If you have countless CDs or DVDs but don’t want to go through the hassle of inserting each disc into the computer every time you want to access a particular piece of information, you can save time by copying the disc contents to the local disk or even an external HDD or SSD. Besides, discs can be lost or damaged.

To preserve the exact disc structure and take a snapshot of the layout, you can create ISO images by resorting to various applications capable of performing this task, then mount the ISOs as virtual drives to gain access to the contents, just like inserting a disc into the CD/DVD tray. It’s also possible to later burn the images to blank CDs/DVDs to put together exact copies of the original discs. Even Windows can be transferred and preserved by compiling an ISO image, necessary for reinstalling the operating system by creating bootable USB drives, CDs or DVDs.

We’re breaking down three tools to show you how to create an ISO image from a DVD with as little effort as possible: BurnAware Free, ImgBurn, and Ashampoo Burning Studio FREE. It doesn’t matter if the DVD contains a movie, music or any other data type. These apps are free to use and have a lot of options for CD/DVD processing, including features to make ISO images from discs and local files (to later burn data to blank discs). Before getting started, make sure to have your DVD ready and insert it into the tray of the computer unit.

BurnAware Free

Once you install and fire up BurnAware Free, click Copy to ISO in the Disc Images column of the main menu to open up a new window and compile an ISO image from all the contents of a disc.

Click the menu above Recover to select the disc drive if the default selection is not right, and the Browse to indicate the Destination and filename of the new ISO image. Click the large Copy button on the toolbar to start the operation.

ImgBurn

After installing ImgBurn, two windows are brought up to the screen at startup, one with the main menu and the other with the log details. The second can be closed (click Yes for confirmation) if you’re not interested in viewing logged activity.

In the main window, click Create image file from disc. Click the menu right below Source to choose a different drive if the automatic selection made by the tool isn’t correct.

Click the folder button next to Destination and use the integrated file browser to specify where you want to save the ISO image, along with the filename. Click Save to confirm the setting, return to the compilation window and click the large button on the bottom (the one with a CD pointing to a CD in a file) to begin the operation.

Ashampoo Burning Studio FREE

In the main window of Ashampoo Burning Studio FREE, open the Disc Image menu and select Create Image. This opens up a new area, where you can click the first menu to choose a drive if the one picked by the application isn’t good, then click the Next button on the lower-right part of the panel to proceed.

In the following stage, click the Disc Image Format to select ISO File Format, then the Browse button to use the integrated folder explorer to indicate where you want to create the ISO image, as well as the filename. Click Next to begin the ISO creation process.

To get a visual rundown of these apps and learn the fastest way of copying disc contents to make ISO images, play our video guide below. You can also download BurnAware Free, ImgBurn, and Ashampoo Burning Studio FREE.

Turn Your CD/DVD Collection into ISOs to Store Data Safely

CDs and DVDs aren’t reliable, since they can be lost or damaged. Learn how to seamlessly create ISO images to preserve your movies, music and other data using three intuitive tools. Check out our video and article: http://www.softpedia.com/blog/turn-your-cd-dvd-collection-into-isos-to-store-data-safely-504147.shtml

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