file(safer), otherwise remove the check mark and you will have write access. Click on Ok to mount the image. The image we just mounted was assigned the letter I:.
If we open My Computer we can see the image file mounted as drive I: and is recognized as a Local disk. You can open the drive and work with the files inside.
In Linux image files can be mounted with the help of Mount, OSFMount is the best image mounting tool for Windows. I am working on a post where I will show you how an image file can be converted in to a virtual machine, will post when ready. Feel fee to leave a comment below.