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Save installation DVD's as ISO files

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February 10, 2012 2:47:27 PM

Hello,
Having had major PC problems and had to reinstall all my software several times (and had to rummage around to find all the various DVD's), is there some way I can store all these program DVD's as ISO files on an external hard drive so I can easily plug the drive into a new PC and reinstall from the drive without having to locate the actual disks ?
February 10, 2012 3:02:01 PM

You may have problems with that. Software DVDs tend to have some form of copy-protection on them that would prevent an installation...I find the best method to be just keeping the necessary discs safe in a shoebox in my study. Keep your installation keys on the cloud (encrypted, of course) to make sure you don't lose those.
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February 10, 2012 3:20:20 PM

diellur said:
You may have problems with that. Software DVDs tend to have some form of copy-protection on them that would prevent an installation...I find the best method to be just keeping the necessary discs safe in a shoebox in my study. Keep your installation keys on the cloud (encrypted, of course) to make sure you don't lose those.




Actually, restore DVD's typically don't, since they're only usable on the make/model of machine they ship with. Just use Roxio or another CD/DVD burning package to create an ISO. Pretty simple. The only drawback, is you're not going to be able to "boot" from an ISO. You'll have to burn it back to a disc to use it.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 10, 2012 4:08:24 PM

Another option would be something like Arconis True Image. Get your system fully loaded and create a back-up image of it (with all software installed and updated). Next time your system goes TU, just reload it from the image.

-Wolf sends

Note - I've never done this myself, but I hear it's a great option.
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February 10, 2012 4:22:03 PM

I use a software called VirtualCloneDrive where you can mount an ISO image file and assign it a drive letter.

Goodluck!
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February 10, 2012 4:24:50 PM

VirtualCloneDrive or Acronis won't boot the computer from an ISO though. It'll mount it in Windows, but you can't actually *boot* from the image.
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February 10, 2012 4:54:46 PM

I think the simplest thing to accomplish most what you are wanting is to create a back-up image as mentioned above and store it on an external hdd.

Then if your system goes TU again you just have to boot from your Windows cd, select the repair option and then load your image from your external hdd. There are a few things you have to do (mostly software/driver updates that occurred after you created the image) but it's certainly miles ahead of reinstalling everything from scratch.

Good luck!
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 10, 2012 4:55:00 PM

I think PowerISO, MagicISO have free trial versions online.
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February 10, 2012 5:04:07 PM

ImageBurn seems to be a good free program as well. I have only ever used it to burn ISO files to DvD's and it has been great for that part at least.
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February 10, 2012 6:04:41 PM

mavroxur said:
Actually, restore DVD's typically don't, since they're only usable on the make/model of machine they ship with. Just use Roxio or another CD/DVD burning package to create an ISO. Pretty simple. The only drawback, is you're not going to be able to "boot" from an ISO. You'll have to burn it back to a disc to use it.


The OP didn't specify restore discs...
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February 13, 2012 12:41:51 PM

Barkster said:
Hello,
Having had major PC problems and had to reinstall all my software several times (and had to rummage around to find all the various DVD's), is there some way I can store all these program DVD's as ISO files on an external hard drive so I can easily plug the drive into a new PC and reinstall from the drive without having to locate the actual disks ?


diellur said:
The OP didn't specify restore discs...



Actually, He did.

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February 13, 2012 12:51:15 PM

mavroxur said:
Actually, He did.


'Fraid not...he says he's had to reinstall software several times, and had to find the program DVDs. Doesn't mention restore discs anywhere. :) 

I've had to reinstall Windows and associated drivers on my systems before...done it every time without a restore disc.
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February 17, 2012 12:23:17 PM

I appreciate everyone's input - (and I did not mean Restore disks). The thing with a restore from a System Image or Acronis (which I have [and doesn't clone RAID disks btw]), is that you are restoring all the crap too and maybe even restoring the problem which caused it to go TU in the first place. So occasionally (and definately not too often) it is good to start from scratch with a fresh windows install -and it was mainly for this reason that I was looking to store all my program DVD's as ISO's just to make it quicker to locate and install them.
For regular complete system backups (a different topic) I am currently trying out PC Tools Simple Backup which seems to keep a complete image of your entire hard drive on another drive and updates it almost in real time. Trouble is with these things you only find out how good they are when you have to come to restore, and by then it's too late to find out if was any good or not !
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