Talk:ISO image

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Writing ISO images to disc[edit]

This is not a file format description. Says nothing about how data is stored in the ISO file, but on the other hand, it discusses topics like the ISO 9660 standard that really have nothing to do with ISO file format. An iso file may contain images for data CDs not using any ISO 9660 filesystem, actually. Please correct. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 17:44, October 5, 2007

I don't think that can be done. At some point you are reducing .iso to merely a file extension with potentially any file content and structure in the world. I am sure that somewhere somebody has stored their Word files with .iso extension. A great example of the sort of useless confusion you can generate by embracing all uses of a file extension no matter how minor is to study the .DAT extension. So the best plan for file extensions that still have a fairly solid identity is to stick to that most common usage. I could also point out that UDF format images for DVDs have yet not completely settled on .iso as I have seen .DAA, .DAT, .UDF, etc. In fact once you escape the embrace of a single burning application .DVD and .IMG seem to be almost as common as .ISO for DVD images; whereas .ISO seems to dominate ISO 9660 images for download (original research needed) across platforms.
I think the author could only improve by emphasizing that .iso is a file extension ASSUMED by convention to contain ISO 9660 formated data -- or, as is now stated, possibly optical disk data of another common format like UDF. Unfortunately, though commercial entities might make an attempt at restraining usage, file extensions aren't defined and limited by standards groups -- even if standards like ISO 9660 might mention/define one usage (does it specifically say .iso? anybody?). Instead file extensions evolve from their original usage like any language word in the dictionary -- via common use and misappropriation (usually by some popular software without consulting anyone else as a measure to make it easier for users by extending via similar operations).
As a practical matter the .iso formats which are generally considered "valid" varies with OS, application and time in terms of what other data formats are automatically detected and recognized (if the software vendors make it easier to learn and use automatically, people follow in general usage). That is to say most but not all OSes and burning software now automatically recognize CDs or DVDs mounted in a DVD drive. However, not all applications and not all OSes - the minimum common standard for servicing .iso is still ISO 9660 (yes Virginia I have recently seen open source software that can still only burn CDs and some people still use OSes that can't recognize DVDs automatically out of the box). So UDF format is really an optional expansion of the use of the .iso file extension. On the other hand in a few months Ghost compressed NTFS and etx3 hard drive images might become the hot new format to recognize (or not) under the .iso extension by popular applications and OSes. 10:23, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't see why the .iso file name suffix is inappropriate for UDF images. Both UDF and the CD-ROM file system are specified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO): UDF is ISO/IEC 13346, just as the CD-ROM file system is ISO 9660. It wouldn't be much of a stretch to .iso as containing any file system published as an international standard by ISO. --Damian Yerrick (talk | stalk) 01:12, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Multiple ISO images to burn in one disk[edit]

I have 4 different ISO images that I am trying to fit into a DVD/RW. Each of the images does not exceed 1Gig. However, I have no tool that can help me collect all 4 ISO images, prepare them to be ready for writing to the disk. Do you know any tool/software that can assist on this? The tool I have can only identify an ISO image from source and have it ready for writing. Any help is appreciated. ~storm

An ISO image, by its very nature,contains all the information about and on the disk in one file. You can use a DVD/RW to contain the ISO images as files just by burning them to the disk as files just as you could put any type of file on a DVD/RW. You cannot, however burn multiple ISOs to the same disk because, the information contained within the ISO can only be on the disk once.

"As is typical for disc images, in addition to the data files that are contained in the ISO image, it also contains all the filesystem metadata, (boot code, structures, and attributes). All of this information is contained in a single file..."

You could however, take the files out of the ISOs and then group them together into one ISO for burning. -- 14:43, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Try UltraISO. —Vanderdeckenξφ 15:27, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

cat file1.iso ... file4.iso > newfile.iso Fumblebruschi (talk) 20:37, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Respectfully, will you please take this discussion to an appropriate forum? This talk page is for discussing the Article. Wikipedia is not a forum for Procedural or How To articles. Stephen Charles Thompson (talk) 22:20, 30 June 2008 (UTC)


This is too trivial to be put into the article, but for personal knowledge, and use, how does the general population of ISO users pronounce 'ISO'?

