How-to: Burn your Windows 7 .ISO to DVD disc

How-to: Burn your Windows 7 .ISO to DVD disc

Summary: It seems that some of you who have downloaded the Windows 7 beta 1 .ISO file are a little uncertain as to what to do with that .ISO file. Fear not, here's a quick rundown to get you going!


Special Report: Windows 7

It seems that some of you who have downloaded the Windows 7 beta 1 .ISO file are a little uncertain as to what to do with that .ISO file. Fear not, here's a quick rundown to get you going!

See alsoWindows 8 Consumer Preview vs. Windows 7: Benchmarked

#1 - Download the Windows 7 Beta 1 .ISO file!

Well duh! Save it somewhere easy to get to (like your desktop).

#2 - Download and install ImgBurn

Rather that try muddling through with burning the .ISO file with whatever tools you might already have installed, download ImgBurn and use that. That way we're all on the same page!

#3 - Burn the .ISO file to DVD

OK, pop a blank DVD into your DVD writer drive (for now I'm assuming that you actually have a DVD writer, if you don't I'll show you something else you can do in a moment). With that done, fire up ImgBurn. Select Write image file to disc.

Point the Source to the .ISO file you downloaded and then click on the big button at the bottom-left of the window to kick off the disc writing process.

And then after a short wait, you're done!

Now you've successfully burned the .ISO file to the DVD ... congratulations!

#4 - Use the DVD

You can now use the DVD like any other OS install disc ... pop it in the DVD drive of the system you want to install Windows 7 onto and boot up the PC and you should get that Press any key to boot from CD or DVD message. Press any key to kick off the proceedings!

Note: If you don't get that Press any key to boot from CD or DVD message then you'll need to dig out your motherboard manual and twiddle with the boot device settings.

What if you haven't got a DVD burner or just don't want to hand over an entire machine to Windows 7 beta testing? Are you stuck? Nope! You have two options:

Option #1 - Dual boot

Lifehacker has a good post on how to do this.

Option #2 - Go virtual!

Why give over an entire PC to a single OS when most are powerful enough to run two OSes side-by-side. To do this download and install Microsoft's free Virtual PC 2007. Once you've installed it run the application and it will guide you through creating a new virtual machine.

Most of the default settings will work for you but when asked for the operating system, pick Windows Vista, and when asked about virtual hard disk options, create a new virtual hard disk. Then, from the Virtual PC Console select the virtual machine you created and click on Start. As soon as the virtual machine fires up, click on CD from the menu and choose Capture ISO Image ... and select the Windows 7 .ISO and click Open. Now click on Action and then Reset to kick off the Windows 7 install process.


Topics: Enterprise Software, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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  • Some other minor suggestions.....

    1. If you aren't Familiar with Image Burn, make sure Windows Media Player, iTunes, Zume Player, Rozio, Nero or any other program capable of burning DVD/CD's is closed otherwise when Image Burn tries to lock the DVD-RW drive for exclusive access it will throw an error. Be sure and choose verify it takes longer but it's important.

    2. If you don't want to user VirtualPC, or wish to use USB on your guest OS's I humbly suggest the free VirtualBox from Sun.

    3. I have tested the latest ATI drivers (8.12) from AMD, and for. at least the 32bit version of windows 7, the Graphics, South Bridge, and TV Tuners (650Pro) are all stable.
    • Thanks for the info!

      Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
    • your point 3 may be correct, but...

      for 64 bit it is all wrong. People, including myself, are all finding that the installer for the 64 bit code for the 8.12 drivers all hang during install, as do the 8.11 drivers (check the forums on the AMD website, everyone is having these problems, whether they have integrated graphics, or the latest Radeon 4870X2).

      The Win7 beta drivers have their own problems, as they must be kludged into place at every start up (per ATi).

      ATi can't write decent drivers for anything new it seems, and the older ones don't work that well, either.

      If they don't get it together soon, any chance of AMD getting a leg up on Intel will soon evaporate.

      It then remains to be seen, if the ATi drivers indeed work on Vista, who is lying, as Microsoft said that ALL Vista drivers will work on 7, or if ATi has once again screwed the pooch.
  • Better advice

    Don't you think, if they don't know how to do this, they'd be better served by you telling them to just wait until it is available commercially?

    I mean if a person doesn't even know how to burn an ISO image, should they really be installing a beta OPERATING SYSTEM with a time-delay kill switch in it?
    Hallowed are the Ori
    • Maybe ...

      ... but everyone needs to learn somehow ...
      Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
      • Point taken.

        We were all there at one time or another, weren't we? :)
        Hallowed are the Ori
      • Maybe Not ...

        But does everyone need to 'learn' with an OS?

