How to create an ISO image

There are many occasions when you would want to create an ISO image.  for example, when you want to  create an exact copy of a disk, you create an ISO image, when you modify a bootable CD, you create an ISO image, etc. in this tutorial I will show you the easiest and quickest way to create an ISO image.

2017 update

Most computers do not have a CD/DVD ROM anymore, but you can still use the “ISO Recorder” tool I mentioned below to create an ISO image of your content and then use a USB creator tool like this to burn the image to a USB drive if you need to. I just tested this tool on the Windows 10 creator update and it works fine.

Most CD/DVD burning software support ISO image creation, but if you use windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 10 you probably already know that it supports native CD/DVD burning, so we only need to add the ISO creation capability by downloading a plugin.

Open your browser and go to ISO recorder and download the plugin (power toy) for your Windows version ( If you are using Windows 10 download the new version ( V3.1 ) click on the .MSI file to to launch the setup wizard:

ISO recorder wizard

the installation should be straightforward, just click Next on all windows.

once you have installed the ISO recorder power toy, right click on any directory you want to create an ISO image of, and you will see the option to create an ISO image from the right-click menu:

Create an ISO image

The Create ISO image window will come up:

ISO Recorder

Basically, you can just click on the Next button here, but if have time, add the Volume label name, and choose the directory rather than the default where to save the ISO image.

you will find that the ISO image has been created:

ISO image

now if you right-click on this ISO image, you can easily burn it to a CD or DVD by choosing the option to Copy image to CD or DVD from the menu:

copy ISO image

from there on just insert a blank CD or DVD and click on next button to burn it.

that’s it. that’s how simple is to create an ISO image on windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 10.

Share the knowledge...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someonePrint this page

More Windows 7 Tutorials

about My name is Nelson Amaya and I’m the author of this website. I created the site in 2009 (under the domain) and I’ve been posting tutorials here ever since. I'm a systems / network administrator and I enjoy solving complex problems and learning as much as I can about new technologies. I write tutorials based on my work experience and other IT stuff I find interesting.

  • GVH

    I am trying to understand how to make an ISO image of my current windows 7 machine so that I can create a Virtual Machine of it on my Mac.

    When I go to create an ISO image, there are a number of options, and I'm not clear on the difference between Windows CD Area, and Directory… so I guess is how do I create a Bootable ISO image of my Windows 7 system?

    Please advise.



    • Nelson

      Hi GVH, thanks for stopping by. if you are trying to create an ISO image from your currently installed windows 7 machine, that is not possible. what you need to do is clone the machine. there are a number of open source cloning software, the most popular one is symantec ghosting, but I don't know if you want to shell some dough for it.

      look in Google for "open source ghosting software" and see what results come up.

      • SadDino

        One of the most popular is actually VirtualClonedrive. Just google it, it’s free and works really well.

        • lol

          virtual clone drive dosent really work….
          i donn think so…

      • Alby

        Actually the best for what you are trying to do (that is called p2v migration) is Disk2vhd. This little utility from Sysinternals will capture your system when online (no need to shut down, boot with an imaging tool, etc). Just follow the link and check yourself…

        • Nelson

          Thanks Alby.. I never heard of such tool, I’ll check it out.


    • Jim

      Create and mount a VHD through Disk Management. Be sure to make it big enough to store all of the files on your computer. When this is done use Acronis or something like that to make an image of your hard drive. Restore the image that you took from your standard HD to the VHD you created and mounted. Wait… almost an hour… When your image restore has completed you can transfer your VHD to your Mac. VHDs work with a lot of virtualization software, so you’ll be golden. I do this a lot, so this isn’t just some Joe Blow ranting about some theory, which is so rampant in many of these forums.

  • Griffo

    This is a GREAT PIECE of KIT! Does exactly what it says on the "Tin" and integrates well into windows.
    Well Done!

