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How To Create an ISO Image File From a CD, DVD

Make an ISO Image From any Disc

By Tim Fisher, About.com Guide

Creating an ISO file from any disc is pretty easy with the right free tool and is a fantastic way to backup important CDs, DVDs, or BDs to your hard drive.

Creating and storing ISO backups of your important software installation discs, and even operating system setup discs, is a smart plan. Compliment that with an unlimited online backup service and you have a near bulletproof disc backup strategy.

ISO images are great because they’re self contained, perfect representations of the data on a disc. Being single files, they’re easier to store and organize than simple copies of the folders and files on a disc would be.

Windows doesn’t have a built-in way of creating ISO image files so you’ll need to download a program to do it for you. Luckily there are several free tools available that make creating ISO images a really easy task.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Creating an ISO image file from a CD, DVD, or BD could take anywhere from a few minutes to over a hour, depending on the size of the disc and the speed of your computer

Here’s How:

  1. Download BurnAware Free, a completely free program that, among other tasks, can create an ISO image from all types of CD, DVD, and BD discs.

     

    Important: There are “Home” and “Professional” versions of BurnAware that are not free. However, the “Free” version is fully capable of creating ISO images from your discs, which is the aim of this tutorial.

    BurnAware Free works in Windows 8Windows 7Windows VistaWindows XP, and even Windows 2000 and NT. Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of those operating systems are supported.

  2. Install BurnAware Free by executing the burnaware_free file you just downloaded.

     

    Note: BurnAware Free tries to get you to install a browser toolbar from AVG during installation. If you’re not interested in doing that, you can skip the add-on by choosingCustom installation and making sure all three boxes are unchecked. You may also want to uncheck the Add BurnAware to AutoRun menu option near the end of the install.

  3. Run BurnAware Free, either from the shortcut created on the Desktop, or automatically via the last step in the installation.

     

  4. Once BurnAware Free is open, click on Copy to Image.

     

    The Copy to Image tool will appear in addition to the existing BurnAware Free window that’s already open.

    Tip: You might have seen a Make ISO icon next toCopy to Image but you don’t want to choose that for this particular task. The Make ISO tool is for creating an ISO image not from a disc, but from a collection of files you select, like from your hard drive or other source.

  5. From Source, choose the optical disc drive that you plan on using. If you only have one drive, you’ll only see one choice.

     

  6. Click or touch Browse….

     

  7. Navigate to the location that you want to create to ISO image file to, give the soon-to-be-made file a name in the File name text box, and then click or touch on Save.

     

    Note: Optical discs, especially DVDs and BDs, can hold several gigabytes of data and will create ISOs of equal size. Make sure that whatever drive you choose to save the ISO image to has enough room to support it. Your primary hard drive likely has plenty of free space so choosing a convenient location there, like your Desktop, as the location to create the ISO image is probably fine.

    Important: If your ultimate plan is to get the data from a disc onto a flash drive so you can boot from it, please know that simply creating an ISO file directly onto the USB device isn’t going to work as you expect. In most cases, like when installing Windows 7 from a flash drive, you have to take some extra steps to make sure the flash drive is properlyformatted and the files are correctly copied to the drive.

  8. Insert the CD, DVD, or BD disc that you want to create the ISO image from into the optical drive you chose in Step 5.

     

    Note: Depending on how AutoRun is configured in Windows on your computer, the disc you just inserted may start (e.g. the movie may start playing, you may get a Windows installation screen, etc.). Regardless, close whatever comes up.

  9. Click or touch Copy.

     

    Tip: Do you get a There is no disc in the source drive message? If so, just click or touch OKand then try again in a few seconds. Chances are, the spin-up of the disc in your optical drive hasn’t completed so Windows just doesn’t see it yet. If you can’t get this message to go away, make sure you’re using the right optical drive and that the disc is clean and undamaged.

