What to Do with ISO Image Files

ISO stands for the International Organization for Standardization. You wouldn’t know it but it’s one of the most powerful non-governmental organizations in the world. These are the guys who set the universal benchmarks known as ISO standards.

Why are we discussing a world body in a tech site? It’s because they lend their name to a well known file format too.

The ISO file (.iso) is just an archive file format of an optical disk. It can be said to be an exact clone of a file system because it’s a byte for byte copy of a disk with all of its data and metadata. It’s a popular format for downloads and transport over the internet. Anyone who has downloaded a game, an OS like a Linux distro, or an OS update would know them by sight. Also, being an open standard format along with another called UDF it’s supported by all optical disc software.

ISO is not the only one of its kind. There are others, each created by a disk manufacturer and his competitor. Some others you may have come across include – img, bin, mdf, mds, etc.

So how does one deal with these ISO files? There are several easy ways:

  • You can burn them directly to a disk.
  • You can open them like an archive (remember they are uncompressed archives) using archive tools like WinRAR.
  • You can mount them and treat it like a virtual drive.

After having looked at all of the information provided above, if you still have a question that has not been answered or require help with what you’re trying to do, always remember that Google is your best friend on the web.

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