How Do I Burn ISO Files?

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Can you show me how to burn ISO files? I downloaded this game and it arrived as an .ISO file. Windows keeps saying that it doesn’t know how to open it. Someone told me that I need to burn it to a disc. How do I do that?

The ISO format is a popular way to distribute large packages of files that would normally appear on a CD or DVD. The reason is simple: an ISO file is typically a bit-for-bit image of a CD or DVD.

There are several ways to get at the contents of an ISO file. The most common way is to burn the ISO’s content to an actual disc.

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How should I store scans of old photographs?

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I’m in charge of scanning old family photo albums (dating back to the 1800s), and an saving them on CDs. After reading many articles, I am confused as to what I should use to save them on. CDs, USBs, external hard drives…. Do you have a suggestion? I don’t want a future generation to go to look or print from them, and find that they no longer are accessible.

Well, the short answer is that I would wave you off of CDs right away. For something that important, I think other solutions are called for.

As I’ve discussed before, the continual progress of storage technologies is an ongoing issue. What we choose today might not be appropriate in a few years or a few decades.

Rather than tell you what you should do, let me tell you what I do in case my photographs are ever of interest to future generations.

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How Do I Boot from CD/DVD?

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I burned DBAN to a CD and then rebooted the machine with the CD inserted in the drive. To my surprise, it just booted right back into Windows. What gives? How do I get the computer to boot up from the CD?

This is actually a pretty common problem with a relatively simple solution.

Your computer’s BIOS needs to be instructed to check for a bootable CD or DVD before it tries to load whatever is on the hard drive. Right now, your computer is configured to either ignore the CD/DVD at boot time or check the hard disk first.

And because there’s something bootable on the hard disk – namely Windows – that’s what it boots into.

As I said, a simple solution conceptually.

The devil, as they say, is in the details.

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How Do I Boot from CD/DVD/USB in Windows 8 & 10?

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I burned DBAN to a CD and then rebooted my Windows machine with the CD inserted in the drive. To my surprise, it just booted right back into Windows. What gives? How do I get the computer to boot up from the CD?

This is a common problem for which the answer has become complex.

Your computer’s BIOS needs to be instructed to check for a bootable CD or DVD before it tries to load whatever is on the hard drive. Right now, your computer is configured to either ignore the CD/DVD, or check the hard disk first, at boot time.

The problem is that newer machines don’t have a BIOS; they have something called UEFI.

And UEFI makes things more complex.

Read moreHow Do I Boot from CD/DVD/USB in Windows 8 & 10?

My machine has no optical drive. What if I need one?

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My aunt just a bought a Mac and it seems to have no optical drive. I’ve not been there to see the computer although I had the same reaction to the floppy drive disappearing and have not used them for years. But I switched to CD-Rs and now DVD-Rs for mostly backups. How do you buy software? Not everything can be done on flash and downloads. Is having broadband required for today’s Macs? Windows 8 was optional. Doesn’t anyone still worry about the main hard drive failure anymore? My PC is backed up on to DVDs including six recovery DVDs for Windows 8.

The scenario you described is now very, very common. In fact, none of the three Macs in this household have optical drives, and neither does my Microsoft Surface Pro running Windows 8.

But it’s not really a problem. I’ll explain why and what I do.

Read moreMy machine has no optical drive. What if I need one?

Why can’t I see the files on a CD I created?

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I have several discs on which I have stored media files when I had a Windows XP Pro PC. Now I’m using a laptop with Windows 7 and when I insert those discs in its CD drive, I cannot see any of the files. When I open my computer and look at the “G” drive, which I know is my CD drive, it says that there is data stored on these discs and how much room I have left, but when I open it, there are no files showing. Why is this?

Good question. It depends a lot on exactly how you created that disc in the first place. That’s information that you didn’t give me and a lot of the times it’s as simple as not having used the right program, or having chosen the right format in the beginning when the disc was created.

Unfortunately, I don’t necessarily know of a good way to recover from that.

Read moreWhy can’t I see the files on a CD I created?