Installing an ISO file from Mac OSX to a parallels Windows instance


Yesterday I attempted to install Visual Studio 2008 from a DVD onto my
mac parallels Windows 7 instance. After sitting back and admiring the
pictures of happy Microsoft programmers provided by the VS
installation software, I heard a ticking sound coming from my
computer.  After several minutes, the install crashed. Some sleuthing
proved that the disk was scratched and worthless – a typical Monday.

And yet the job needed to be done. So I proceeded to download the
3.3Gb .iso file from Microsoft’s website. Being without DVD, I
wondered if there were a quick way to get Visual Studio installed from
the iso without having to download and install additional software.

There was.

Now, I could have installed WinRar or Daemon Tools in Windows 7 to
open the .iso, but mac provides support for built-in .iso mounting.

Double clicking on the .iso in Finder mounted the .iso in OSX. After
this I attempted to open the VS setup.exe file using Windows Explorer.
No luck: the Mac mount was not visible to the Windows OS, so setup
failed immediately with missing .dll exceptions.

So, I had to take this one step further and copy the mac-mounted .iso
to a separate folder. After doing this, I was able to open the
setup.exe from within the new mounted folder without a problem.

Full list of steps:

  • Download your .iso
  • Double click in mac finder
  • Recursively copy the mounted image to another folder
  • Open the setup.exe file from within the copied folder using parallels Windows Explorer



  1. JustAnotherGuyOnTheInternet on said:

    Thanks bro, you’re a lifesaver ;)

  2. Voj on said:

    THANK YOU Arvin! I would just add that if you are running Parallels in full screen, you must select “devices/CD DVD” and then connect to the relevant file from Mac.
    Tried to solve problem using Power ISO, but it just mounts the “Mac” version, so once again thanks Arvin

  3. brendan on said:

    I opened the folder in finder, created a new folder in windows in the same folder as the download. Then I double clicked on the setup file in the new window folder. Viola. Worked like a charm.

  4. Chris on said:

    Arvin has the correct solution. The author of this article’s solution does not make any sense, actually making the situation harder. Thanks Arvin

  5. Jeany on said:

    Sweet jesus, thank you and thank you arvin for the clear concise directions. Spent like 5 hours to install Visual Studios using Parallel, and this made it quick and easy.
    Thanks so much,

  6. arvin on said:

    click on the cd icon on the lower right corner of the parallels window and choose connect image¨and choose the iso file from the file dialog.
    Voila! your iso is mounted to windows.

  7. Bradley Johnson on said:

    Really depends on your situation. I was trying to install VS onto my XP instance running within Parallels on a Mac. I’m not sure what you are trying to do.

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