make ISO's

 

1 non-bootable cd method: [ mkisofs ], 2 bootable cd methods: [ FreeDOS Ripcord ] [ rawrite+mkisofs ]

non-bootable-ISOs

cdrtfe(mkisofs) method

Requirements:
  • cdrtfe (contains command-line tools: the best version of mkisofs). this is a cd burner program. It will not interfere with your existing cd burner programs like Roxio or Nero despite tech supports' urgings to remove all other cd burning programs from the machine (they mean the competing commercial product). cdrtfe makes no file associations or such like - it is self-contained from what I can tell. However, you should not *run* cdrecord (or 2 burning programs) that try to access the burner at the same time - I have noticed that can cause the drive and the software to lock up.

You will need to install cdrtfe and do one of these things:

  • copy cdrtools directory contents from C:\Program Files\cdrtfe\tools\cdrtools\ into C:\Program Files\cdrtfe\tools\cygwin\
  • and/or append ;C:\Program Files\cdrtfe\tools\cygwin;C:\Program Files\cdrtfe\tools\cdrtools to the PATH environment variable either in the control panel or temporarily in a CMD shell using the following command: set PATH=%PATH%;C:\Program Files\cdrtfe\tools\cygwin;C:\Program Files\cdrtfe\tools\cdrtools

mkisofs.exe is in C:\Program Files\cdrtfe\tools\cdrtools\ and it would help to add that directory to your system PATH environment variable before you can use mkisofs that comes with it. If you don't know anything about modifying your System Environment Variables, you don't have to do it. We are going to use c:\t as the main directory for storing things. If you wish to use a different directory, note that if it contains spaces, you will need to use double-quotes on the folder names. This can be a DVD or CD image or whatever size image you care for.

I have already written a batch file which modifies the PATH to add the cdrtools includiing mkisofs.exe for you when it is run. It also does all the hard work for you ( adds all the switches, etc). If you put the batch file in your PATH, it will simplfy everything and you won't have to do the steps below (except for the boot part if you need it).

Download Now
makeiso.zip (version 2.2, 10/16/2009)


Here is the help for it.

C:\www\jimm>makeiso
 makeiso - batch file wrapper for mkisofs.exe, uses most common switches.
 usage:
     makeiso c:\somepath\isofilename.iso c:\rootdir ["volume label" ["application desc" [ [[-[-]]mul
ti[session|border]] ]]]

 multi or multisession or -multiborder makes the ISO image multiborder (multisession).
 For use in batch file, do CALL makeiso isofilename.iso c:\rootdir "volume label" "application desc"
 multisession
 If you want mkisofs help,
 "C:\Program Files\cdrtfe\tools\cdrtools\MKISOFS.EXE" --help
 or go to http://cdrecord.berlios.de/private/man/cdrecord/mkisofs.8.html
 multiborder can only be specified if all parameters are specified.
 edit this batch file to customize _preparer and _publisher variables.

 This batch file Copyright 2008,2009 Jim Michaels. Under GPL3 license.

C:\www\jimm>

Note: both IE6/7 and some servers have a limitation of 2GiB download size. Anything larger is truncated (chopped off) or gives an error. If you intend to make your ISO file available on the internet, you may need to make sure end resulting file is no larger than 231-1 bytes=2,147,483,647 bytes.

To use files that are larger than 4GiB, you must use the mkisofs option -iso-level 3
To handle files that contain more than 1 dot/period (.) in the filename, use the mkisofs option -allow-multidot
To handle files that have a leading dot/period (.) in the filename, use the mkisofs option -allow-leading-dots
To make the ISO miltisession/multiborder, use the mkisofs option -graft-points
To make an iso bootable, specify el-torito floppy boot file image and use rawrite image format (a windows version is available). use the mkisofs option -eltorito-boot "c:\t\fdimage.fd", and a floppy drive and floppy disk comes in handy (360K, 1.2M, 1.44M, 2.88M I think are acceptable).