  10. Wait while the ISO image is created from your disc. You can watch the progress by keeping an eye on the Image progress bar or the x of x MB written indicator.

     

  11. The ISO creation process is complete once you see the Copy process completed successfully box.

     

    The ISO file will be named and located where you decided in Step 7.

  12. You can now press or click OK to that message, close the Copy to Image window, and also the BurnAware Free window. You can also now remove the disc you were using from your optical drive.

Tips:

  1. You can only create ISO images from discs that your optical drive supports. For example, if you only have a CD drive, you won’t be able to make ISO images from DVD or BD discs because your drive won’t be able to read the data from them.

     

  2. While you won’t be able to follow my tutorial above exactly, there are several other free ISO creation tools available if you don’t like BurnAware Free or it’s not working for you. Some include ISODiskImgBurnISO Recorder, and Free DVD to ISO Maker.
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How to Install Windows from a USB Flash Drive.

    • The Flash Drive should have a decent read/write speed

       
    • The size of the drive should be at least 4GB

  1. To prepare the USB Flash Drive, we need access to a computer running either Windows Vista™ or Windows 7™. Insert the Flash Drive in the computer and wait for the computer to recognize the drive.

  2. Click START > All Programs > Accessories

  3. Right click on Command Prompt and select “Run As Administrator”

  4. In Command Prompt, type DISKPART

  5. Type SELECT DISK 1 [ The Picture Shows 2 Because Of My Drive Allocations ]

     
  6. Type CLEAN [ A successful clean will prompt the message “Diskpart succeeded in cleaning the disk” ]

     
  7. Type CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY

  8. Type SELECT PARTITION 1

  9. Type ACTIVE

    • By following the above step we have just created a USB Flash Drive capable of booting from the system BIOS.

      Copying The Installation Files
  1. The next step is to copy the files from the Original Windows Vista™ / Windows 7™ disc. Before we copy the content of the disc to the Flash Drive, we have to make sure that the drive is ready to accept files. In the same Command Prompt that we have used in the previous step, type the following commands

    • Type FORMAT FS=NTFS QUICK [ When it reaches 100% you are ready to move to the next step ]

       
    • Type ASSIGN

    • Type EXIT to get out of DISKPART Command Utility

  2. Now your Flash Drive is ready for the files. Insert your Windows disc into your drive. In my case, my Disc Drive is I: drive and my FLASH Drive is J:

  3. Type XCOPY I:\*.* /S/E/F J:\ [ This Command needs to be typed in the same Command Prompt that we have left open after Diskpart.

    • If your Drive letters are correct, after several minutes you will get a message saying the numbers of files successfully copied to your FLASH DRIVE

      Warning

      • Please make sure that no other external or internal hard drives or flash drives are attached to the computer while performing these steps. Only the FLASH DRIVE should be attached to the computer. Failure to do so might result in DATA LOSS in other drives while performing the DISKPART commands

      Things you will need for the procedure

      • A Computer With DVD Drive Running Windows Vista Or Windows Seven
      • A Flash Drive with 4GB Capacity
      • The OS Installation disk you want copied onto your Flash Drive

How To Install Windows 7 From USB disk..

Chances are you’ll need to install Windows 7 from a USB device if you have a tablet, or small laptop or netbook device, few of which include optical drives as standard hardware.
This means that you must get the Windows 7 setup files onto a flash drive (or any USB based storage) and then boot from that flash drive to get the Windows 7 installation process started.
However, simply copying the files from your Windows 7 DVD to a flash drive won’t work. You have to specially prepare the USB device and then properly copy the Windows 7 install files to it before it’ll work as you expect.
You’re in a similar, but slightly easier to solve, situation if you’ve purchased a Windows 7 ISO filedirectly from Microsoft and need that on a flash drive.
No matter what situation you’re in, just follow the instructions below to install Windows 7 from a USB device.
Note: The following tutorial applies equally to whatever edition of Windows 7 you have a disc or ISO image of: Windows 7 Ultimate, Professional, Home Premium, etc.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: Correctly preparing a USB drive for use as an installation source for Windows 7 will take around 15 to 30 minutes depending on your computer speed and what edition of Windows 7 you have on DVD or in ISO format
Requirements:
Important: Start with Step 1 below if you have a Windows 7 DVD or Step 2 if you have a Windows 7 ISO image.
Here’s How:
  1. Create an ISO file from the Windows 7 DVD. If you already know how to create ISO images, fantastic: do it, and then come back here for further instructions on what to do with it.If you’ve never created an ISO file from a disc before, check out the tutorial linked above. It’ll walk you through installing some free software and then using it to create the ISO. An ISO image is a single file that perfectly represents a disc… in this case, your Windows 7 installation DVD.