One of my geeky friends pronounces it 'Eye-ess-oh" (Like its spelled), however the other pronounces it "Eye-soh".

Is there an answer to this question? Donnyj (talk) 22:21, 3 January 2008 (UTC)Donnyj

If you say it fast, they both sound the same.Stephen Charles Thompson (talk) 22:17, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
The latter pronunciation (eye-soh) is most definitely correct. ISO is a word not an abbreviation or acronym. That's ISO not I-S-O. John Ball (talk) 14:56, 23 June 2012 (UTC)


Why? It is rather a disk or track image, and never been purposed as and archive format. Yes, some archivers (eg. WinRAR) let one manage .iso as an archive but neither one would pack several files to an .iso nor mount a .zip file. Still, it is possible, but doesnt make any file containing a filesystem within _an_archive_. Isnt this an absurd? (talk) 12:16, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

a disc image is a type of archive file. It has a well-defined archive format that is used by many platforms. I use it to file archive my CDs. Yes, you can pack several files into an ISO image. There are file archivers that will allow you to custom-build an ISO image from scratch, file by file, complete with directory structure and volume information, before ever comitting the ISO file to disk. Stephen Charles Thompson (talk) 22:16, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

Not for DVD-RW ?[edit]

"ISO images are not meant to be burned to DVD-RW, and they should be burned to DVD-R, because DVD-R is more widely supported." This line isn't quite really required. I am deleting it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:03, 11 February 2009 (UTC)


Under the 'Format' heading, the following text is found in the first paragraph:

ISO images do not support multi-track, thus they cannot be used for audio CDs, VCD, and hybrid audio CDs.

Yet a few sentences later in the final paragraph it reads:

The most important feature of an ISO image is that it can be burned to a DVD, VCD, or CD by using an ISO image burner, like ISO Maker.

I have therefore removed the reference to VCD in the final paragraph. Would it be worth mentioning BD (Blu-Ray Disc)? (talk) 20:20, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Possible inappropriate type of link[edit]

I removed the external link for Microsoft virtual CD-ROM panel based on this comment at the help desk saying that the link downloads a file to your computer without asking. --Coppertwig (talk) 17:35, 26 December 2007 (UTC)


I've never heard the greek explanation for the term ISO before; I always believed it was from the ISO9660 filesystem. Why else would ISO always be capitalized?

ANSWER: ISO refers to the International Organization for Standardization. CD-ROM's use the ISO 9660 standard filesystem.

.cue/.bin format goes elsewhere[edit]

shouldn't the description of the .cue/.bin format go elsewhere, since it is not an ISO format? Perhaps under disk image? -- Antaeus Feldspar 08:16, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)

What does this mean?[edit]

One of the cons listed for an ISO image is "Can rarely become corrupt." How exactly is this a con?--Shanel 15:44, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

Pro/Cons Discussion sounds fishy[edit]

The Pro/Cons Discussion of the ISO file vs physical CD sounds extremly fishy and useless to me, the one is a data format the other is a physical medium to storing said data format, so they are completly different things, so which one one uses depends solly on what one wants todo with it. Having a discussion about .iso vs .cue/.bin and other image formats would be far more usefull. It would probally be best to merge this article with Disk image, since discussing .iso on its own isn't all that informative. -- Grumbel 00:05, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

