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How To Test An ISO File Without Installing It


Once you've downloaded an ISO file containing an operating system with the Intention to Install It on either a virtual machine or physical PC, It must be In a bootable format and obviously In working condition. Rather than burning It to a DVD disc or firing up your VM by configuring It and mounting the ISO, thus wasting time and resources, In this tutorial, I will show you how to test an ISO file without the need to Install It.


Whether you've customized an operating system and created an ISO file, or downloaded one from an unknown source off the Internet, you'd want to make sure that It does In fact boot Into the Installation process prior to hitting a clean Install of Windows.

To save you the hassle of doing this on a virtual machine, I will demonstrate how to test a given ISO file, by using a neat little tool named Qemu Simple Boot. This Is actually a virtualization emulator, whereby It checks If the ISO file boots and loads thereafter.

Put simply, you load your ISO file In the tool, hit a button and It checks It's functionality- all within a few seconds. You can download Qemu Simple Boot via this very reliable source. So without further ado, let's get this tutorial started.


Step One:
Once you've downloaded the tool, extract It's contents to a folder of your choice and execute It. Then select the ISO radio button, adjust the Ram to 832 MB or above, and browse the directory of your Windows ISO file as shown below.



Step Two:
For the purpose of this tutorial, I'm going to test my Windows 10 Enterprise ISO file. When you've made your selection, hit Open as Illustrated below.



Step Three:
Now let's check whether It's bootable and functional, by simply hitting the Start Qemu Test button. If all goes well, It will load the operating system In It's virtual environment.



Step Four:
As you can see, Windows has started to boot, hence my ISO file Is functioning without error. I now know for sure, that the Installation process of the OS Is ready to go.



Step Five:
If you're planning to Install your ISO on a VM, you can check how much (startup) Ram the virtual machine will require to Initiate the Installation. For Instance, I've adjusted the Ram Size to 256 MB via the tool. Let's see If my ISO boots with this setting, by hitting the Start Qemu Test button.



Last Step:
The error message as per the Image below has been returned. Essentially, the Ram that I applied above, does not suffice, thus I need to Increase It when Installing on my VM.



Final Thoughts:
Although this tool does not test the entire Windows Installation process from start to finish, It does provide an accurate result as to whether the ISO file Is bootable and functional. Of course, It can also be used to simply test the functionality of IMA files, CD/DVD Images and HDDs (Hard Disk Drives), by selecting the respective radio button under Boot Media.



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