There are many different approaches to create iso files. One important distinction that we need to make first, is that there is a difference between creating an iso file on your hard drive and burning iso files to a writable cd-rom (or dvd-rom) disk.
If you burn iso files to cd-rom, that means you take an iso file from your hard drive and create a cd-rom disk from it. This cd-rom can be bootable, but let’s come back to that later.
So, you have an iso file sitting on your hard drive and you now want to create a cd-rom disk from it. If your computer is running Windows 7 or Windows 8, that’s pretty easy. Simply right-click the file and select “burn disc image” from the context menu.
Windows XP users (or older versions of Windows) will have to turn to one of the many iso burning tools that can be found on the net. I often use ImgBurn, which is very easy to use, and it’s free. Do a quick search on the internet and download and install ImgBurn on your computer if you need to burn iso files.
If you don’t know how to burn iso files and you are wondering whether you could also use a tool like ImgBurn on Windows version that DO have native support on board to burn iso files, the answer is yes. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with installing ImgBurn on Windows 7 or Windows 8 computers if you prefer ImgBurn over Windows’ native support.
There are of course many other tools that you can use for burning iso files, but be careful, because you will find more and more free tools that come with additional software that you might not want on your system. Google’s Chrome internet browser is an example, but there are also more annoying things like browser toolbars that will change your starting page, spy on your surfing behavior and slow down your machine, not to mention causing crashes.
Talking about alternatives for ImgBurn, PowerISO is such an alternative, and it’s safe to use as well, it doesn’t come with annoying additional software that will mess up your computer. Only disadvantage is: it’s not free. Yes, there is a free version available, but that one has limited features and you’ll quickly find yourself in a position where you wish you weren’t hindered by these limitations. For instance the limitation to create iso files of max 300 MB is pretty stringent.
If you spend the US $30 or so that it costs, you’ll have a great iso tool at your disposal. The features of PowerISO bring to you the option to create iso files on your hard drive from cd-roms, work with virtual cd-rom drives and burning iso files to cd-rom.
If all this sounds confusing or complicated, don’t be alarmed, it isn’t. Let’s start with creating iso files.
You create iso files on your hard drive when you have a program that needs the cd-rom in the drive to run. Some software programs do require their cd-rom to be present in your cd-rom drive to run. Not only is this cumbersome and do you need to switch disks every time you want to run such a program, but if your original cd-rom gets damaged or scratched, you’re better off with an iso file of the cd-rom on your hard drive.
With PowerISO, you’ll be able to use the “open cd/dvd/bd drive” option to read the contents of the physical cd-rom that you want to create an iso file from.
Next, you’ll see a dialog to select the physical drive that you want to use (you’ll only have one option, unless of course, your pc has more than one optical drive).
Then, you’ll see a dialog representing the session of the disk, along with the disk size.
Once you’ve opened the cd-rom in PowerISO, you’ll be able to select “Make CD/DVD/BD Image File” from the tools menu in PowerISO.
When creating iso files with PowerISO, you’ll notice that you can select iso file types, but also bin or daa files, which are other image files formats that are supported by PowerISO. Feel free to experiment. As long as you stick with PowerISO, all three formats will work. One of the advantages of daa files is that you can password-protect the image file, and you can use compression on the files.
Working with virtual cd-rom drives? PowerISO can help you with that. Simply right-click any iso file on your hard drive and select “mount image to drive” from the context menu.
This will create a virtual cd-rom in your Windows Explorer that you can use just like a physical crom.
Use PowerISO te create iso files?
Use the “file->open” menu item to open your iso file
and then select “tools->burn” from the tools menu.