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ImgBurn is the tool for copying bootable DVDs. Not only can you copy the DVD to your drive, but you can use ImgBurn later to remake the bootable DVD.

Can I copy a bootable DVD to my hard disk for future burning to DVD? And with the future disc, can I use it to boot my PC afterwards? Or do I need to make the disc bootable again from the copied files by a third-party application like Nero or Magic ISO Maker?

In this excerpt from Answercast #22, I look at ISO files and explain how they are easily created and managed with ImgBurn.

Bootable DVD

No, it's very simple. This is exactly what ISO files are. They are complete images of the DVD, including the boot information that's placed at the beginning.

That's how operating systems like Ubuntu can be distributed. They're distributed as ISO files which you then burn to a DVD or CD. Then you can just boot from those media.

Use the right software

So the approach to do this, the recommendation I have for you, is to go out and grab a copy of ImgBurn. I've got an article on it and use that.

That can do both sides of what it is you're looking for:

  • It can read a DVD and create from that DVD a single file (an .iso file) that contains everything on that DVD.

You can then save that; do whatever you like with it; archive it, whatever. But when the time comes:

  • You can then again use ImgBurn to burn that ISO file back to a new blank DVD.

As a result, you'll have a complete copy of the original DVD you started with. If that original DVD was bootable, then so will this one be.

Ripping protected DVDs

Now, there's one exception I'm going to throw out here, just because I know that people often think of this: commercial video DVDs.

They often have copy protection on them. A simple tool like ImgBurn is not able to copy a commercial video DVD to an ISO file. Much less have that ISO file be usable for you to burn it back to a new blank DVD. You need to have special software to do that kind of thing - DVD-ripping software.

But for what you're doing, for bootable data CDs, ImgBurn is the tool you want to use.

Article C5410 - May 31, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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2 Comments
bob price
June 1, 2012 4:46 PM

I clicked that ImgBurn link and my Nortons Security blocked it, with warnings about a known malicious site. ????

Mark J
June 2, 2012 2:15 AM

@Bob
Thanks, the link in the article had a typo. It's now fixed. It didn't point to a malicious site, but it may have been that when your DNS server didn't find the page, your browser was sent to a questionable redirect page. Some DNS servers redirect non-existent web addresses to an advertising page to get extra income. To prevent this from happening in the future, You can change your DNS server.
How do I find the DNS server being used by my PC?
Should I use Google's new DNS services?
Wikipedia article on DNS hijacking

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