ISO disc images are an increasingly popular way of distributing software, but the standard tools for working with them aren’t particularly useful. Windows 7 can burn ISO images to disc, for instance, but that’s about it, and disc burning packages typically don’t do very much more.
See also: Tutorial: Imaging your hard disk to protect your data
Turn to a specialist tool, though, and it’s a very different story. WinISO in particular is one of the most powerful image management packages around, providing everything you need to create, open, edit, extract, convert and otherwise work with a variety of CD, DVD and Blu-ray disc image formats. And while it’s normally priced at $29.95, this Wednesday you can obtain a full copy of your own for no charge at all.
Once installed, you’ll be able to use WinISO to open images, of course (ISO, CUE/ BIN, NRG, MDS/ MDF, CCD/ IMG/ DVD formats are supported). You can then extract the entire image contents in a couple of clicks, or select just the files and folders you need by dragging and dropping. And the program can also mount an image as a virtual drive in Explorer, or burn an image directly to disc.
Working with disc images can be as easy as dragging and dropping.
If you need to build your own image files, though, WinISO is able to create them directly from CDs, DVDs or Blu-ray discs, or you can produce one from scratch by dragging and dropping your chosen files and folders: it can all be very quick and easy.
Don’t think this simplicity means WinISO is short on features, though – there are plenty of advanced options available if you need them. You can select, customise and bridge your preferred file systems, for instance (ISO 9660, UDF, HFS+ are supported). You might convert an image from one file system to another. And a great set of tools for working with bootable CDs, DVDs or Blu-ray discs makes it easy to set, extract or clear the boot information from any target image.
And if, once it’s all over, the image turns out not to be in a convenient format, that’s no problem. WinISO includes a conversion option which will quickly convert images to and from any of its supported formats with the minimum of hassle.
If WinISO sounds like the kind of tool you need, then head along to the download page any time on Wednesday February 29th to get your copy. But please note that download itself is just the 30-day trial. You must also create a free account if you don’t have one already, log in and click “Get serial code” to obtain the license that will turn the trial into a full version.
This article originally appeared at softwarecrew.co.uk