From Wikipedia, an ISO image is an archive file (also known as a disc image) of an optical disc (CD/DVD) in a format defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This format is supported by many software vendors. ISO image files typically have a file extension of .ISO.
They may also have an extension of .IMG or .NRG (Nero’s proprietary disc image format). ISO files are actual mirror images or ghost images of complete CDs or DVDs. ISO images can be written or burned on to discs, using many disc writing/recording programs like Nero, Roxio’s Easy CD Creator, etc.
When you download a file with an extension of .ISO or .IMG, and double click on it to open, if you don’t have a disc image writing program like the ones mentioned above, Windows shows a dialogue box, asking you to choose a program to use for writing/burning the image file.
To use the programs contained in the ISO file, you have to write or burn it on to a CD or a DVD (depending on the size of the ISO file). If you don’t have a disc writing program like Nero or Easy CD Creator, download and install a free program like ImgBurn. It’s completely free to use.
Writing or burning an ISO image file to disc is a little bit different than writing or burning normal data files. But you only have to click the right button in the program to do this for you. You don’t have to worry about how the program works. Examples of ISO files are operating system downloads, like the many Linux distros, and any other bootable discs like the Kaspersky Antivirus Rescue CD ISO.
How to burn .ISO or .IMG files with ImgBurn?
Below, you can find detailed instructions, how to download, install and use the Imgburn program to burn ISO image files to a blank disc.
1. Download the free ImgBurn program for burning ISO image files, from here. After downloading it, double-click to run it. You’ll get the Windows’ Open File Security Warning dialogue box. Click on Run.
2. The ImgBurn setup Wizard starts. Click Next.
ImgBurn Setup Wizard
3. Click the “I accept …” checkbox on the License Agreement page and click Next.
4. Click Next to accept the default type of install.
Click Next to accept the default options
5. Click Next to accept the default install location.
6. Click Next for the default start menu folder.
7. Click Finish to complete the installation and run ImgBurn.
8. This is the how the ImgBurn program looks. You may close the ImgBurn log, but it’s nice to leave it open, since it gives details of what the program is doing. Click the “Write image file to disc” button.
9. On the next screen, select the ISO file, which you want to burn, using the folder button near the top. You can uncheck the Verify check box. If you want to burn more than one disc, you can select the number of copies on the right. Then click on the big Write button (the green colored play button) to write the image to disc.
Click the Write button
10. ImgBurn starts writing the image file to disc and shows the progress bars as seen below. It also gives some status messages about the write operation, in the log below. If you want to eject the disc after writing, you can select the checkbox labeled “Eject tray”. There are other options which you may want to select on the following screen.
Disc Write progress
11. After the disc writing is complete, ImgBurn gives an “Operation Completed Successfully” message and if you have working sound and speakers, music will be heard for a few seconds.
12. The ISO file is written to the disc and you can check the disc. You may need to eject the disc before you can see its contents.
There’s another method to burn ISO files to disc, detailed below.
Using ISO Recorder powertoy to burn ISO files to disc.
ISO Recorder is a free Windows tool using which, you can write or burn ISO image files to CDs/DVDs, using a simple right click on the ISO file in My Computer or Windows Explorer. Just like you write files to a disc, right from within Windows Explorer, you can do the same for ISO files.
To download this tool or for more information, visit the author’s Web page.
After you have downloaded ISO Recorder from the above page, here are the steps to install it:
1. Open the folder where you downloaded ISO Recorder and double-click it to install.
2. ISO Recorder Setup Wizard runs as shown. Click the Next button.
3. Click the radio button labeled, “I Agree” and then click Next.
4. Select “Everyone”, if you want to install it for all user accounts on your computer. If you are the only user, just click Next.
5. Confirm the installation and click Next to begin installation. Then, click the Close button.
Steps to create a CD after you have installed ISO Recorder
- Insert a blank CD or DVD in your CD-RW or DVD-RW drive.
- Open the folder containing the ISO file in My Computer or Windows Explorer.
- Right-click the downloaded ISO file and click Copy image to CD, to open ISO Recorder.
4. This opens the ISO Recorder Wizard. Since you already selected the ISO file by right-clicking it, the path to the file is displayed in the “Image file” box. If you want to select a different ISO file, you can do so by using the “…” button. Click Next to write the ISO file to the CD/DVD.
5. The CD Recording Wizard shows a progress bar and when it is finished, after a few seconds, the CD ejects. Click Finish, and you’re done. You may re-insert the CD back into the drive, to check its contents.
This tool is only able to write or burn .ISO files but you may be able to burn .IMG files by changing their extension to .ISO, before burning them. You can also copy CD to CD instead of burning an ISO file to a CD.