Steps: (steps 5-11 are optional if you don't know what you are doing)

  1. install cdrtfe
  2. Start|Run|cmd or if you are under Windows Vista, hold down the windows logo key and hit R this will bring up the run dialog, and type in cmd and hit enter.
  3. in the cmd shell, title makeiso (and of course, hit enter)
  4. copy "C:\Program Files\cdrtfe\tools\cdrtools\*.*" "C:\Program Files\cdrtfe\tools\cygwin\"
  5. hold down the windows logo key and hit the Pause/Break key OR Start|Control Panel|System
  6. Advanced tab|Enviromment Variables button|System variables
  7. click on Path variable and click the Edit button.
  8. (be really careful you do not REPLACE everything! if you make a mistake, hit the cancel button and try again.) Immediately hit the End key. this will take you to the end of the line. Type in or paste in ;C:\Program Files\cdrtfe\tools\cdrtools (make sure the semicolon is there in front! a semicolon should separate every PATH entry.) [Note: you will only need to do steps 5-12 once.]
  9. Click all 3 OK buttons you encounter. [Note: At this point, all command/cmd shells will need to be closed and new ones started in order to get the changes in.]
  10. close the cmd shell you started. one of the ways you can do this is by using the exit command.
  11. Start|Run|cmd or if you are under Windows Vista (or any version of windows), hold down the windows logo key (flag key) and hit R this will bring up the run dialog, and type in cmd and hit enter.
  12. title your command shell. title makeiso
  13. make a new folder/subdirectory somewhere that will contain the ISO image. md c:\t
  14. make a new folder/subdirectory somewhere that will contain all the files you wish to put on the cd ISO image. md C:\t\cdfilesdir
  15. if you had to switch away from your makeiso cmd shell, switch (alt-Tab or use the task bar at the bottom of the screen to switch apps) back to the cmd shell that has the title "makeiso". on the task bar you will see a black C:\ icon. that is the list of cmd shells.
  16. using xcopy or Windows Explorer (windows logo-key E or Start|All Programs|Accessories|Windows Explorer), copy all of the files you want to be visible on the cd into C:\t\cdfiles
  17. start Notepad: Start|Run|Notepad - we are going to make a CMD-shell batch file to do the command for us (less mistakes that way, there are a lot of options.
  18. type in or paste in "C:\Program Files\cdrtfe\tools\cygwin\MKISOFS.EXE" -output "c:\t\myisofile.iso" -iso-level 3 -joliet -rational-rock -joliet-long -allow-multidot -allow-leading-dots -graft-points -volid "SOME CD LABEL" -appid "application description" -preparer "Joe Schmoe nobody@nowhere.com" -publisher "http://www.nowhere.com" "c:\t\cdfilesdir" Note: publisher and appid are both optional. you can instead download this more flexible batch file - you will need to edit in your name, email address, and web site.
  19. save the batch file as c:\t\makeiso.cmd (note: change the file type from Text Documents to All Files first, or Notepad will tack on a .txt at the end of the filename and we don't want that)
  20. from the cmd shell, makeiso

You are done! the iso file is myisofile.iso and resides in c:\t

You can modify the batch file to supply your own appid, volid (cd label), preparer, publisher, iso filename, optional boot file, and directory where cd-files are stored from the command-line. This way, you can make ISO files whenever you want. (don't forget to include help if no options are supplied)

Note: cdrtfe version 1.3.4.0 or later of warns you of the need to turn on the ISO LEVEL 3 setting in the filesystem options of the GUI if you feed the program files that are larger than 4GiB in size. To use the new version, you will have to uninstall the old version and install the new version. Actually, it also works to install over the top too.


bootable ISOs

FreeDOS Ripcord method

Requirements:
  • Ripcord zip file
  • unzip utility such as what is built-in to XP or use 7-zip
  • bootable floppy you wish to make into an ISO
  • rawrite for windows (free) or WinIMAGE
  • binary file editor or this tool to extract the first 512 bytes from a file (boot sector)

Note: both IE and Firefox have a limitation of 2GiB download size. Anything larger is truncated (chopped off) or gives an error. If you intend to make your ISO file available on the internet, make sure end resulting file is no larger than 2^31-1=2,147,483,647 bytes.