I agree with Grumbel about the .iso file vs physical CD comparison - the article implies that console emulation is the predominant use of iso files, which simply isn't the case. At the very least, .iso files are commonly seen on p2p networks as images of CDs and DVDs. Also, if .iso files are compared to physical discs, shouldn't they also be compared with other file formats for disk images? As written, the comparison is really between disc images and physical discs; it has little to do with .iso files specifically. I don't personally agree, though, that this article should be merged with Disk image - when I recently (5 minutes ago) wanted to know what exactly an .iso file is (how is it different from other disk image files? will my computer automatically mount such a file or do I need to download a program?), this article was extremely helpful to me. Answered my questions immediately. Although, if the 'common formats' list in the Disk image article remains quite prominent, I suppose a redirect to Disk image would work just fine - I do prefer the convenience of this discrete article, but that's just me.
Mathtinder 15:14, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
I think the console implication is only by word count, not a good way to read info. I actually took that as being simply an example of transporting CD images and then mounting and using them operationally on different media than standards defined. But Grumbel and Mathfinder are right the author didn't explicit say "and now as an example of transport..." nor did the author explicitly say things "...but obviously transport of CD or DVD images is useful for other machines that use CDs or DVDs." It wouldn't hurt to say that for those with low intuition...but it might not be necessary depending on where WIkipedia draws the line. Sort of like all the links to other Wikipedia pages which are not being counted as citations because they are not footnoted (just how many online people rely on offline books for validation? Though its a given URLs change and books at least have record of being printed if you are really determined to chase a reference down).
A good example of missing the point - that point being that .iso files can be used independently of their originally designed physical medium both as a transport and backup "protocol" and operationally on other media such as Hard drive, RAM and flash drive. I can see that this very point however might irritate some people as giving away the game or abusing the original design (too bad). But replacing this general interest information with a strict comparison of structure to other disk image formats would favor satisfying only the most technical bit-oriented geeks (who ought to be smart enough to do their own comparison from the list of links to similar formats at the bottom of the page).
Perhaps a better job can be done with stating the general point explicitly and explicitly listing various alternative (non-physical media) uses of the .iso format before discussion of each: transport, backup and operational uses - though to be honest it is pretty much there in as many letters as needed for understanding. Some technical geeks never get the real point of essays: balance in word count is a rule of thumb for when you don't have space or time to exhaust individual points -- not an actual measure of importance when a topic point can be made obvious in a few brief words. But then again essays are a largely social skill that many are proud not to comprehend. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:34, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
I can agree with Grumbel if we change the merge to merging of .iso under Virtual Disks. Although this would cause some divergence of discussion in the article, since .iso files are generally more limited in use in practice than .VHD files. Specifically .VHDs almost always involve the installed OS and applications whereas mounted .ISO tend toward data and installation software. 10:55, 26 October 2007 (UTC)


This article seems long enough that it isn't a stub. Should the stub status be removed? Bmecoli 19:35, 29 March 2006 (UTC)


I know I shouldn't ask here but I know you all know and can help me. Is there any freeware ISO image creator/editor (this one more important to me)/burner?? All those shareware programs available on internet can only fill ISOs up to 300 MB (if you don't buy the program); and I tried AVS Disc Creator but it couldn't open Please help me, this could be useful for a lot of people. --Coldplayer 21:19, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Though I agree that this is certainly not the place for this request, I would personally recommend Imgburn

NAJohnson 22:59, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Play ISO Movies[edit]

Is there a program where I can play ISO fan movies on the PC? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:55, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Try DAEMON Tools to mount the ISO image file, then your favourite media player (try VLC media player or Media Player Classic) to play the movie. But please remember, this page is for discussing the article, not movie downloads of dubious legality. —Vanderdeckenξφ 19:32, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
Avoid DAEMON Tools...they've gone over the the "darkside" ;they distribute adware with their software now. Alcohol 120 is a good alternative M.U.D. 17:55, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I use ISO Files for movies VLC will play directly from ISO without having to mount. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:14, 1 June 2009 (UTC)


I'm not sure it's appropriate. First, it's a Mac OS X icon, so it MIGHT be copyrighted, and using it here wouldn't be fair use. Also, to readers unfamiliar with Mac OS X icons, it would appear at first glance as though ISOs are images of hard disks instead of CDs. Should the picture be changed? --M1ss1ontomars2k4 (T | C | @) 05:02, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree with the last statement - 8. Image - Could someone please remove the image or replace it with a more suitable image for the ISO file type.
Thanks —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:11, 15 April 2007 (UTC).
Agreed regarding possible confusion to readers. Regarding copyright, the license info on the uploaded picture says "This is an icon of copyrighted computer software. It is believed that the exhibition of icons to illustrate or identify the computer software in question... qualifies as fair use." As this article is not about Mac OS X, the picture's use here likely is not considered fair use. I've removed the picture from this article. --Miken2005 08:42, 13 May 2007 (UTC)


Funny, i clicked the link for this page, and Download Accelerator Plus (my download manager) tried to download it, thinking it was a file!-- 01:07, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

your download manager is bugged —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:44, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

HDD speed vs. CD speed[edit]

