Using dotISO Files

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Revision as of 11:27, 18 September 2012 by Rpeters (talk | contribs) (added link to detailed procedure for Nero)

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For General Users

Purpose

Files having the extension *.ISO may be new to some readers. These files are essentially an image of a CD, DVD (or BlueRay ?) optical media and usually images of bootable media. dotISO files may be downloaded, saved, copied to other disks/volumes/folders etc, exactly like any other file. However, they require special processing to achieve their usual purpose of producing a bootable media

  • originally dotISO were intended for CD/DVD media
  • the same files may now be made into bootable USB/SD media
    • this requires a different program to write the media

The bootable media are typically used for one of:

  • a "live" demonstration system - often based on Linux
  • running software for backing up systems and/or data
  • installing operating systems
  • "rescue" systems
those not familiar with operating systems need to execise caution with the last two

Burning Bootable CD/DVD

  1. this will be the simpest and most reliable approach for beginners
    • virtually any computer now in use can boot CD/DVD
    • most OS have suitable software for burning CD/DVD
  2. a common mistake made by novices is to use their favourite burner software to copy a *.ISO file to a blank CD/DVD - incorrect as explained at http://www.puppylinux.com/cd-puppy.htm
Correct procedure is to use a special option in the burner software to "burn CD ISO image" or "burn DVD ISO image".

Windows 7

  1. via Windows Explorer is the simplest procedure for beginners
    • locate the ISO file in Windows Explorer and right-click it. You will get various options
    • click on 'Open with' then choose 'Windows Disc Image Burner' to produce a bootable CD/DVD
    • to be prudent, tick the 'Verify disc after burning' box
  2. popular burner software Nero has a similar option. Detailed procedure is available at the following site: http://partedmagic.com/doku.php?id=creating_the_livecd_with_nero
    • simply select your dotISO file in lieu of partedmagic.iso
  3. if none of the above options are available get the product ftp://terabyteunlimited.com/burncdcc.zip and install that
It makes the operation foolproof, because its only function is to burn ISO images to CD/DVD

Other OS

  1. most Linux will include CD/DVD burning software such as k3b, XFreeBurn etc, which include the function to "burn CD ISO image"


Choice of Optical Media

  1. dotISO disks must be "bit-perfect"
    • avoid using cheap media blanks that are sold primarily for audio/video use
    • setting a slower burn speed might produce more reliable results when using untested burner/media combination
  2. dotISO images that are smaller than 700 MB may be burnt to DVD media
    • most burner software will cope with this
    • doing so is likely to result in the media reading somewhat faster than would be the case with CD media and this can be advantageous for the uses described above.
  3. dotISO images >700 MB but << a full DVD of 4.3 GB will often be encountered
    • these must be burned to DVD media
  4. dotISO images > a full DVD size of 4.3 GB are occassionally encountered
    • these can be burned only to dual-layer DVD media
    • such media is relatively expensive and
    • not all releases of burner software handle it reliably
  5. avoid burning dotISO to 80 mm diameter mini-CD/DVD
    • from which the read process would be relatively slow
    • not all releases of burner software handle it reliably

Writing Bootable USB/SD

Writing ISO Files

  1. this method is relatively safe for Windows users only
    • other users see
    • it shoulc suceed with all dotISO files, provided that those are bootable images
  2. obtain and install a suitable program
    • unetbootin is one of the better known
  3. ensure that the USB/SD media to be used is formatted FAT 32
  4. as a precaution, disconnect all other USB devices from the computer
    • including scanners, mobile broadband sticks, modems etc
  5. launch unetbootin
    • locate the downloaded dotISO file on hard disk
    • select the USB/SD media to be written
    • click OK

Getting Technical

non Windows users README

Writing Bootable USB/SD

Linux users need to execise great caution with the this procedure - an error in selecting the USB/SD device could result in hard disk partition being overwritten

Cross-check which removable device is to be written by examining the manufacturer ID, partition size, filesystem type (FAT 32) reported by the Operating System

Writing ISO Files

  1. this procedure can be achieved via GUI tools
    • it shoulc suceed with all dotISO files, provided that those are bootable images
  2. obtain and install a suitable program
    • unetbootin is one of the better known
  3. ensure that the USB/SD media to be used is formatted FAT 32
  4. as a precaution, disconnect all other USB devices from the computer
    • including scanners, mobile broadband sticks, modems etc
  5. launch unetbootin
    • locate the downloaded dotISO file on hard disk
    • select the USB/SD media to be written
    • click OK

Strictly for Geeks

Writing ISOhybrid Files

  1. this task is for intermediate/advanced users
  2. some dotISO files are now being provided as "ISOhybrids"
    • these may be written to CD/DVD/USB/SD media, as above
    • but require this alternative procedure to achive their main advamtage of typically booting much faster
      • because most OS use conservative settings to boot USB/SD devices, in order to cope with older/buggy BIOS
  3. dotISO of unknown type may safely be converted to hybridISO via the program "isohybrid"
  4. ensure that the USB/SD media to be used is formatted FAT 32
  5. as a precaution, disconnect all other USB devices from the computer
    • including scanners, mobile broadband sticks, modems etc
  6. launch a program for writing images of storage media eg
  7. more detailed instructions are at:

http://en.opensuse.org/SDB:Live_USB_stick#Bootable_USB_from_DVD_or_Net-install

execise great caution with the above programs - an error in selecting the USB/SD device could result in hard disk partition being overwritten

Booting from Media

Booting from Removable Media


--Rpeters 12:09, 24 August 2012 (EST) --