Working with CDs and DVDs, especially in a virtual environment often means dealing with ISO images. An ISO is in effect a single file on a system that contains a full file structure as per ISO 9660 (including data and metadata). You can also burn an ISO image to a CD/DVD and then that disk can be use in other systems (e.g. burning an ISO of Windows Server downloaded from TechNet).
Sadly, Windows does not, by default, support burning an ISO image. You can burn a disk that contains one file (the iso image), but that will not work on another system – so it’s not very useful (unless you like creating coasters).
Just over four ago, I first wrote about a really nice free tool called ISO Recorder. Built by Alex Feinman. the ISO Recorder burns an ISO imate to a disk, but also rips a physical disk to an ISO image. Alex has improved the tool over the years, first with a version that worked with the latest version of XP and Server 2003, then with a version for Vista.
Today I downloaded a bunch of ISO files that I needed to burn. But I had no tools on my recently built Workstation, which is running a pimped Server 2008 64 bits (with no built in ISO burning feature). A quick Google brought up the relevant page from which I could obtain the tool (free). A few minutes later, and the 64-bit version was downloaded and has created my first burned ISO on the new box. Neat. It works fine on Server 08 which was a pleasant surprise.
Thanks Alex – this is a very useful tool. ISO Recorder Rocks!