How to create an ISO image file
Folder2ISO can be used to burn a folder to a CD or DVD. Actually, Folder2ISO takes your folder and creates an ISO image file first, then you can burn that ISO image file to a CD or DVD. You might be wondering what is the point of creating an ISO image of a folder and it’s really only useful when you’ve used a program like DVD Decrypter to extract the contents of the DVD onto your computer. Usually, you’ll see two folders under the movie folder called VIDEO_TS and AUDIO_TS.
To use Folder2ISO, simply click Select Folder and choose the folder you want converted into an ISO image. Then click Select Output and choose the destination folder (cannot be the same folder as chosen for Step 1). Finally, type a name for your ISO image file in the label box. Click Generate ISO and your file is created!
Now the above process described how to create an ISO image file from a FOLDER. If you want to create one from a CD or DVD, you can use the other very tiny program called LC ISO Creator. The nice thing about both of these programs is that they do not even need to be installed, simply open the executable file to run.
So what’s the purpose of creating an image file from a CD or DVD you ask? Well, it’s great for backup purposes in case you lose your original CDs or DVDs. Basically, you can mount the image as a virtual drive on your computer at a later point and run anything off the CD just as if it were the actual CD itself. So if you buy Photoshop and create an image file, later on if you lose the CD, you can burn the image file to another CD and it’ll work exactly the same as the original CD.
For LC ISO Creator, select the drive you want to create the ISO image file from, then click the Create ISO button and choose the directory where you want to save the file to. You can track the progress on the grid as it is converted.
If you already have an ISO image file or if you’ve just created one, your next step could either be to burn it for archive purposes or to mount it as a virtual drive. I’ll talk about mounting in the next step, but for right now we’ll go through two more free programs that you can use to burn your ISO image file to a CD or DVD: Active ISO Burner and ISO Recorder.
Active ISO Burner is painfully simply to use! Simply choose the ISO file you want to burn, choose your burner if it’s not already selected by default and click Burn ISO! Nothing else to it!
Another program that uses the default cd burning capabilities in Windows XP to burn ISO images is ISO Recorder. The nice thing about this program is that since it’s integrated with Windows, you can simply right-click on an ISO image file and choose Copy image to CD from the context menu.
Finally, if you have downloaded an ISO image file or if you have created one from a CD or DVD, to actually use it on your computer, you have to mount it. Mounting an ISO image simply means creating a virtual CD/DVD ROM drive that Windows will then access just like the physical CD/DVD drive.
Once you download the program, you can read the instructions to install it. It’s not as easy to use as Daemon Tools, but it’s very small and works well. However, if you want something a little easier to use, check out Daemon Tools.
Once you’ve installed Daemon Tools, you’ll see a new icon in your taskbar that’s red and looks like lightening. Right click on it and choose Virtual CD/DVD-ROM and then click on Set number of devices and choose 1. A new virtual drive will be created on your computer usually with the next free letter on your computer, such as D: or E:.
A little throw-in to make sure no excessive headscratches will be made. Watch the video:
Now that the drive exists, right-click on the icon again and go to Virtual CD/DVD-ROM and this time you should see something like Device:0 [E:] No media. Click on it and then choose Mount Image. Choose your ISO image file and click OK. Once it’s mounted, you can access the drive just as if there was a CD or DVD inside the drive.