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Understanding CD-ROM ISO Disk Images:

The UDF File System Format was designed to replace the ISO9660 File System which does not fit the requirements of CD-RWs and DVDs. It's optimized to handle huge data sizes and to minimize the necessary changes if a file needs to be added or deleted.

ISO is not an acronym - The name derives from the Greek word iso, which means equal. An ISO File is a CD-ROM Disk Image File ready to be written to CD. Quoting Microsoft, "An ISO image file is a snapshot of the data and layout of a CD-ROM, saved in ISO-9660 Format." When the .ISO Image File is burned to CD, it becomes a duplicate of the original CD and the contents can then be read on a PC. Whereas if the .ISO Image File is Burned to CD as a File, that .ISO Image File remains a File. Why an ISO Image File? Best way to transport contents of a CD from a HD. Ever Download a CD? Per say, No. Ever Download an ISO Image File? Certainly! Get it?

Quoting Nero, "Nero supports burning of UDF and UDF Bridge CDs containing a UDF and an ISO9660 File System. Windows 98, and Windows 2000 can write the UDF File System without any special driver. Windows 98 and Windows 2000 will read the UDF File System, if both UDF and ISO File Systems are found on the media. Burning in UDF file format will be especially useful in the future, if DVDs are to be written, because UDF is the best File System to be written onto a DVD."

An ISO 9660 File System is a standard CD-ROM File System allows Users to read the same CD-ROM whether you're on a PC, Mac, or other major computer platform. The standard, issued in 1988, was written by an industry group named High Sierra. Almost all computers with CD-ROM drives can read files from an ISO 9660 File System. High Sierra and ISO 9660 are identical in content, but the exact format is different.

In most cases, an ISO Image File when written to CD will then become a Bootable CD, if created as such, ready for installation of it's contents. Do not burn an ISO Image File to CD as a Data File or it will not run the software on the CD!

Example: The 'Smoothwall' Firewall Software CD we've discussed in the past is an ISO Image File. Once Downloaded from the Smoothwall website and Recorded or Burned to CD, that CD then becomes a Bootable CD ready to install thus turning a spare PC into a fully functional dedicated Firewall & Gateway. Technology!


ISO Image Products:
  1. "Burnatonce can master data and audio discs, read/write [ISO] Image Files and copy on the fly."
  2. - Creating ISO 9660 Image File:
  3. - ISO CD image creator, editor and BIN to ISO converter - UltraISO can extract-create-edit-convert CD and DVD image files directly, make bootable CDs and convert BIN to ISO.
  4. - MG Free Download - EasyISO 1.3: (6/23/2004).
  5. ISO Commander: ISO Editor
  6. images/bullet2.gifIsoBuster, Ultimate CD-DVD Recovery Tool: ISO Editor
  7. ISOEdit is an CD-ROM-DVD image file editor, create-add-delete-rename-extract ISO file directly, create ISO image file from a CD-DVD-ROM, make bootable CD
  8. - Hybridator:
    1. - MacImage for Windows: "MacImage is an utility to produce hybrid Macintosh/PC (HFS/ISO 9660) CD-ROMs on a PC."
  9. images/ - Undisker can open, create, and extract ISO files: "A Disk Image Utility and ISO Extractor."
  10. - UltraISO: CD Image Editor and Converter can extract-create-edit-convert ISO BIN CUE NRG CCD IMG files directly - also handles DVD Image files (11/7/2003).
  11. - SoftDisc: CD emulator and CD Image maker - Virtual CD software lets you copy a CD to an ISO image file (11/7/2003).
  12. MagicISO - Convert BIN to ISO, Create, Edit, Burn, Extract ISO file, ISO-BIN converter-extractor-editor: ISO Editor (12/8/2003).
  13. SwiftDisc - Burn ISO Image to CD/DVD - Specs look impressive. Have not tried it yet.
  14. Turtle Blast Software - ISO Commander - Direct Image Editing!
  15. Floppy Disk Images and now CD ISO Images!
    1. WinImage and CD-Rom ISO image: "WinImage can open and build ISO-9660 image files directly from a CD-ROM. The ISO-9660 File System, used in CD-ROM and CD-ROM Image Files is not designed to allow adding, suppressing or renaming of files. WinImage cannot modify an ISO image. You can only open the image, display list of files in the image and extract them. WinImage 6 can replace a file by a new version of the same file (same filename, same length)."
  16. images/bullet2.gifWinISO is a CD-ROM image file utility - Convert BIN to ISO
  17. - Original CD Emulator: The Original CD Emulator is also an ISO image extractor.


ISO Image File Help:
  1. ISO - International Organization for Standardization: ISO 9660 - Information processing - Volume and File Structure of CD-ROM for information interchange.
  2. 279157 - Description of CD-ROM Recording in Windows XP:

    "Support for the International Standards Organization (ISO) Image -

    The CD-RW recording feature that is built in to the Windows XP shell does not support the creation of an International Standards Organization (ISO) image. To create an ISO image in Windows XP, you need to install a third party utility that supports this feature.

    An ISO image file is a snapshot of the data and layout of a CD-ROM, saved in ISO-9660 format. ISO image files are widely used for storing CD content. ISO is a common CD image format for DOS, Windows (Joliet ISO extension), Linux (RockRidge ISO extension), and other Operating Systems.


  3. images/ - A place to learn about, download, and discuss Linux.
  4. images/bullet2.gifibiblio - April Making Images - Linux ISO Images
    1. images/bullet2.gifHow to burn an ISO image:
  5. How to burn a ISO Image using NERO: Select 'File' menu, 'Burn Image'. Nero will read *.NRG & *.ISO Image Files.
  6. How to burn a ISO Image using Adaptec Easy CD Creator: Select 'File', 'Create CD from Disc Image'. Roxio reads *.CIF & *.ISO Image Files.
  7. - NovaStor Tech Tips - Burning the InstantRecovery CD from Downloaded ISO Image
  8. Photodex Corporation - Support - Product FAQs - Burning ISO and CUE-BIN Images
  9. - How to use DiscWizard Starter Edition:
  10. - Crash Recovery Kit for Linux: ISO Image
  11. - Memtest86 - Memory Diagnostic Page: ISO Image
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Web Development, Gill Boyd & Team - Posted 03/20/2003; Updated 04/26/2008