  • jeepmann

    Your answer is not true as one could go to "All Programs" "Maintenance" "Backup & Restore" then in the upper left corner there is the option to make image file. you just pick how and where after that

    • Keith in seattle

      True but the extension of the backup file you create is .bak and NOT .iso which is what you need. The poster you are replying to is correct.

  • Grrr Power

    I was looking for a nice utility to create an iso from a DVD.
    Installed the msi.. Put a DVD in the drive.. Chose the option to Create an iso from CD/DVD.. and after filling in the necessary fields, in the blink of an eye, it created an 800kb iso file.
    Probably about 6GB less than I'd hoped for!
    Using Win7. Would be interested if anybody else has had a similar negative experience (and found out how to get around it!).. 🙁

    • PeterMoon

      Definitively, it doesn't work on Windows 7. It creates an empty ISO file.

      • coolman

        shit!i tried,it created 1.12mb iso image of 2.88 gb file…is it working?windows 7!thanks in advance.

  • Pingback: Reset Administrator Password On Windows XP/Vista or 7()

  • Thabo

    I cant Install the ISO recoder for windows 7 32 bit there is an error on the file about an update for windows xp sp2 and windows server 2003

  • Thabo, you need to have at least SP2 installed on windows XP or Windows Server 2003 in order to install the ISO Recorder software.

    • carlo

      i`m currently running my pc on a 32bit amd sempron p1 . .. and the iso recorder works . .

  • Jared Jett

    Works great!

  • hello
    how to rename an administrator account of domain controller in windows server 2008.

  • James Gunn

    I was wondering if there was a way of making an ISO from my pre installed windows 7 so that I can use the Windows 7 edition switcher available to get a different version. Thanks in advance. james

  • Sunil

    i want to create a copy of iso image file from a bootable windows7 dvd.. how do i do it… please help..

    thank you..

  • ChrisW

    Worked great, was able to backup all of my installation discs as ISOs on my hard drive. I will never have to worry about replacement discs again. Thanks.

  • Scott

    I believe I installed the program correctly. It created an image of a genuine Windows 7 Home Premium DVD. But when I went to burn the ISO image to a DVD it said that the media was incompatible. Why is this? What media is required to have an image burnt to it?
    They are DVD-R 4.7GB. Image size 3GB.

    I choose, Burn Image to CD. That is all that it has written when I right click. Then I select the drive to burn to, and it detects the media as D: Blank Writable Non-Usable – DVD

    Any answers would be greatly appreciated.

    • John

      You need to make sure that you have the correct size chosen for the DVD that you are burning to. If you have chosen to create a CD, then the image size default is usually 80mb. So I recommend double checking all of your default settings prior to burning.

  • sagar

    i install iso recorder but when i went to create a disk of windows 8 it will not burns it

  • Nickp

    Nice tool by the way.
    I created about 4-5 iso images with no issue.
    But the last 2 I have done have created blank ISO images.
    No errors reported. Any Ideas?

  • Nickp

    HirnNice tool by the way.rnI created about 4-5 iso images with no issue.rnBut the last 2 I have done have created blank ISO images.rnNo errors reported. Any Ideas?

  • Pingback: Installing Ubuntu Server 10.10()

  • GaryT

    I would love to see a new feature added to this super simple plugin – open an ISO and add files to it (eg photos).

  • taa

    Hi I’ve tried to make an ISO Image of a CD as backup, as soon as it reaches 50% progress it says ” Recording has failed. Code: 00000017″. I’m running Windows 7 and ISO Recorder 3.1. Any advice?

  • Shrikant Ranade

    in iso recoder 3.1 problem of file over 100 md
    it shows failed

  • Chris

    i did it exactly as it says to do i downloaded the software to my os 7 and i went to go create the image but it said it could not do it please help

  • panash

    there are two simple steps how u can make a bootable pendrive or cd..

    1. download “window 7 usb dvd download tool” utility from internet.
    2. download “iso recorder” again from the internet and make an iso image of the operating system dvd you have with you or you have it saved in some other location of your hard disk.

    after you have an iso image, just run the first software and root the iso image to the specified location in the software and click next ….furture steps are so easy to go on .and you will be left with a desired results.

