ISO

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Computer Repair Vancouver Overview: The ISO

Posted by on 14 Jun 2010 | Tagged as: burn an ISO, file extensions, file formats, ISO

Today we here at Computer Repair Vancouver are going to take you through the simple process of burning an ISO. However, before we begin we are going to look at what an ISO is. At its most basic level, an ISO is the file equivalent of a CD or DVD. We will explain this rather ambiguous statement through a fictitious example.

Let’s pretend that you have an Open Office DVD (Open Office is a free alternative to Microsoft Office) that you would like to give to a friend. Unfortunately, this friend lives on the other side of Canada (nowhere near Vancouver, British Columbia) so you can’t give it to him by hand. Furthermore, you would prefer if you didn’t have to send the DVD through the mail since this would cost you a couple dollars. So how would you solve your problem? One idea is to put your DVD into your computer, copy all of the files onto your desktop and then email all of these files to him or her. This sounds good, however, there may be many files on the DVD and you will have to email each one separately. Additionally, what if some of these files assume that they are located on a DVD (they look for other files also located on this same disk). Even if you were able to send all the files to your friend in, say, Halifax, he or she wouldn’t be able to install the program anyways because the files would complain that they didn’t know where their brothers and sisters were. So, how do we get around all of these problems? What we really want to do is take all of the contents of the DVD (including the files and their locations) and pack them into some kind of specialty file. We could email this single specialty file over to our friend who could then (using knowledge of how we packed all of the DVD’s information) break everything back up and write these files onto his own DVD. After this process he or she would have an exact replica of our disk. This is what an ISO allows you to do. It is a specially encoded file which acts like a folder. Since its specifications are predetermined programs exist which (1) take a DVD and pack it into an ISO file (2) take an ISO file and unpack it onto a DVD.

So how often does an average computer user interact with ISO files anyways? In reality, it is a rare occurrence. In fact, even computer repair individuals do not interact with these types of files that often (we here at Computer Repair Vancouver run across them once in a while when dealing with specialty programs). The one time you may come across one is when you are perusing the internet and see a nifty application you would like to download. Unfortunately, the creator of the application does not provide an EXE file (a file which you simply download to your desktop and run by double clicking it). He or she has only provided an .iso file which you need to burn to a DVD and then run from their.

Even if you do not interact with ISO files very often it is beneficial to understand how to deal with them on a basic level. This way you will not have to visit your local computer repair shop every time you do come across one, and consequently, the internet will become a little more comfortable to surf. Now, without further ado, we present:

Computer Repair Vancouver’s step by step guide to burning an ISO

1a.) Make sure that your computer system is capable of burning/writing an ISO to a CD or DVD. Look at the front of your PC and take a look at the CD or DVD drive. If you see any of the following: CD+R, CD-R, CD+RW, or CD-RW then you are able to burn an ISO to a CD. If you see any of the following: DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD+RW, or DVD-RW then you are able to write an ISO to a DVD.

1b.) Grab an empty CD or DVD, which is compatible with your CD or DVD drive, and place it into your computer’s drive.

2.) Download the ISO file you would like to burn and place it on the desktop (just to make things simple).

3.) Download a free ISO burning program if you do not already have one. We here at Computer Repair Vancouver recommend that you try out ISO Recorder created by Alexander Feinman since it is very simple to use. Simply download the software and install it. If you do not find this program satisfactory then head over to Google and type in “free iso burning software” and have a look through the results

4.) Assuming you have installed ISO Recorder, simply go back to your desktop and right click on your ISO file. Proceed to choose the menu item “Copy image to CD”.

5.) The program should open up with all of the settings specified appropriately. Ht the “next” button and wait for the process to complete.

6.) Done!

As you can see, burning (also known as writing) a CD or DVD is actually very easy; something even a computer beginner can partake in. Hopefully this guide has been useful; however, if you have any other questions about this activity then feel free to email us a question.