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Multiple ISO Mount Strategies Prove Helpful

On Friday, MS went through the unusual step of releasing two versions of the lastest Fast Ring Insider Preview. At first, an initial version 19002.1 proved likely to cause restart issues. Later that day, MS issued 19002.1002 to correct same. Through sheer dint of struggle, I managed to get both of my test PCs updated to 19002.1. However, Windows Update (WU) proved unwilling or unable to offer those machines the CU for 19002.1002. Thus, I turned to, and an ISO for the 19002.1002 build. That’s when things got interesting from the ISO mount perspective, and reminded me that multiple ISO mount strategies prove helpful.

It took a couple of tries, but I was able to mount the ISO after copying it onto the OS drive. Installation via setup.exe was a snap thereafter.

Why Did Multiple ISO Mount Strategies Prove Helpful?

Using on my production PC ultimately produced a file named 19002.1002.191017-1454.VB_RELEASE_SVC_CLIENTPRO_OEMRET_X64FRE_EN-US.ISO It is 4.07 GB in size — not at all atypical for a current Insider Preview ISO. Because I planned to use it on two machines, I figured I’d want to copy it to my fastest SSD-based external USB drive. Right now, that’s a 1 TB Samsung 970 EVO NVMe mounted in a Sabrent EC-NVMe enclosure. However, when I attached the device to my Lenovo X380 Yoga, while Explorer “saw” the drive and the ISO file, it refused to mount. In fact, Explorer hung at “Working on it” and the virtual drive never mounted.

That’s what led me to a different strategy. Instead of trying to mount the ISO from the external drive, I copied it to an older (and slower) Mushkin Ventura Pro 64 GB USB 3.0 flash drive. Then I used that drive to copy the ISO file to the local hard disk on each of my two Fast Ring test machines (the aforementioned X380 and a Lenovo X220 Tablet). From the local OS SSD on each machine, I knew I’d get the fastest install performance anyway. So that’s how I did it. And indeed, both machines are now updated to 19002.1002, as the preceding screencap shows.

What Happened to the USB 3.1 Sabrent NVMe Drive?

Only this morning did I finally get a clue about why the ISO wouldn’t mount from the external NVMe-based device. Preparing to write this blog just now, I plugged it in again to the X380 Yoga’s USB-C/Thunderbolt port. This time, I got an error message from Explorer that helped me understand I had an issue. Here ’tis:

Oho! Seems that the 1 TB Samsung device wants more power than the USB-C port on the X380 Yoga can deliver. That explains the “interminable” mount it presented Friday.

What I don’t understand is why Explorer didn’t produce this error message on my initial attempts to use the device. Had it shown up immediately, I would not have made multiple tries to get it working before moving onto a different strategy. And it’s why I’ve always got a fallback or alternate strategy planned, whenever I work on installation, problem-solving, or troubleshooting tasks. Expecting failure makes it much easier to face and deal with when it happens, as it sometimes will. But that’s how things go sometimes, here in Windows World.

I’ve got another Belkin dock here at Chez Tittel now (Thunderbolt 3 Express Dock HD). This one has its own external PSU, and is able to deliver up to 85 W of charging power through the USB-C port. Presumably that means I should be able to use it to hook the Sabrent Device up to either of my X380 Yoga PCs. I’ll make that part of my testing when I post a mini-review of this device here at Windows Enterprise Desktop later this week. Stay tuned!

Virtual Desktop