In the current version of the article it is written: "Better performance is achieved by running an ISO since there is no waiting for the drive to be ready and the hard drive I/O speed is many times faster than the CD/DVD drive." Last part seems not correct. Current hard drives's speed is about 80Mb/sec, however 52x CD-ROM have 62Mb/sec speed (data from and So it seems that hard drives are faster, but less then 2 times faster, then CD-ROM's (not "many times faster" as written in the article). I am not very good at the subject, so writing here in the talk page, not in the article, in hope that somebody with more knowledge will check this before posting. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 08:00, May 20, 2007 (UTC)

The rate quoted for a hard drive was 80 MB/sec; for a 52X CD-ROM drive, 62 Mb/sec. MB is an abbreviation for "million bytes"; Mb is an abbreviation for "million bits". 80 million bytes per second is 640 million bits per second, about ten times as fast as the 62 million bits per second quoted for the CD-ROM drive. (Or think of it as 80 million bytes per second compared to a bit under 8 million bytes per second, for the hard drive and the CD-ROM drive, respectively.) Epylar 02:08, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
The optical drive also takes quite long time to start spinning, and to skip to the right position on the disc. I have no real numbers for optical drives, but i think that hard drives typically only needs about 10 milliseconds to skip through the hard disk, and that is fast as hell. And usually hard drives are spinning all the time when the computer is turned on. By the way, MB and Mb doesnt really mean "millions" of bytes/bits. Normally, in computing, it means 1024^2, in contrast of 1000^2 that is one million. These abbreviations should be called Mebibyte, and Mebibit. 12:35, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
M is the SI abbreviation for "million" = 1000000. Mi is the SI abbreviation for . Often line transfer rates and non-volatile media capacities are in fact quoted in powers of 10, whereas RAM (for example) would be measured in multiples of powers of 2--512 MiB of RAM, and so on. Epylar 00:28, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Can .iso also contain other filesystems?[edit]

The name "ISO" is taken from the ISO 9660 file system used with CD-ROM media, but an ISO image can also contain UDF file system because UDF is backward-compatible to ISO 9660.

Is there a standard which says .iso files should only contain these two file systems? As an example, many tutorials which describe how to dump a filesystem from disk, e.g. NTFS or EXT3 or HFS+, use an .iso file as the output filename. Did the [ISO] ever release a standard which says an .iso file containing an EXT3 filesystem is not an .iso file, because EXT3 is not usually burned on optical media? Dazjorz (talk) 21:35, 29 December 2008 (UTC) IMHO "ISO" always refers to an image of an optical disk, so only ever uses filesystems found on optical disks. The term itself first originated as a common extension in CD burner application files, and while over time the "ISO" name is no longer completely accurate, it can still by regarded as a short form of "ISO or UDF or etc", i.e. ISO and related formats. The main distinction is that the ISO format is completely specific as regards sector sizes, expected filesystem and application area, whereas an image of a hard disk might have anything or nothing at all on it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:23, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

Question?? this page is a redirect from .CDR which is a Corel file format used in there apps .CRD is also a file format used by mac computers as a archive or ISO Image. is it possible for that information to be included even once in a article about archive file systems? everything linked to Google only describes burning this format or converting to ISO. I have a .CDR archive file am I supposed to put my fingers to my forehead and communicate telepathically with Steve Jobs about this seemingly unknown mystery file the internet knows nothing about or this redirected wiki page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:20, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

DEFINITION: the first line uses the word to be defined in the definition. Needs cleaned up. a little ambiguous — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:18, 22 September 2013 (UTC)

fallacy re archiving[edit]

Article states "Any single-track CD-ROM, DVD or Blu-ray disc can be archived in ISO format as a true digital copy of the original" but this is not the case, because it won't capture the original disc's header information. The article even says this earlier: "ISO files store only the user data from each sector on an optical disc, ignoring the control headers and error correction data". So it is not a true digital copy, it loses information. That information might not be superfluous, for CD-ROMs any pre-emphasis information (whether it is applied, or to be applied on playback, or not) would be lost, for example. There may well be other examples of useful header information. (talk) 09:28, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

What does ISO stand for?[edit]

I don't know and I can't find a place where describes the acronym for ISO, whether it's an acronym at all. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dorivaldo de C. M. dos Santos (talkcontribs) 00:10, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

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