Need to make an ISO image of your precious CDs, DVDs or Blu-ray discs; so that you can keep your original discs safe in your drawer and keep using the virtual images? Here’s a small guide on how to do that.
But, first let us understand what an ISO file is and how it functions.
What is an ISO image
ISO file is nothing but a virtual copy an optical disc like a CD, DVD or Blu-ray discs. You can create a image copy of the entire contents of an optical disc by using Disc imaging software. Once created the image file is saved with a .ios extension. Now you can access the contents of this .iso image file by just mounting it. This creates a virtual drive on your computer.
Disk Imaging software
There are many ISO-making tools out there that let you make virtual images of your optical media.I prefer using IsoBuster for all my ISO making tasks because its free and very easy to use. And you also get the ability to makes ISOs of scratched/damaged CDs also.
Before we continue our guide on ISO making, you need to download the latest version of IsoBuster from here. After downloading , run the setup file and install it. During installation you need to select the image file associations. If you are a beginner then just skip this step by clicking ‘Next‘.
Once installed, you can run ISO buster from either the QuickLaunch, or you can run it from Start Menu > Programs > Smart Projects > IsoBuster.
The first time you run IsoBuster, it’ll ask you for a serial number and email ID, just click on ‘free service only’.
The ISO-making process
Now that you have installed this software, let’s begin the ISO-making process.
On inserting the CD/DVD that you want to make an ISO image of, ISO buster will detect the disk and you’ll see the contents of the disc. Now Right-click on ‘CD’ (or ‘DVD’ if you’ve inserted a DVD) in the tree-list on the right as shown below.
If you right click on the CD you’ll see a menu > click on ‘Extract CD <image>’ and then click on ‘RAW (*.bin, *.iso)’ as shown in the screenshot above.
You’ll be prompted by a new window, asking where you want to save the ISO image. Select a destination folder of your choice, and give it a name that ends with .ISO ,In my example, I’m making the ISO image of the my Age of Empires CD so I named it properly and ended the name with a .ISO extension as you can see in the image below.
Name your ISO images properly so that you can identify them easily later on.
Click the save button and IsoBuster will start making an ISO image of your CD/DVD. IsoBuster performs the ISO making task very fast if your disc is clean. If its scratched then it might take a bit longer.
At the end, when the ISO image is created, IsoBuster will prompt you to save a small .CUE file which is related to your ISO image, you can discard saving that file if your CD/DVD is a simple one. But if you’re making the ISO image of a game or other protected content, then save the .CUE file in the same directory where you saved the ISO image as you’ll be needing it later on (for correct emulation in virtual drives and for making accurate copies of your discs from that ISO image).
Thats it, your ISO image is created successfully