This section is intended to teach the basics of burning CD and DVD images.
An ISO image is a file that is, bit for bit, exactly the same as a CD or DVD. Imagine that I look at my copy of a particular CD or DVD and start to write all the ones and zeros down in a notebook. That notebook, while unusable by any computer, would contain the exact information as contained on the CD or DVD I took it from. It would be an image of the CD or DVD.
If you were to borrow my notebook and copy all the ones and zeros from that notebook and place then in order on your blank CD then your new blank CD and my original CD would be indistinguishable by a computer. An exact digital copy.
We will refer to the digital image for CDs as an ISO image because the file system is based on a standard and name ISO (pronounced ī-sō) has often come to mean a CD image.
The process for a DVD is similar except that the capacity is larger. The typical size for a CD is 650 MB or 700 MB. A typical DVD can store 4.7 GB.
Depending on which operating system you use, there are various tools that can help you create a CD from a digital image. As a minimum, you will need:
<note warning>Always check your download for errors before burning/copying to physical media. This can be done by determining the MD5 hash (a unique checksum) of the ISO file you download and comparing it to the value published online by the group/organization providing the download.</note>
CD format is based on a standardized system called ISO 9660. This ensures that the CD will work from one computer to the next. ISO which stands for International Standards Organization was the group that established the standards for CD interoperability.