        It's one thing to beta test an app, if something goes wrong, you can recover fairly easily, but if something goes wrong with a beta OS, you could be SOL..
        I've been following the threads on the Windows 7 blog site today and there have been way too many (IMHO) postings on how to dual boot or some other things that if you don't no how to do already, you really shouldn't be testing a OS beta. You're just asking for trouble

        just my observation
      • Good lord, save us from political correctness

        Jesus Christ adrien. if a person can't get their act together and know the basic fundamentals - they have no business testing a beta operating system that is reling on QUALITY feedback as to fix bugs that arise.

        Thanks do your 'everyone should have a chance' ethos, the bar has been lowered so much - I'm wondering whether Microsoft will get any sort of useful feedback given the idiots who be testing it.
        • political correctness?

          what the hell has any of this got to do with political
          correctness? and don't you think it's a good idea to
          get this tested by as many different kinds of people
          as possible. it's not just tech-literate people that
          are going to be using it and buying it. ms have taken
          a lot of deserved flak for not listening to enough
          people. i think it's a great idea to have people who
          don't know how to burn iso's test this. why not learn
          here? there's enough warnings on the way in.

          though why can't you burn isos from within 7?
          • You can.

            Burn ISOs natively from Win7. Quite a good feature as far as I am concerned. Image burn is great, but right click on an ISO and burn image directly from Windows is better.
          • But can you verify?

            I also think it's about time that was built in, but I'll still use ImgBurn as it allows me to verify the disk automatically.
    • My 10 year old nephew

      My 10 year old nephew read the column and got the idea to install Windows 7. It's called "journalism" and a good number of people learn stuff by reading. While I already know how to burn a DVD (download it on a Mac and click "burn"), I still enjoyed this quick read. I would imagine that for a lot of people, this is the first ISO image they've wanted to burn.
      • Heh...

        [i]My 10 year old nephew read the column and got the idea to install Windows 7.[/i]


        [i]While I already know how to burn a DVD (download it on a Mac and click "burn"), [/i]

        So, when your nephew showed an interest in Windows, did you scream in horror and run from the room?

        Hallowed are the Ori
  • RE: How-to: Burn your Windows 7 .ISO to DVD disc

    I would tend to agree that having the windows 7 beta ISO is not a good reason to learn such things as burning ISOs and setting up virtual machines. That is not to say one shouldn't learn these things, but rather that the purpose of a beta is for MS to get as much feedback as possible about which things work, and which ones don't, as well as various nuances of each. This is the purpose of any Beta program, well, besides Google's, and in general this requires a bit to technical know-how. Perhaps it is better to hold off until RC1, which will undoubtedly have fewer bugs and greater support, lest we end up in another situation similar to when Vista came out where everyone claims is sucks because of a lack of drivers.

    Just my 2p
    • ?????

      If the people who need to learn how to use a OS to download and install this beta maybe they will make a mistake that gets sent back to Microsoft. Cause the know hows who is looking for error most likely not going to find errors! The less intelligent people is the ones that going to stumble into a error.
  • Here is a good suggestion

    If you don't know how to burn an image - you shouldn't be
    testing an operating system to begin with. It tells me that you
    do not have the technology skills to make any possible
    feedback useful to Microsoft when an error occurs.
    • Unfortunately, I have to agree

      If you are so tech-illiterate that you don't know how to burn a CD or DVD image file..... you are too tech illiterate to be of any use to the Microsoft team.
      • No offense but...

        The MS team doesn't read your feedback. They look at reports on "where are we getting the most feedback" and look at the chucks of code that get the most exceptions. They may make a cursory check at the text you type if you happen to be one of the thousands that report on a bug they are investigating. You're naive if you think they actually read the verbiage you type. The OS has to be bullet proof. They already know about 99% of the bugs you'll ever come up with. So having actual users (the less technical the better) testing is the whole purpose of beta testing.
    • Here is a good suggestion

      There are different levels of technical skills. A person may be perfectly competent using and managing a system but not necessarily have needed to write an iso file to dvd before - it's not a prerequisite for managing an operating system after all :rolleyes:. A reasonably technical person will know to search on the internet for how to do this. Articles like Adrian's are how they learn how to burn iso images to dvd.
      • Come on mate, cut the crap

        These are pretty damn basic things; ISO images rank right
        up there with knowing how to use the command line, the
        basics of operating systems. Good lord.

        A person who doesn't know how to burn an ISO, quite
        frankly, is either incompetent at IT or ignorant first time
        user. First time users wouldn't be besting a new operating
        system, so why on earth would you call someone
        knowledgeable when he can't get the basics correct.

        Yes, these are the basics, the very, very basics. The type of
        basics one should have learned way back when they were
        learning about computers.