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Create ISO Image File with Free Software

by Oscar Sodani
May 24, 2006

Oscar Sodani is a founder of Help2Go and owner of Help2Go Networks, an IT consulting firm in the Washington D.C. area. Oscar holds the CISSP certification as well as industry certifications from Microsoft, Cisco and Novell.

An ISO Image file is a basically a 1-file archive of a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM disc. If you have lots of hard drive space available, it can sometimes be convenient to store an ISO image of a CD directly on the hard drive, rather than having to worry about where the CD-ROM disc is.

The ISO format is very handy, and most power users are adept at creating, mounting, and burning ISO images files. In this tutorial, we're going to show you how to create an ISO image file using the freeware ISO Recorder utility.

Download ISO Recorder

You can download the ISO Recorder utility directly from the web site of the creator, Alex Feinman. There are a few different versions available, depending on whether you have installed the service packs for Windows XP. There is also a 64-bit version for those few of you with 64-bit processors. Most people should just download version 2 for Windows XP SP2.

Once you download the file, double-click it to install it onto your PC. Follow the prompts.

Using ISO Recorder

ISO Recorder is a content-sensitive utility. You don't have to run a separate program - it is available directly from Windows.

To create an ISO image file, simply select the folder that contains the files you want to create a virtual CD image from. Right-click on the folder and choose Create ISO Image file. The following screen will appear:

ISO Recorder Create ISO file 

Make sure that the directory you want is selected. You can also change the name of the ISO image file that will be created. Click Next to continue.

The next screen will show you the progress. When it is complete, click Finish.

You should now have an ISO file - a complete CD-ROM archived into a single file. These files can be moved, copied or renamed just like any other file. To create a real CD from this file, place a blank CD-R or CD-RW into your CD recordable drive, then right-click on ISO file and choose Copy Image to CD.

Doing More with ISO Files

Now that you have an ISO image, check out our tutorial on how to burn the ISO image file to CD/DVD with free software. Also check out our tutorial on how to mount the ISO image file so that Windows thinks that you have actually inserted a CD into the CD drive! 



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