How to burn an ISO image file to CD using the free CDBurnerXP program. An ISO image file is an exact copy (image) of an optical disc (a CD or DVD) – they are a useful way of recreating optical discs by burning the file onto a new CD or DVD. ISO image files have a file extension of .iso
Why Use Them? A common use for ISO files is to create a bootable utility CD such as DBAN (see How To Securely Erase a Hard Drive) before disposing of a PC. A bootable CD is a special type of CD which a computer can boot (start) from – another example is a Windows installation CD.
How To Burn An ISO To CD – First, download the ISO file you want to burn and save it to your computer. If the file is less than 700MB in size (most are) you can burn it to CD otherwise you will need to burn it to DVD. Do not try to unzip the file or open it – leave it as an ISO file. Now put a blank CD in your CD writer.
Most burning software can burn ISO images but if you are struggling to find out how to do it, or your software does not have this option, then read on and we will show you in easy steps using only free software. You will need to download the Portable version of the CD burning software CDBurnerXP – the benefit of the portable version is that it does not install itself into your PC so it will not interfere with any other CD burning programs you might have like Itunes etc.
Download CDBurnerXP here – despite the name it is compatible with XP, Vista and Windows 7. Under ‘Download Latest Version’ select ‘More Download Options’ and then click to download the relevant Portable Version – 32 bit or 64 bit depending on your version of Windows.
Tip: To find out which version of Windows you have, see how to tell if Windows is 32 bit or 64 bit.
Specify where you want to save the zip file, save it to your computer and then unzip it when it has finished downloading. You should end up with a folder called CDBurnerXP-x.x.x.xxxx where x is the version number. Within this folder, double click on the cdbxpp program file to start CDburnerXP which will ask you for the default language:
After selecting your language the main program will start. Select ‘Burn ISO Image’ as below and click OK to proceed:
Now the main program starts as shown below. Ensure that ‘Finalize disc’ and ‘Eject disc after burning’ are both ticked and that your CD/DVD writer appears as the Target Device. Now change the speed setting on the right of the Target Device to a much slower setting to ensure the disc burns correctly – in our example below we will change the 48x speed to 16x speed.
Tip: A slower burn speed will take longer to burn but will be far less likely to contain errors that could turn your CD into just a coaster…
Now click on ‘Browse’ and navigate to select the ISO file you saved earlier then click Open to confirm the file selection – in our example below we are choosing the latest DBAN iso file:
All ready, now click on ‘Burn Disc’ to start the burn process which may take some time as shown:
After the ISO file has been burned to the CD the CD will be ejected and you should see a confirmation message that all has gone well:
Click OK, close and exit CDburnerXP and remove your CD which should now have the ISO image file successfully burned on it.