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Most salient point, boomer. While my described process may be useful with many non-OS ISOs(games, apps, etc; and there may be exceptions depending on how finicky any copy protections are in place), in the case of an OS installer however, there is the vital point that most if not all OSs will not support a process that installs an OS over itself.
And there is another sub process that may or may not be necessary depending on if self-booting is part of the process.
In olden days of having to constantly re-install buggy Win98, I had come to a point where it became easier to install from HDD(and you know it's too many times when you've memorized the CD install key). This entailed creating a new partition on the same HDD that, copying all folders and files from the installer CD to a folder(named "install98", or whatever) on the new partition, shutting down, booting with a DOS floppy, and manually starting the install by running (i forgot which file name it was for that OS) in the install folder.
In the case of an ISO(and that wasn't an issue regarding W98 installs), this is where a mounted virtual drive would be applicable, as one would copy all the discrete files and folders from the virtual drive directly to a special installer folder.
So yes, extracting the ISO out into discrete files and folders into a user designated special "install" folder is part of that process, particularly if auto-booting of the ISO is NOT involved. And one does have to know the name of the file that starts the whole process, too. Of course, that'll depend on what app or OS is being installed.
More stuff better described; nothing specific, just general examples
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