    Next we’re going to work on properly getting that Windows 7 ISO image you just created onto the flash drive.

  2. Download the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Toolfrom Microsoft. Once downloaded, execute the file and follow the installation wizard.This free program from Microsoft, which works inWindows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP, will correctly format the USB drive and then copy the contents of your Windows 7 ISO file to the drive.
  3. Start the Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool program, which is probably located in your Start menu or on your Start screen, as well as on your Desktop.
  4. On the Step 1 of 4: Choose ISO file screen, click Browse.
  5. Locate, and then select, your Windows 7 ISO file. Then click Open.Note: If you downloaded Windows 7 directly from Microsoft, check for the ISO image wherever you tend to store downloaded files. If you manually created an ISO file from your Windows 7 DVD in Step 1 above then it will be wherever you created it to.
  6. Click Open.
  7. Click Next once you’re back on the Step 1 of 4 screen.
  8. Click USB device on the Step 2 of 4: Choose media type screen.
  9. On the Step 3 of 4: Insert USB device screen, choose the flash drive or external hard driveyou want to put the Windows 7 installation files on.Tip: If you haven’t yet plugged in the flash drive or other device you’re using then you can do that now. Just click the blue refresh button to make it show up in the list.
  10. Click the Begin copying button.
  11. Click Erase USB Device if you’re prompted to do so on a Not Enough Free Space window. Then click Yes to the confirmation in the next window.Note: If you don’t see this it just means that the flash drive or external hard disk you’ve selected is already empty.

    Important: Any data you have on this USB drive will be erased as part of this process.

  12. On Step 4 of 4: Creating bootable USB device, wait for the Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool to format the USB drive and then copy the Windows 7 installation files to it from the ISO image you provided.You’ll see a Status of Formatting for several seconds, followed by Copying files. This part might take as long as 30 minutes, maybe even longer, depending on which edition of Windows 7 the ISO file you have is from, as well as on how fast your computer, USB drive, and USB connection is.

    Tip: The percentage complete indicator may sit on one or more percentages for a long time. This does not mean anything is wrong.

  13. The next screen you see should say Bootable USB device created successfully.You can now close the Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool program. The USB drive can now be used to install Windows 7.
  14. Boot from the USB device to start the Windows 7 setup process.Tip: You may need to make changes to the boot order in BIOS if the Windows 7 setup process doesn’t start when you try to boot from the USB drive. See How To Change the Boot Order in BIOS if you’ve never done that.

    Tip: If you still can’t get the flash drive to boot, and you also have a UEFI based computer, see Tip #1 below for help.

    Note: If you arrived here from How To Clean Install Windows 7, you can now return to that tutorial and continue installing Windows 7. See How To Install Windows 7 if you weren’t doing a clean install or you’re not sure what kind of installation to do.

Tips:
  1. When the Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool formats the flash drive during the process above, it does so using NTFS, a file system that some UEFI systems won’t boot from if on a USB stick.To get the USB drive to boot on these computers, you should copy the data from the flash drive onto a folder on your computer, then reformat the flash drive using the olderFAT32 file system, and then copy that same data back onto the drive.