If you just want to make a plain ISO that's not bootable you *could* use Ripcord (It has 8.3 filename limitations), but I suggest you use IsoCreator instead. IsoCreator makes Joliet ISO's.

FreeDOS has the Ripcord page for creating your own OEM FreeDOS .ISO burnable CD images. most every commercial burning program can burn an ISO image file.

Note: the Ripcord files include a FreeDOS boot image and files which include the special eltorito.sys cd driver, which allows files on the cd to be visible in a boot image. If your floppy does not contain cd drivers, it won't do much good to stuff any files into CDROOT\.

You can create your own bootable CD of nearly any kind using a bootable floppy and rawrite for windows. Just know that the very small ISOLinux/SysLinux included in the required CDROOT\isolinux directory is under the GPL license.

Steps:

  1. go to http://www.freedos.org/bootdisks/ and get the "OEM CD-ROM disc builder assistant". specifically, http://www.freedos.org/bootdisks/ISO/FDOEMCD.builder.zip
  2. extract it
  3. remove the CDBTDSK\DRIVERS directory, and the contents of the CDBTDSK directory:
    cd FDOEMCD
    rd /s/q CDBTDSK\drivers
    del /y CDBTDSK
  4. disable your antivirus and anti-spyware or you will get an error dialog when the boot sector of the floppy is written.
  5. insert the floppy.
  6. get out a copy of either WinIMAGE or the free windows version of Rawrite http://www.chrysocome.net/rawwrite. [note: BFI.exe which uses the boot file is a WinImage utility] The first 512 bytes are going to be the first 512 bytes on any file format.
  7. use winimage or rawrite to read the floppy to an image file.
  8. with a binary editor or with this tool, extract the first 512 bytes from the file and save it as BOOTSECT.FD, replacing the file that exists.
  9. xcopy a:\*.* CDBTDSK\ /s /e
  10. this is your directory structure now.
    C:.
    +---CDBTDSK
    +---CDROOT
        +----isolinux
      
  11. edit mkisofs.rc
  12. cd CDROOT
  13. del autorun.bat
  14. [you may copy any files you like to the CDROOT directory]
  15. cd isolinux
  16. edit bootmsg.txt
  17. edit f_about.txt
  18. edit f2_licen.txt
  19. keep the control characters in the file. they make it clear the screen, etc. it also has line-draw characters in the file, so Notepad is not a great editor for this.
  20. cd ..\..
  21. mkbtdsk
  22. makeiso
  23. re-enable your antivirus and anti-spyware.
  24. and you are done. you will find an fdoem.iso file in the current directory that you can burn.
[mkbtdsk calls BFI.exe which creates CDROOT\isolinux\BTDSK.IMG (360K zipped compressed floppy image) out of the files we created (CDBTDSK\, bootsect.fd)]

Rawrite+mkisofs method

Requirements:
  • cdrtfe (contains the best version of mkisofs) . this is a cd burner program. It will not interfere with your existing cd burner programs like Roxio or Nero despite tech supports' urgings to remove all other cd burning programs from the machine (they mean the competing commercial product). cdrtfe makes no file associations or such like - it is self-contained from what I can tell.
  • bootable floppy you wish to make into an ISO
  • rawrite for windows (free)

You will need to install cdrtfe and copy its DLL's into the directory that cointains the executeable cdrtools\ directory and add it to your system Path environment variable before you can use mkisofs that comes with it. If you don't know anything about modifying your System Environment Variables, I suggest you stop now. We are going to use c:\t as the main directory for storing things. If you wish to use a different directory, note that if it contains spaces, you will need to use double-quotes on the folder names. This can be a DVD or cd image or whatever size image you care for.

Note: both IE and Firefox have a limitation of 2GiB download size. Anything larger is truncated (chopped off) or gives an error. If you intend to make your ISO file available on the internet, make sure end resulting file is no larger than 2^31-1=2,147,483,647 bytes.

