How to Combine Multiple ISO Files Into One
ISO files have changed the way many software companies and developers release their products, as instead of using costly CD/DVD production services, coders and companies can offer their applications as ready-to-burn downloads. In turn, this saves the end user money as most companies charge less for the electronic downloads. Using ISO management software, you do not need to burn an image to a disc to run the program, as you can create a virtual CD/DVD drive. Backing up your ISO images, though, is a good idea, but you can consolidate multiple ISO images to reduce the number of discs needed for your backups.
Things You'll Need
- Blank disc
- ISO management application
- CD/DVD burner drive
Download an application that allows you to create, decompress and mount ISO files. Applications such as Magic ISO Virtual CD/DVD-ROM, ISO Maker and Daemon Tools Lite are free and let you manage most aspects of creating and using ISO image files (see Resources).
Click "Start," then "Computer." Open the folder in which you save the installation file for the ISO program. Double-click the setup file and follow the directions on the screen to install the program on your PC. Restart your PC if prompted to do so.
Open Windows Explorer, then click "New Folder" on the toolbar. Change the name of the new folder to "ISO_Temp" or something similar.
Browse to a folder containing one or more ISO files you want to consolidate into a single ISO image. Right-click one of the ISO files, then click "Mount" or "Mount to Virtual Drive" on the popup menu. The ISO program creates a virtual disc drive with a new drive letter in Windows Explorer.
Double-click the new virtual drive letter in Windows Explorer. After the files and folders in the ISO image are visible in the Windows Explorer folder window, press the "Ctrl" and "A" keys at the same time, then press the "Ctrl" and "C" keys together to copy the files and folders in the ISO image.
Go back to the "ISO_Temp" folder in Windows Explorer. Click the "New Folder" button while the "ISO_Temp" folder window is active. Change the name of the new folder to "ISO Image 1" or another descriptive name. Double-click the "ISO Image 1" subfolder to open it, then press the "Ctrl" and "V" keys together to paste all of the files and folders from the first ISO image file to the new folder.
Browse to the next ISO image file you want to combine. Use the "Mount" or "Mount to Virtual Drive" command on the right-click menu to mount the image as a virtual CD/DVD drive. Create a new subfolder for the second image, then copy and paste the contents of the second ISO image to the new folder.
Mount, copy and paste additional ISO images to the "ISO_TemP" folder and its subfolders, as needed.
Open the ISO program using its desktop shortcut or program shortcut on the "Start" menu. Do not use the right-click shortcut to open the program.
Click "New" or "Create ISO" on the toolbar. In the browser window, navigate to the "ISO_Temp" folder and double-click it. Press the "Ctrl" and "A" keys together to select all of the subfolder's items, then click "OK" or "Import."
Enter a name for the new consolidated ISO image file, then click "Create," "Save ISO" or "Save Image." The ISO program creates the new consolidate image file in the same folder as the uncompressed subfolder, unless you specify otherwise.
Tips & Warnings
- Use the "Burn Image" or "Burn Image to Disc" option in your disc-burning application to copy the combined ISO image to disc.
References & Resources
- Magic ISO Maker: Using MagicDisc to Mount CD/DVD Image
- ISODisk: Freeware for Your Work with ISO Image and Virtual Disk
- Daemon Tools Lite: Virtual Devices
- Microsoft Windows: Mount or Dismount a Drive
- Magic ISO Maker: Download Magic ISO Virtual CD/DVD-ROM Overview
- SoftSea: ISODisk Free Download
- Disc Soft: Download Daemon Tools Lite