As you start getting into virtual machines, you will want to rid yourself of CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs to install operating systems and software. Because VMware Workstation supports ISO images, you can create a whole library of ISO images and never have to carry around any drums.

In order to transform a library to ISO images, you can use WinISO, which can be downloaded at It is a very simple utility to use. Let’s go over how to convert an installation to an ISO file. Open WinISO from the Start menu by clicking Start | All Programs | WinISO | WinISO. The screen shown in Figure A will appear.

Figure A


Starting WinISO

Next, click on the Add button and add a source file or files that you want to convert to ISO. In this example, assume you just recently purchased Ad-Aware and want to convert the downloaded aawseplus.exe to an ISO image. Simply click Add and browse to the file, or you can drag and drop the file on the WinISO console. Once you have added your files, click Save and provide a file name. The Save as type defaults to the Standard ISO9660 format. At this point, you have successfully created an ISO image.

You can also quickly create an ISO image from a CD-ROM by putting your CD-ROM in the tray and clicking F6 or Actions | Make ISO from CDROM. In this example, we are converting NortonGhost9.00 CD-ROM to an ISO image. Figure B and Figure C illustrate the process of converting a CD-ROM to ISO. In order to keep the identical file structure of the CD-ROM, accept the default option of ASPI.

Figure B


Creating the ISO image from CD-ROM

Figure C


Checking the progress complete indicator