If you’ve been around computers a little while or are quite tech minded, you will no doubt know what an ISO image file is and what it does. Briefly described, an ISO image is a copy of the contents from an optical CD/DVD/Blu-ray disc which is stored in the form of a single file, much like an uncompressed zip archive. They can also be opened using several different methods. The term ISO is taken from the ISO 9660 file system which is the standard file system for CD-ROM media.
When you backup a disc to your computer, it is normally backed up as an ISO image file, unless your disc has special tracks like copy protections etc, in which case it will be something like the Cue/Bin format. Manually copying all files from a disc to your hard drive and zipping it up to a single file sounds the same, but there’s many differences compared to backing up as an ISO. Besides the actual files on a disc, the ISO format also backs up the file system metadata, including boot code, structures, and attributes. These days you can burn ISO files to disc, write to USB flash drive or even mount them as virtual drives. Burning an ISO image out to optical disc isn’t nearly as difficult as it used to be because there are several tools around to help you do it, and even newer operating systems such as Vista, 7 or 8 have a built in utility just for burning ISO’s. But there are still many people around who don’t know, or don’t want to know how to burn an ISO, and just want something to work without having to learn something new. If you ever have to distribute ISO’s to people who fall into those categories, here is an option to make things easier for all concerned.
Something you can do is make a self burning package for an ISO file. This means the user can just run a single executable file and it will automatically launch a portable burning software to burn the ISO file by clicking the burn button. Burning an ISO image to a disc can’t get much easier than this. CD SelfBurner is a free tool which is able to let users create a self-extracting and self burning ISO file.
To create a self burning ISO simply run CD SelfBurner, then browse for the ISO, the program also accepts a CUE file. Then select where you want to save the resulting single executable self burning file. Click the Create button, wait for a while and you will have your self burning package in no time. The program compresses and creates the executable using 7-Zip SFX.
When running the executable self burning package file you will get a prompt to extract and burn to CD/DVD. Click Yes and it will automatically start burning with a portable version of the popular burning tool ImgBurn. The automation will only work IF you have inserted a blank disc into your drive, there will be a prompt to blank a rewritable disc.
CD SelfBurner will burn just about any type of ISO image or Cue/Bin to optical disc such as CD/DVD/BDR simply because the ImgBurn application itself is so versatile. It works on Windows XP and above and is completely portable.