Now-a-days, many of us use advanced backup tools such as Redo Backup, Macrium Reflect, and Acronis True Image. Almost every good backup software out there lets you create rescue media so that you can quickly restore a previously created backup image without booting into Windows.
While it’s always a good idea to create a rescue CD and store it in a safe location, you might want to directly boot from the rescue ISO to create an backup image or restore a previously created backup image without creating the bootable media.
Users who would like to boot from an ISO file without creating a bootable media will be glad to know that it’s actually possible to boot directly from an ISO image without extracting or creating bootable CD/USB. The only catch is that your PC must be bootable. For instance, you can add Acronis True Image or Macrium Reflect rescue ISO entry to the boot menu and access them right from the boot menu.
Please note that even though you can use this guide to boot from Windows 7/8/8.1 ISO file and repair your PC using the startup repair and advanced tools, this guide doesn’t help you install Windows directly from ISO file.
When you attempt to install Windows from directly from ISO, you’ll get “A media driver your computer needs is missing. This could be a DVD, USB or Hard disk driver” error. So if you want to boot from ISO, either follow our how to boot Windows 8 from ISO file or use ISO2USB tool to prepare bootable USB.
NOTE: We suggest you store the rescue ISO file in any drive other than the system (Windows) drive to avoid deleting the ISO file when you restore a previously created backup.
Step 1: Start the procedure by downloading and installing the excellent EasyBCD (free edition) on your PC that you would like to boot from ISO file.
Step 2: Launch EasyBCD software. In the left-pane, click Add New Entry button.
Step 3: Under Portable/External Media section, switch to the ISO tab.
Step 4: Enter a name for your ISO entry that you would like to see in the boot menu, and click the browse button next to the Path box to browse to the ISO file that you would like to add to the boot menu.
Select the Mode as Run from Disk and then click Add Entry button to the ISO entry to the boot menu.
Step 5: To add another ISO file entry to the boot menu, repeat Step 2, 3, and 4 again.
That’s it! From here on, the newly added ISO file entry will appear on the boot menu along with your Windows entry. Select the ISO entry and then press any key when you’re asked to do so to begin booting from the ISO. Good luck!