What to do with an ISO File

Now that I have downloaded my .iso file what do I do with it?

A software program can only be installed on your computer from something called an executable file. An executable file is normally a file that ends in .exe for Windows or .app for Macintosh systems. It is not possible to install software from an .iso file. The .iso file is what is known as ‘a disk image file’. In order to install your software program of choice, you need to convert the .iso file to an executable file.

Why does Software Central put up only the .iso file for download? With .iso file, you need to download only ONE file instead of many, many different files that could number into the hundreds.

Below is the list of different freeware programs that you can use to convert .iso files and/or create CDs/DVDs to facilitate installation of your software program. All emulation software will allow you to mount the disk image and the files will appear on a virtual drive as actual files on CD/DVD. You will be able to install the program from those mounted files. If you would like to have backup media, some of the emulation programs also have the capability to do so or you will be able to use one of the burning utilities below to burn the mounted files to CDs/DVDs.


CD/DVD Emulation Software for Windows

Gizmo Drive (freeware)
Gizmo Drive supports up to 26 virtual drives. Other types of images which can be mounted include VHD, IMG, BIN, CUE, NRG, CCD, MDS, MDF and GDRIVE. In addition to mounting images to virtual drives, Gizmo Drive allows you to create ISO images from a disk or folder, and burn the contents of an ISO file or a folder to a recordable disk. It comes with a Gizmo Manager and Image Wizard to perform the various tasks.

Virtual CloneDrive (freeware)

Virtual CloneDrive is another easy-to-use emulator. It allows you to double-click an image file to mount to a virtual drive. This program adds a Windows Explorer context menu for mounting and unmounting the images as well. It supports up to 15 virtual disk drives, same as the number supported by MagicDisc. Mountable image formats include ISO, CCD, IMG, UDF, BIN, etc. but not NRG, MDF/MDS. The program comes with a Virtual Sheep option which is designed to mark all virtual drives created by the software with its icon, so that you can differentiate them from the physical drives. Auto-mounting the last image is also included as one of the options. On the down side, Virtual CloneDrive does not provide other features such as creating images from or burning them to disks.

Alcohol 52% (freeware)
Alcohol 52% Free Edition is a trimmed down version of the commercial product Alcohol 120%. The free version has a limited support for 6 virtual drives and installs an optional Search Toolbar in your browser upon installation of the software. The free program features a CD/DVD Manager and an Image Making Wizard to create image files in ISO, MDS, CCD and CUE formats.

CD/DVD Emulation Software for Linux

Furius ISO Mount
Furius ISO Mount is a simple Gtk+ interface to mount ISO, IMG, BIN, MDF and NRG image files on a Linux system. This program allows you to select or drag-and-drop a file to mount an image in your home directory easily, and unmount an image with one click on a button. It also supports for burning ISO and IMG files to optical disks. Other features include generating MD5 and SHA1 checksums, automatically saving the history of the last 10 images mounted and retrieving previously unmounted images. No creating disk image is included in the program. If necessary, you might want to try Brasero Disc Burner (https://wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Bhttps://wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Braserorasero) which can create an ISO image from a CD/DVD, without using a command line interface.

Windows ISO Creation/Burning Utilities

IMG Burn
ImgBurn allows the recording of many types of CD/DVD images to recordable media (.cue files are supported as of version ImgBurn can also burn files and data directly to CD/DVD. It supports padding DVD-Video files so the layer break occurs on a proper cell boundary (where possible). ImgBurn supports a wide range of image file formats - including BIN, CUE, DI, DVD, GI, IMG, ISO, MDS, NRG and PDI.

CD Burner XP
CDBurnerXP is an application to burn CDs and DVDs, including Blu-Ray and HD-DVDs. It also includes the feature to burn and create ISOs, as well as a multilanguage interface. Everyone, even companies, can use it for free. It does not include adware or similar malicious components.

DeepBurner Free
DeepBurner comes loaded with an extensive list of practical and amazingly valuable features that will totally satisfy your burning needs. You can easily create and burn regular data CDs/DVDs, quickly build and burn ISO images. These start from compiling your CDs and DVDs in different formats and ending with the creation of fascinating photo albums and rock solid, reliable backups.


The creation of .dmg’s and the burning of .dmg’s and .iso’s to disks can both be done with the OS X built in disc utilities.

Below are some links about that process: