This knowledgebase article discusses the creation of bootable CDs or DVDs from downloaded ISO images.

What are Bootable CDs and DVDs?

There are many reasons to need to boot a PC from a bootable CD or DVD. Most users with an intermediate level of PC experience are familiar with having to start their machine up from a Windows setup CD or DVD to install a clean copy of Windows. Many recovery programs and utilities, such as our own Easy Recovery Essentials for Windows, also come in the form of a bootable CD. These products are more than just repair tools — the CDs must ship with their own operating system1 and work from within it to repair your PC.

Creating a bootable CD or DVD

Our knowledgebase contains guides on creating a bootable CD or DVD from an ISO image using free products like ActiveISO and ImgBurn. The instructions must be followed very closely, and it is essential that you do not open the ISO file directly — instead, install the burning software you plan to use (ActiveISO or ImgBurn) and use that application to browse for and open the ISO file you have downloaded.

Booting from a CD or DVD

There is a separate knowledgebase article dedicated specifically to configuring your PC to boot from CD or DVD. If you’re having problems getting your PC to boot from the CD/DVD drive after following those instructions, this page contains an index of troubleshooting inability to boot from CD/DVD and common solutions.

Unable to boot from CD/DVD?

If you’re having problems getting your PC to boot from the CD/DVD drive after following those instructions, this page contains an index of troubleshooting inability to boot from CD/DVD and common solutions.

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  1. Most recovery tools will use a stripped-down form of Linux for the bootable recovery environment. In the past, repair CDs used to include and rely on Microsoft’s Windows PE, a mini, bootable version of Windows; but is no longer used due to concerns over the licensing agreement.