    • Nelson

      Hi Panash.. thanks for your quick how to tutorial.

  • Wans

    How 2 Create Bootable Windows Cd

  • Nizam Uddin

    I have created an iso file for windows 7 by iso recorder but when i try to make that iso files to usb by windows 7 usb dvd tools then it shows me “this is not a valid iso file” i dont know why? please let me know.

  • Manuchandraprasad

    Power Iso does this as well. It also comes with a virtual drive for mounting .iso s

  • lol

    i wonder if i there is a way of copying the iso files of a pre installed windows 7 into a removable media….

  • David

    Ran into problems using the program on a Windows 7 machine, trying to make an ISO of a program DVD (not a video) disk. The program launched ok, reading the source disk and setting the destination folder. But the ‘Next’ button was greyed out.

    • David

      Answering my own question, after reading the documentation, it says DVD support is available only in Vista.

  • Ordinary guy

    Great! Thanks!

  • Rakesh Chandra Taroriya

    i want to know that if i have complete the installtion of RIS after that i need to xp image in my server so how i wiil create this and how i i remotally install the window on client system. I someone have any solution help me please.

  • Rakesh Chandra Taroriya

    Some time i look the mostly usb port has been blocked by the admin so i want knowladge about that haw i can do this how it will unlocked.

  • mecha guy

    man i want to get an iso image but where can i get one!

  • zaqqum

    Just wanted to say thanks for the tip. It works great and they even have a new Windows 7 version.


  • Mohit Ahlawat

    How To Setup a USB Flash Drive to Install Windows 7
    If you have a netbook and would like to upgrade it to Windows 7, you may be wondering how to do it without a clunky external DVD Drive. Today we show you how to install Windows 7 from a USB flash drive.
    Installing Windows 7 from a flash drive is essentially the same as installing it from a DVD. Most of the work is setting up your flash drive so it becomes a bootable device with the OS on it. Here we will take a look at a couple of utilities that will allow you to easily create a bootable USB drive and copy Windows 7 to it.
    Note: You’ll need a minimum of a 4GB flash drive to dedicate to the installation files.
    Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool
    If you have an ISO image of Windows 7, using Microsoft’s free utility is a quick and easy option to get the image on your USB flash drive. It requires XP SP2 or higher and if you’re using an XP machine you’ll need .NET Framework 2.0, and Microsoft Image Mastering API V2…both of which can be downloaded from the link below. It seemed to work best if I formatted the flash drive as NTFS before using the download tool. But that could be because of the flash drive I used…your mileage may vary.

    It’s a pretty straight forward process, first browse to the location of your Windows 7 ISO file and click Next.

    Select USB device…this also helps you burn the ISO to DVD as well if you need that option.

    Choose your flash drive and click Begin copying.

    Now just wait for the process to complete. The drive will be formatted and files copied to the flash drive.

    When the process is finished you will be able to see the files on the flash drive as you would if you opened the installation disc. Now you can start the installation on any computer that allows you to boot from a USB drive.

    If you want to transfer a Windows 7 installation disc to USB…another super easy utility to use is WinToFlash. Just follow through the straight forward wizard, and you’ll be ready to install Windows 7 from your flash drive in no time.

    The neat thing about this utility is it also offers different advanced features and tasks for other versions of Windows too.

    It’s as easy as choosing the location of the Windows installation disc and the USB drive. Where in this example the DVD is drive (E:) and the flash drive is (F:). They recommend to turn off your Antivirus to increase the process speed, but we had MSE running on our machine and it didn’t seem to affect performance at all.

    Next, you’ll need to agree to the Windows 7 EULA and hit continue.

    Now just wait until the drive is formatted and the files are transferred over to the USB drive. The amount of time it takes will vary between systems. In our test it took around 10 minutes to complete over to an 8GB flash drive.

