How to Burn an ISO in Windows, Step-by-Step Instructions
There may be a time where you'll need to burn an ISO image to a CD or DVD. For example, using a disk with an ISO image is arguably the easiest way to put a new operating system on a computer.
You can also mount an operating system ISO image as a virtual disk. This way, you can browse and play around in a new operating system without actually having to install it.
Burning an ISO is really easy! Once you learn how to do it, you'll probably never forget how it's done.
Before getting started, you'll need a few things:
- The .iso file you would like to burn (for this tutorial, I will be using an ISO of Linux Mint.) Make sure you know where your .iso is saved.
- A blank CD or DVD
- A CD/DVD burner
- CD/DVD burning software
Insert the CD into Your CD Burner
Yep! Just put the CD into your CD/DVD drive (or your CD burner if you have an external burner.)
If a window pops up (as it does for me, I use XP) asking "What do you want Windows to do?" just hit "Cancel."
CD Burning Software
Open your CD burning software. I use InfraRecorder. It's free, easy-to-use, and doesn't come with any added toolbar type software. Feel free to use whatever you're comfortable with, just make sure it can burn images.
- Click "Write Image."
- In the window that pops up, navigate to the folder where you have your .iso saved.
- Select the .iso file and click "Open" in the navigation window.
- In InfraRecorder, the next window gives you some options for burning your disk. You don't need "Simulation" checked or "Pad data tracks", but it doesn't hurt to have them selected. I like it to eject the disc after writing since I leave my computer alone while it's burning. If you're not sure what options you need or want, it really doesn't hurt anything to have them all checked.
- Click "Okay" and your computer will burn the CD for you.
Can I Use My Computer While It's Burning a Disc?
If you have an older computer or are really unsure about whether or not your computer can handle a nice, clean burn and running other programs, then let your computer run idle while it burns.
I have a newer computer that handles a burn very nicely and an older thing that's barely hanging on that doesn't burn very well to begin with (1x speed.)
If you have a newer computer, you should be okay as long as you're not running really heavy software. I've just gotten in the habit of completely abandoning my computer while it's burning a disc.
Write on Your CD!
It's a really good idea to write the name of the .iso on the CD right after you burn it. You can use a permanent marker/Sharpie for this.
If you put it off, you could end up with a stack of mystery discs and it can be a real pain.
If you're burning an operating system, don't just write the name of the OS. I've ended up with 5+ discs that say Ubuntu on them. You'll want to write down the version, so you can be certain you're using the right disc.