How do I burn a CD image (ISO) to a CD?

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The Easy Way

The easiest way to burn an ISO image to a CD is to simply double-click the .iso file. Assuming that Nero 7 or later is installed on your system, the program will automatically set itself into the proper settings to burn to a CD. Now you will see a button that says "Burn". Click that button to begin the burning process. Once completed, your CD will automatically eject.

  • Now, with Windows 7, an ISO burning program is included with the Operating System. You may simply double-click your .ISO program (or right-click the program and choose Burn Disk Image). Insert a disk, press "Burn", and you're ready to begin. The disk will eject automatically once finished.

The Thorough Way

1. Start Nero

2. Choose the menu command "File"->"Burn CD image"

3. Choose as file type: all files (*.*)

4. Select the ISO image file

5. Now you will see a dialog, asking you, if you want to supply detailled image parameters. This is necessary, since Nero needs to know exactly, what format the image file has to be able to burn it correctly.

6. Enter the following parameters: - Mode 1 (assuming, that you created a mode 1 image) - 2048 bytes per sector (corresponds to a mode 1 sector) - 0 bytes header and trailer (assuming, the image contains only "pure" ISO data and no other special header or trailer) - no swapping or scrambling (assuming, that the file contains bytes in the correct order to be written without word swapping)

7. Click on "burn" and (for safety considerations) use an empty cdr.

This procedures relies upon the assumption, that you have "normal" ISO mode 1 image file. You can check this, by opening the image with a hex editor (maybe UltraEdit, because this prog doesn't try to read the entire image into memory (after setting the read-only flag) and look at offset 8000 hex (this corresponds to sector 16, where the ISO [p]rimary [v]olume [d]descriptor is stored on cd). If you see some text like "CD001" (the PVD magic), then burning with the above procedure should work fine.


  • ImgBurn Another good utility for burning ISO files.