    That’s it! Now the drive is ready so you can install Windows 7 on your netbook or any other computer that supports booting from a USB drive.


  • suubu

    thanx man it is working 5ne

  • Cynco DelMayo

    Instead of getting this powertoy, get FlashCrest ISO Maker. It’s freeware and it creates ISO’s flawlessly.

  • Steveo

    FlsahCrest ISO maker didn’t work “out of the box”. There was some missing ocx. Instead I’m using UltraISO and it’s working great. I’m creating an image of my Win 7 installed DVD so I can usb the USB creator tool.

  • alberto

    Nice utility!!

    • Lee

      Nice program and instructions. Only thing that I found a tad bit confusing was how to create an ISO using this program, from a CD/DVD. Fortunately, I read ahead and realized that I simply had to jump to the “Copy Image…” step. Then it was all easy-squeezy!

  • Scott

    It won’t rip audio CDs, what a piece of crap.

  • Andrew Byrd

    This was very helpful. Thank you!

  • steve

    thanks for sharing the app and the tutorial. glad there are guys like you who shares their knowledge freely.

  • Andrew

    I have a netbook and it needs reformatted. I don’t have another computer with a CD/DVD driver, and I bought this stupid toshiba netbook brand new from best buy and it didn’t come with the windows CD (at least I can’t find it anywhere, I have all the crap that came with it). All I want to do is reformat it and reinstall windows. I have read all the above comments, and downloaded both the unet bootin tool and the ISO recorder, but its still not clear to me how to get an ISO image I can use with the unet bootin tool and my 4 gb flash drive. Thanks for the help.

  • i’m not quite familiar with ISO file. what’s the advantage to keep file as. ISO? thanks.

  • David Dee

    Good morning everyone. I have a Dr. friend who bought a practice years ago and with the practice came a Windows 2000 machine with a patient scheduling software program installed. He has become quite comfortable using the program and does not want to buy new software. The patient software company has long gone out of business and the Dr. does not have any install disks to reinstall the software to a newer machine. I am trying to figure out a solution for migrating his old patient software to a new Windows 7 machine. I could teach him about the Virtual World or maybe run the program in Compatibility Mode. My problem is the migration. Move the OS as an ISO, move the hard drive (but how to get it to be available as a boot drive), etc. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated in advance.

    • Nelson

      Hi David, that’s a toughie! but I like the challenge. most likely the software the doc is running on his Win 2000 machine is way outdated, and won’t run on Windows 7, maybe it could run on compatibility mode, who knows.. but the biggest problem is migration, as you clearly know. virtualizing the old windows 2000 machine is the only solution I can think of. you can use VMWare converter to convert the machine to virtual and then use VMWare player or Workstation to run the virtual machine in Windows 7… let me know how it goes.. best of luck.


  • JahPower

    i’m not quite familiar with ISO file. what’s the advantage to keep file as. ISO? thanks.

  • Hamza Shahzad

    help! i have just brought a mac os x snow leopard 10.5 dvd on my windows 7 system.
    so when i run it, it shows a window: burn a cd and i dont have a writer. is there
    any software to burn a cd/dvd without a writer? thanks

  • synth

    im getting cannot create file access denied error while making an ISO. Its not letting me click “next”. halp

    • Nelson

      What operating system ( windows XP or Windows 7 ) are you using?

  • Jeff Miller

    I have downloaded your plug-in on my Windows 7 SP1 laptop (32 bit). Everything seems to be working fine, but I am unable to mount my ISO image on my UNIX server.

    I need to clarify a few things as noted below…

    1) Once I copy the image to my DVD using the “Copy Image to CD/DVD” and it ejects the DVD, should I be able to see something on my Windows 7 laptop after I close the DVD drive? I would think that the answer would be yes. When I click on the DVD drive, it shows that the DVD has no free space and zero items. This does not seem right to me…

    2) The UNIX flavor in question is HP-UX. Enabling the OS to see an ISO image on the DVD is a two step process: Start the necessary services and then mount the DVD drive. I have no problems starting the services, but I am unable to mount the DVD. The error states that it does not recognize what is on the DVD. This goes back to question 1: Do I actually have an ISO image on the DVD?

