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Tech Tip: Use ISO files instead of CDs

CD-ROMs are easily lost and/or damaged. Furthermore, if a CD isn't available when it's needed, it can result in a major inconvenience for the organization. However, there's a two-step solution for this problem.

First, create ISO images for each of the CDs that are used at the server. Some CD-burning programs, such as Nero, support this functionality, but not all servers have Nero installed.

There's also a small program called ISO Recorder, dubbed a power toy, which can be installed on the server to achieve the same goal. ISO Recorder was originally developed for Windows XP, but this program also works well on Windows Server 2003. Click here to download ISO Recorder.

After downloading and installing ISO Recorder, you can create an ISO image from a CD. Here's how:

  1. Insert the CD into the drive, and open My Computer.
  2. Right-click the CD volume, and choose Copy CD To Image File.
  3. Provide a name and location for the CD image where the software will create the ISO file.

Next, you can mount this ISO image as a regular CD volume by downloading and installing the Original CD Emulator (OCDE) from ZTekWare Computing's Web site. OCDE installs a device driver that emulates a CD-ROM drive on your system and uses ISO images as the media.

To change the media, start OCDE by navigating to Start | All Programs | Original CD Emulator | Original CD Emulator. Add a file to the Image File Name area, right-click it, and choose Insert CD. Now, when you browse to My Computer, you'll see an additional CD-ROM volume.

Note: OCDE can also create the ISO image file, but it's not integrated with WS2K3 as well as ISO Recorder.

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