Mount and Use .IMG Files With These Free Tools

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Mount and Use .IMG Files With These Free Tools

Don’t be misled or turned off by the terms! .IMG files are important for anybody who often uses software or gaming CDs / DVDs. Let’s look at what an.IMG file is, what you can do with it, and some tools to help you get the most out of it.

What Is an .IMG File?

You may have figured that an.IMG file type is an image file. It is not, however, about photography or pictures. No, what we’re talking about here is a copy of a disk, whether it’s a CD, DVD, or hard drive.

Have you ever seen a spy movie where the brave spy takes an image of a file in order to have a full copy? Consider it as a snapshot of all the data on a disk – a full copy, bit for bit.

You may have also heard of disk image file formats such as.ISO,.CCD, or.BIN/.CUE. Different file formats, same principle. If you want to learn more about.ISO files, see Chris Hoffman’s article “What Are ISO Files & How You Can Create, Use, & Burn Them For Free In Windows 7.”

What Can You Do With an .IMG File?

Here are a few things you could use an .IMG file for:

  • Make a backup of your hard disk so that you can retrieve data if the drive dies.
  • Make a copy of a software installation disk in case you lose the original.
  • Copies of your favorite game’s CDs that may be mounted as hard drives to speed up gaming.

Although the first option is the most practical, you’ll probably discover that mounting pictures of game disks is what you use it for the most. A game’s mounted CD/DVD image file may run up to 200 times quicker than the real CD/DVD. You also don’t have to continually inserting and removing disks from your CD/DVD drive. This means your original disks will have less wear and tear if you decide to resale them.

What Does it Mean to Mount an .IMG File?

Mounting an image file entails creating a virtual CD/DVD drive on your computer and directing it to utilize your.IMG file as if it were a physical disk. This mounting notion dates back to the days when you had to mount a floppy disk or a hard drive before using it with your computer. The same idea applies: you tell the computer which disk you wish to utilize, and the computer uses it. Most operating systems now automatically mount the hard disk for you.

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How Do I Mount an .IMG File?

The simplest method is to utilize a tool that will guide you through a wizard and mount the.IMG file for you. There are several free applications available for this purpose, and many of them will mount additional disk image file formats, such as the previously mentioned.CCD or.BIN/.CUE file types. Once an.IMG file has been mounted, it will be available to the operating system as if it were a disk until you unmount it. As a result, utilizing.IMG files is a highly easy means of accessing and utilising enormous volumes of data without having to deal with drives.

Let’s look at three distinct programs that may assist you with this process. All of these apps are free and designed for use with a Windows machine.

OSFMount, developed and published by Passmark Software, is a highly useful piece of software for working with.IMG files. The program also supports mounting of.ISO (raw CD image),.NRG (Nero Burning ROM image),.SDI (system deployment image),.VMDK (VMWare image),.AFM (Advanced Forensics Pictures with meta data), and.AFF (advanced forensics format images), among others. The descriptions of the various formats give you a good sense that this program was designed with forensics in mind. This application does need Administrator privileges on your computer, and as the saying goes, the more RAM you have, the better.

You may also mount your image as a RAM disk if your machine has a lot of RAM. It will run considerably quicker than if it were operating from your hard disk drive. Something to keep in mind while mounting your.IMG file in RAM is that if the computer is shut down, everything was in RAM is gone, which means your.IMG file is no longer in RAM. Not an issue if you have a backup of the.IMG file. For those who work in computer forensics, this is a security feature that makes.IMG files more difficult to steal.

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OSFMount enables you to mount many photos in a variety of methods at the same time. It is undeniably powerful software, and although it may take some time to figure out all the complexities, it is simple enough that mounting a single.IMG file may be done immediately after installing OSFMount. This is the program to use if you want to recover data from a dead hard disk.

MagicDisc, a seasoned veteran yet massively popular picture file program, is really easy to use. MagicDisc has previously been evaluated as a free virtual drive tool for mounting disks and ISO images. MagicDisc now supports 16 image formats, the most common of which are.IMG,.BIN,.NRG, and.VCD.

Once installed, MagicDisc will appear in the system tray, which is located in the bottom right-hand corner of your Windows desktop. Simply right-click on the symbol, pick Virtual CD/DVD-ROM, then the empty drive that appears, and then click Mount. At that moment, you browse to the desired.IMG file and double-click on it. Done. The image is mounted on a CD/DVD drive as if it were a CD/DVD disk.

MagicDisc allocated disk E: for this example, and the file used was Soldier of Fortune.img. If the drive letter clashes with another drive letter that is already in use, you may change it.

MagicDisc is an amazing alternative if you want to practically load up to 15 discs of a game so you can play quicker. Less time spent shifting drives equals more time spent tagging newbies.

Attempting to categorize Gizmo Director is like to attempting to tackle CFL great Gizmo Williams. It’s a difficult task since both Gizmos can perform so many different things! Gizmo Director is a utility program that may help you mount photos, automate PC processes by creating scripts, database functions, colorize text editors, and calculate hash values. If the only thing you got out of it was that this Gizmo can help you mount picture files, that’s OK; that’s all you really need to get out of it for now.

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After you’ve downloaded and begun installing Gizmo Director, you’ll be asked which features you want to install. You must install Gizmo Central since it is the program’s heart, and for today’s purposes, simply install Gizmo Drive – uncheck the other choices if they are irrelevant to you.

Before you can use Gizmo Drive, you must restart your computer to allow the Gizmo Drive driver to complete installing. Mounting the picture file after restarting the computer is rather straightforward and intuitive.

You can see where it reads Mount Image in the image below. Simply click on it and follow the on-screen instructions to mount your.IMG file. Once you’ve finished the procedures, the image will be successfully mounted and available to use in the Virtual Drives window.

With the diversity of tools included in Gizmo Director, as well as the versatility of the Gizmo Drive function, this program is ideal for technically savvy individuals such as system administrators or support personnel.

The Takeaway

Several programs may assist you in making use of.IMG files, depending on your demands and degree of computer familiarity. We’ve only looked at three of them today, but there are many more. Simply browsing the MakeUseOf archives will reveal articles onMounting Your Image FilesorTools To Create And Mount ISO Files, if you don’t have a DVD player. Those articles will introduce you to the world of disc pictures and the amazing things you can do with them.

What is your favorite application for picture files? Is there a utility that you prefer above others? Tell us about it in the comments. Who can say? It could inspire another piece, or it might address a nagging question you’ve had. This is a team effort.

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