    Any insights into how I can verify that I have an ISO image on the DVD would be greatly appreciated.


    • Nelson

      Hi Jeff, can you boot from your newly burned DVD?

    • Nelson

      You don’t have an .ISO image on the DVD, you should have the content that was in the ISO image before you burned it to the DVD media. Basically the ISO image is only a bunch of zipped files that the ISO recorder (the plugin I talk about on this post) umcompress and write it down to a DVD or USB drive….so it can be bootable if necessary……but the ISO file is not copied to the dvd , just the content of the image, do you read me on that?

      • Jeff Miller

        Thank you for your reply…

        HP has stopped sending DVDs of their software. The onus is now on us to create our own DVDs. Thus I have some HP software that I have downloaded to our windows share. I am trying to use your plug-in to create an ISO image of this so that I can mount it on our HPUX servers and install it.

        Thus there is no reason for this DVD to be bootable…

        I appreciate your clarification on what happens when the ISO file is moved to DVD. Based on what you said, I should see the original files on my Windows 7 laptop when I insert the DVD into the drive. Is that correct or am I still confused?

        Here is another way to ask this question…

        Lets say I have three folders called “a”, “b”, and “c”. Using your plug-in, I create an ISO file of these three folders that I call “test.iso”. Again using your plug-in, I burn “test.iso” to DVD. If I take this DVD to a Windows 7 computer and look at the contents of the DVD, what should I see? The file “test.iso” or the three folders “a”, “b”, and “c”?

        • Nelson

          you should see the three folders a,b, and c..

          • Jeff Miller

            Are you aware of any issues with creating ISO files on large folders?

            I have a folder that is 1.87 GB that is creating an 1.1 MB ISO file. This ISO file is not working.

            Conversely, I have a second folder that is 620 MB that is creating an 640 MB ISO file. This ISO file works fine.

            The 1.1 MB ISO file is not the correct size, especially when you compare it to the ISO file that is working.


          • Nelson

            No, I’m not aware of such problem, I burned a Windows 8 DVD today and it worked fine….it seems like you have an issue with ISO recorder. Try this program instead

          • Nelson

            Jeff, I’m glad that worked for you. Have a nice day.

  • Jeff Miller

    Just wanted to let you know that CDBurnerXP resolved my issues. I was able to generate an ISO image, burn it to DVD, and successfully mount it on my HP-UX server.

    Appreciate the help!

  • Rebecca

    Thanks so much for the writeup! Helped me get out of a tough spot when my USB key proved to be no longer working.

  • JT

    So my image goes through the write process and once it reaches 100% right before finishing, it says burn failed error 0000000001 (or however many 0’s there are). Any help there?

  • smash2007

    this program is great just make sure you get the right one!

  • StepnSteph

    I’m currently testing this with a PS2 game that I just bought. At about 25% making the ISO now. UPDATE: It works. Just loaded the ISO in PCSX2, loaded my save state from the game that began on the disc. Didn’t do anything other than keep the ISO maker at defaults. Excellent. 🙂 Load times are infinitely improved (no more snagging & pausing when loading between screens). Win 7 x64 Home Premium.

  • kaki4125

    Mac users can get iFunia DVD Creator for Mac to create ISO files

  • Andre S.

    Not working at all, tried a few times, it’s only creating a 1,152kb .iso from a 7.5GB file, I even tried using the 32 bit version and that does not even give me right / alt click option at all. Will search on for another that will work, but thanks for trying to help out.


    Does not function in Windows 10

    • it should work it windows 10 if you use the new V3.1 version. I just tried in my Windows 10 computer and it works fine. I’m sorry for the late reply, but just found this comment stuck in my queue!