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Why we need CD Image File!


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16 replies to this topic

#1 vijay.gupta

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 07:30 AM

Hi All, I am wondering why CD Image File (for example: ISO format) is needed. Can anyone please let me know if there is any difference if I make Image of any CD/Data and if I directly copy it? If not, then why we need to create image file as it does not have any advantages like compression etc?

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#2 8210GUY

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 04:05 PM

I may not be the best to answer here, but an ISO file is what you burn when making Bootable disks, eg the UBCD (the Ultimate Boot CD), you download it as an ISO file, and burn it as is to disk, it has already been configured to run the program(s) on it from booting the system to the disk, so think of an ISO as being for a program, not just plain files, someone may have a deeper explanation than I can offer, but generally speaking this is what an ISO file is for. Burning you're own data to disk is a different ball game, depending on the type of disk you want too create, will vary the format you use, but assuming you want to burn simple data, eg word documents and pictures etc, then simply burn them as a data disk, hopefully that tells you what you want to know.

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#3 vijay.gupta

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 09:37 PM

@ 8210 guy - so you mean to say that ISO image file is used only when anyone has to make the bootable disc? Except that, it has no use?

#4 8210GUY

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 06:35 AM

I wouldn't say it has no other use, just that this is it's most commonly associated use, that is my limited understanding anyway, but an ISO disk contains more than just a file, it also contains all the hidden data that you are never aware of including any file structures, a bit like when you add a file to the hard drive, all you see is the file, BUT, behind that file are many hidden entries like in the registry for installed programs, metadata etc, an ISO contains an exact image of all this data as well as the file, sorry I can't be much clearer for you, maybe others have a deeper understanding can be more exact, but this is my limited understanding of this, hope it helps a bit anyway.
This Link may help explain a bit as well, a little more explanation Here too.

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#5 vijay.gupta

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 10:38 PM

ISO disk contains more than just a file, it also contains all the hidden data that you are never aware of including any file structures, a bit like when you add a file to the hard drive, all you see is the file, BUT, behind that file are many hidden entries like in the registry for installed programs, metadata etc, an ISO contains an exact image of all this data as well as the file


Thanks 8210 guy for explaining this to me with your best efforts.

THere are 2 cases:
1) when you directly burn the CD with any data file
2) you first create the image file of the data and then burn the image file to the CD

Is there any difference between these two cases in terms of internal file structure that you explained above so that image file has file structure (hidden data) + data file and directly burning only has data?

Also one thing, I just want to know if there is any other better forum for these type of queries because I am observing that only you are responding to my posts/queries and no one else is bothered about these.

Edited by vijay.gupta, 11 June 2010 - 10:40 PM.


#6 paws

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 02:08 AM

Also one thing, I just want to know if there is any other better forum for these type of queries because I am observing that only you are responding to my posts/queries and no one else is bothered about these.

A lot of here on the forums will assume that you have done your basic research into the areas that interest you. As you know using a search engine effectively is a skill that can be an enormous help in finding out information, and obtaining different views.

For example with your questions on .iso file formats, we assume that you will have started with reading up on various articles like for example:
http://software.iver...sofISOFiles.htm
Having obtained a brief overview from the above and similar articles, its a good idea to then research personally the individual areas on which you seek clarification, also using your favourite search engine(s)
Many members of the forum (who like yourself have expertise in a particular area) will respond to a specific question if they feel that the questioner has completed all reasonable individual personal research and reading of the published material but despite their best efforts is continuing to have issues with a particular point.
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#7 vijay.gupta

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 07:05 AM

@ paws - I asked the above query only after researching personally using the search engine and when I did not get any answer for that on wikipedia etc or anywhere else, only then I ask the query here in this forum. For Eg: I know what an iso file is by reading wikipedia but it does not lists the reasons why it is used when it has no advantages like compression and what is the difference of simply burning the data and image file of the data.

#8 8210GUY

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 07:37 AM

I answer in 2 area's, first, I know about certain area's of a query, and can help guide, secondly, I have a basic awareness in area's, and although may not have a conclusive answer, I have a very basic awareness of it, or feel I may be able to provide some inspired thoughts to aid someone finding a solution, and this is one such time, and when I try to help someone through an area such as this, I also view it as expanding my own knowledge and awareness on something to help me help others further down the road, because you will never take it all in the first time, it's only as you progress you understand better.

