With DVDs and CDs not being used as much and the abundance of software downloads, there will probably come a time when you’ll need to download an ISO file and burn it to a disk to install software. I had always kept away from ISO files, not knowing what they were and thought it would be too difficult to figure out, but in this article, we’ll look at what they are and how to easily become a pro at burning your own ISO so you can install software.
What’s an ISO File and What Will It Do?
An ISO is an image of an entire DVD or CD – one big hunk of data in one large file. They are used to distribute large programs (such as Office, an Operating System or freeware that is downloadable). The ISO is one file and when it is ‘burned’, then it separates itself into the required files and folders necessary to install the program. If you’ve ever looked at your Microsoft Office DVD (or other installation software), you can see several folders and many separate files (.exe, autorun and others). The burning process of your ISO file on to a CD or DVD is what makes the software ready to be installed.
When buying software, you can often save money if you just download the ISO file and burn the CD yourself.
Steps to Burn Your ISO File
The most often recommended free software I’ve seen for burning ISOs is ISO Image Burner. It’s easy to download and install. Then open the program on your desktop and you’ll see the below screen.
Now locate the ISO file you’ve downloaded (usually in your Downloads folder), and click on the three ellipses next to the white rectangle. The software will only show you .ISO files, so it should be easy to locate.
Look at the options you have. I left mine at the default as seen below.
When ready, click the ‘Burn’ button.
You can check the progress bar (near the bottom, the green color). There will also be a message as to what it’s doing. It usually takes under 5” for any disk I’ve burned.
Now go and take a look at your CD/DVD drive and see how things have changed. Instead of one file, you should see several files and probably some folders too. Now you’re ready to install your software!
What ISO burning software have you used and what has your experience been – please leave a comment!