To use files that are larger than 4GiB, you must use the mkisofs option -iso-level 3
To handle files that contain more than 1 dot/period (.) in the filename, use the mkisofs option -allow-multidot
To handle files that have a leading dot/period (.) in the filename, use the mkisofs option -allow-leading-dots
To make the ISO a multisession cd, use the mkisofs option -graft-points
To make an iso bootable, specify el-torito boot file image. mkisofs option -eltorito-boot "c:\t\fdimage.fd"

Steps:

  1. install cdrtfe
  2. Start|Run|cmd
  3. in the cmd shell, title makeiso (and of course, hit enter)
  4. copy "C:\Program Files\cdrtfe\tools\cygwin\*.*" "C:\Program Files\cdrtfe\tools\cdrtools\"
  5. hold down the windows logo key and hit the Pause/Break key OR Start|Control Panel|System
  6. Advanced tab|Enviromment Variables button|System variables
  7. click on Path variable and click the Edit button.
  8. (be really careful you do not REPLACE everything!) Immediately hit the End key. this will take you to the end of the line. Type in or paste in ;C:\Program Files\cdrtfe\tools\cdrtools (make sure the semicolon is there in front!) [Note: you will only need to do steps 5-12 once.]
  9. Click all 3 OK buttons you encounter. [Note: At this point, all command/cmd shells will need to be closed and new ones started in order to get the changes in.]
  10. close the cmd shell you started. one of the ways you can do this is by using the exit command.
  11. Start|Run|cmd
  12. title makeiso
  13. make a new folder/subdirectory somewhere that will contain the floppy image file and the ISO image. md C:\t
  14. make a new folder/subdirectory somewhere that will contain all the files you wish to put on the cd ISO image. md C:\t\cdfiles
  15. install Rawrite for Windows http://www.chrysocome.net/rawwrite by creating a folder for it, copying the zip file into that folder, unzipping the file into that folder, and creating a shortcut for the executeable (rawritewin) in your start menu (start menu is either in c:\documents and settings\<username>\Start Menu\Programs or c:\users\<username>\Start Menu\Programs )
  16. use rawrite to read the floppy to an image file, and save the file in the path c:\t\fdimage.fd
  17. switch (alt-Tab or use the task bar at the bottom of the screen to switch apps) back to the cmd shell that has the title "makeiso". on the task bar you will see a black C:\ icon. that is the list of cmd shells.
  18. using xcopy or Windows Explorer (windows logo-key E or Start|All Programs|Accessories|Windows Explorer), copy all of the files you want to be visible on the cd into C:\t\cdfiles
  19. start Notepad: Start|Run|Notepad - we are going to make a CMD-shell batch file to do the command for us (less mistakes that way, there are a lot of options.
  20. type in or paste in "C:\Program Files\cdrtfe\tools\cdrtools\MKISOFS.EXE" -output "c:\t\myisofile.iso" -iso-level 3 -joliet -rational-rock -joliet-long -allow-multidot -allow-leading-dots -graft-points -volid "SOME_CD_LABEL" -appid "application description" -preparer "Joe Schmoe nobody@nowhere.com" -publisher "http://www.mywebsite.com" -eltorito-boot "c:\t\fdimage.fd" "c:\t\cdfiles" Note: publisher and appid are both optional. you can instead download this more flexible batch file - you will need to edit in your name, email address, and web site.
  21. save the batch file as c:\t\makeiso.cmd (note: change the file type from Text Documents to All Files first, or Notepad will tack on a .txt at the end of the filename and we don't want that)
  22. from the cmd shell, makeiso

You are done! the iso file is myisofile.iso and resides in c:\t

You can modify the batch file to supply your own appid, volid (cd label), preparer, publisher, iso filename, optional boot file, and directory where cd-files are stored from the command-line. This way, you can make ISO files whenever you want. (don't forget to include help if no options are supplied)

Note: cdrtfe version is 1.3.4.0 or later warns you of the need to turn on the ISO LEVEL 3 setting in the filesystem options of the GUI if you feed the program files that are larger than 4GiB in size. To use the new version, you will have to uninstall the old version and install the new version.

floppy drive emulators - hardware
SD card floppy emulator board (UK), torlus.com product site product page product page
SD card floppy emulator box, floppyemulator.com
floppy drive emulators - software
SD card floppy emulator