Another thing to remember is that there is not always a 100% conclusive answer, many times variations in a users requirements can alter the answer, so sometimes you have to take a general understanding as an answer as opposed to more specific one, thirst for knowledge is great, but there are times when knowing specific things has no real benefit to the average user, not unless they are going into that area as a profession, in which case those who would employ them would train them so more specific knowledge can be gained, but the average person on a web forum would not need to know anything truly specific generally speaking, they just know what they need too so they can achieve the end goal.

As too your query here, I believe I already explained as best I can above there:-

an ISO disk contains more than just a file, it also contains all the hidden data that you are never aware of including any file structures, a bit like when you add a file to the hard drive, all you see is the file, BUT, behind that file are many hidden entries like in the registry for installed programs, metadata etc, an ISO contains an exact image of all this data as well as the file

So in simple terms if you want to just save files from you're PC to a disk, then simply burn it as a data disk, if you wish to increase how much data you can add, you can manually compress the files using tools such as WinZip, WinRAR or 7-zip, and burn the compressed file too disk.
But an ISO disk is unlikely to be required by the average person as best I can see it, my limited understanding is by the time you'd need to burn an ISO disk from you're own files, you would then know what and why it was needed, sorry if this is too generalised for you, but it's my conclusion from what I can see so far, hope it helps.

Braindead


#9 vijay.gupta

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 08:13 AM

Thanks 8210 Guy, I got the answer to the main query.

#10 Ztruker

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 07:11 PM

From my point of view, the primary reason for and use of ISO files is portability. Look at what Linux does, They have many formats that you can download the various distros in, one always being ISO. This allows anyone to gather a complete set of files and folders into a single file that is easily downloaded, especially now that high speed internet is so widespread. In the case of Linux, or some of the recovery CDs like UBCD, or EBCD, that iso file is an image of a bootable system so when you create the CD from the iso, that CD is then bootable. This is much harder to do if you have to download the individual files and folders, then figure out how to create a bootable CD and then add the files/folders you downloaded. With iso, someone does that once, then creates an iso of that image and it can be used by anyone.

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#11 vijay.gupta

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 12:34 AM

Yes Ztrucker. That's what I am saying that i only see one advantage of iso file. That is, you can create bootable disc using the iso image file. Except that, it has no use.

#12 Ztruker

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 10:08 AM

I agree with that. If you just want to make a collection of files and folders available, put them in a zip or rar file.

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#13 Lee

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 01:31 AM

I'd like to add a bit here. File types are developing into new hybrids.. RAR files are becoming common nowadays as are iso files. Programs such as the free 7 zip or the open source Pea Zip are pretty much a must have. The easiest way to think of an ISO file is more like a "zip" or "cab" file, only without the compression. An iso file contains the image of a disk. That means it contains all the files and folders that were on that disk, much like a zip or cab file contains a collection of files and folders. The real difference is that an iso is a byte-for-byte copy of the low-level data actually stored on a disk. Iso files are frequently used to distribute CD or DVD images. For example if you download a popular Linux OS, what you'll most likely download is actually an iso file. Using a CD or DVD burning program like Nero or ImgBurn you can then write that iso disk image to an actual disk. When you examine the completed disk you'll see all the files and folders that were contained in the image. In the case of the Linux distribution, you'll probably even be able to boot from the CD you just created. Creating iso files of CDs or other disks you own is a convenient way to backup, archive or share them. And it's actually quite easy to do.

The free advice, opinions and sentiments expressed here are mine only, so you can safely assume I have no software or OS company patrons or any other benefactors when I post in this forum.


#14 vijay.gupta

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 05:33 AM

Tahara, this you have just copy pasted from other urls. ok, can you tell me one thing: when you say " iso is a byte-for-byte copy of the low-level data actually stored on a disk."what do you mean by byte for byte copy here? Also, what is the difference in this if I copy instead of making image file? Have you read the whole thread?

#15 Lee

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 04:24 PM

Tahara,

this you have just copy pasted from other urls. ok, can you tell me one thing: when you say " iso is a byte-for-byte copy of the low-level data actually stored on a disk."what do you mean by byte for byte copy here?

Also, what is the difference in this if I copy instead of making image file?

Have you read the whole thread?


Great detective work!

Another explanation of an iso image could just have easily come from any number of sources including http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_image

An explanation of a byte (a small collection of bits) can also be found at wiki or many other sites. I don't think anyone will mind if the explanation is copied and pasted, even without a ulr reference as after all, it's just what an iso is or a byte is :-)

The free advice, opinions and sentiments expressed here are mine only, so you can safely assume I have no software or OS company patrons or any other benefactors when I post in this forum.

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