Mounting Floppy Disk Images in Windows

It’s fairly easy to find information on the creation and use of CD images. Many solutions, both commercial, shareware/freeware and open source allow CD/DVD images to be created and or mounted for use without actually burning a disc. A bit more esoteric, especially in the world of Windows based systems is the floppy disk image and knowledge of them is shrinking, not growing.

Back before bootable CDs (and support in BIOSs) were common most Linux distributions distributed a boot disk image to go along with their CD so it was not uncommon for the power user to encounter a disk image. In these cases a DOS compatible utility called rawrite (or in more advanced distrobutions WinRawrite) could be used to write the image to a disk or, conversely, read a disk to an image file. In *NIX based systems such functionality, and the functionality of mounting a disk image without using a physical disk is usually built in to the operating system. Disk images have also been more common among Macintosh users going back many years with the Apple Disk Copy utility but especially in recent years with OS X where “Disk images have become the preferred transport mechanism for downloading files…” Still disk images remain fairly uncommon among Windows users, especially as floppy disk drives themselves become increasingly uncommon.

Because of my interest in vintage computing and vintage software I store much of my old software that originally came on floppy disks in disk images on my server. Creating the images from physical disks is fairly straight forward using WinRawrite but in some cases I have earlier copies of disks done in a proprietary self extracting image format which only can write the image to a physical disk. Obviously I would like to get all my images in the standard raw format but without spending the time to write each image to a physical disk and then reading it back with rawrite. Today I located a handy tool called Virtual Floppy Drive which works similarly to the virtual cd drive tools in that it can mount a disk image or a “blank” image to a drive letter on your system. This allows me to then run the proprietary self extracting image and “write” the image directly to a raw file. The tool is also handy if you want to create an image from scratch for distribution or edit an existing disk image.


  1. This looks like a great tool, thanks for the post. I know it’s old but I’ve been backing up some of my old MS-DOS programs and this looks like it will be very useful along with rawwritewin.