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  • How to Extract an ISO File

    Extracting an ISO from a CD or DVD is sometimes necessary. You will need to have a CD or DVD ready to create an ISO image from and an ISO extracting software. A completely free ISO extracting option is available from ISODisk on www.isodisk.com (Only works on 32 bit versions of Windows). Here is the process to create an ISO from a CD or DVD source:Download and install the ISODisk software and restart your computer system. Once the computer has finished the rebooting process, open up the ISODisk software and place the CD or DVD into your disc drive. The drive must be a CD or DVD reader or reading/writing combo drive to work correctly with this program.You will see two tabs on the ISODisk program. The “Mount ISO Image as Virtual Disk” tab is selected by default and provides functions to create virtual drives that can be loaded onto the system. The function you need to use is under the “Create ISO Image from CD-ROM” tab which you must click to access.From the Create ISO tab, you will be able to select the CD-ROM drive from a drop down menu that you are going to be making the ISO image from (Only available drives/virtual drives are shown in this list). To create the image of a CD or DVD, click the floppy disk icon which represents “Save”. When you click this icon, the software will prompt you to name the ISO file that you will be creating from the disk. The name of the disk, if any is provided, will be the ISO file’s default name. Click on the “Browse Folders” button if you want to specify the folder in which your ISO image file should be saved. Select the “save” button to start the ISO image creation from the disk. Select “cancel” to abort the process.During the ISO creation, a progress bar will fill with blocks. This represents the data being processed from the disk into the ISO file on your hard disk. Depending on the size and type of information being processed from the disk into the ISO file, the process could take from a couple of minutes to more than half an hour.When the ISODisk program has completely extracted the ISO image from the CD, a prompt stating “The ISO Image Created” and “OK” will be displayed. Click OK and enjoy your new ISO image file (which could also be mounted as a virtual drive with the other tab of the ISODisk program if successful). Once complete, select the “Close” button in the ISODisk program.

    Note: This process does not work with copyright protection enabled CDs and DVDs.This is not the only option for extracting an ISO image from a CD/DVD. However, of all the options that exist, ISODisk is the free and simple solution for basic ISO extraction needs.

    Extracting Files from an ISO Image Individual files can be extracted from an ISO image without actually burning the disk to a recordable CD/DVD. You can do so with the two following options:

    Option 1 – Using ISODisk Software The ISODisk software mentioned above (available at www.isodisk.com) can be used to mount ISO image files into virtual drives which can be used to access the contents of the ISO image archives. The process is simple:Open up the ISODisk software. On the “Mount ISO Image as Virtual Disk” tab (default tab selected) choose an available drive letter to load an ISO image into memory. You may need to load them in order (A, B, C, D) of the available drives with certain systems. Simply select the folder icon in order to mount the ISO image into memory. Select the ISO file and click on the “Open” button to load it into memory.

    Note: You cannot create virtual disks with this software if you have not rebooted the software.Once it is loaded into memory, open an explorer window (hold down the “Windows” key on the keyboard and press “E”). This will take you to “My Computer” which will display a list of the available drives on your system. Right click the drive which was used to make a virtual drive for the ISO image you selected to pull up the menu. Select “Explore” from the menu to bypass the autorun for the disk. From here, you can browse the files and extract them to anywhere on your hard disk by copying them. An easy way to copy files is by dragging them to a new location/folder.

    Option 2 – Using Archiving Software Capable of Opening ISOs It may be necessary to use archiving software to open ISOs as individuals may have access to ISOs that they did not create themselves or they may not have software that can create an ISO. The following process extracts files from an ISO CD or DVD image without having to save it first:You will need an ISO image to extract files from and ISO reading capable archiving software. One of the leading free archiving and extraction software options is 7-ZIP which is available on www.7-zip.org. Download and install the 7-ZIP software to continue (32 bit and 64 bit versions are available).You may need to restart your system after the installation is completed. If so, restart your system and resume from this portion of the instructions.Open up the 7-ZIP program from your programs list under the Start menu from your task bar. Click on the “File” tab and select the “Open” item from the list. This will set the main 7-ZIP window as a browsing window. Navigate through this to find the ISO image that you wish to open on your hard disk. Double click on the ISO image and 7-ZIP will automatically open it and will provide a listing of the files available in the archive.Alternatively, with 7-ZIP installed, you could now open, extract files, and more through the context menu available from right clicking the file in an explorer window or on the desktop. Simply select the “7-ZIP >” option in the list and select the appropriate action to fulfill from the accompanying sub-list.Simply select the files you want to extract from the ISO and click on the “-Extract” button on the toolbar of the 7-ZIP program. This will open up a dialog box with a “Copy to:” field representing the location on the hard disk that you will be extracting files to. You could also choose the “…” button to browse for a location to extract to. Another option is to drag the files you need to copy from the ISO archive into a folder that you would like the files copied to directly from the 7-ZIP program.

    Note: Large files such as those on DVD movie media may take extended periods of time to extract due to their file size.ISODisk and 7-ZIP are not the only programs that are capable of extracting files from ISO image archives. There are free options that are simple to use for basic extraction needs. You can find other archive extraction software available for download online in free or paid license form which could perform these same functions.

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