Join Date: May 2006
Location: Stuck between here and there...
Re: Freeware ISO editor?
It's been almost a year. I wonder if it's time to go digging again. Sometimes as new products come out it's more and more difficult for the old software companies to keep peddling the same programs without lowering prices. Not to say that this has actually happened but sometimes patience can pay off.
Freeware is just a way of life, it's an Art Form
Join Date: Apr 2011
Thought I'd offer a suggestion here to fellow seekers of freeware ISO editing software.
I, too, have looked in vain for such things as freeware ISO editors; I currently maintain several special discs, including one with useful Windows app installers that I deploy across numerous computers. I update it once a month because -hey! - almost every bit of software is updated that often. Anyway, the method I use is as follows:
1) I create the initial ISO with ImgBurn (great freebie)
2) when I need to update the ISO, I mount the ISO virtually, using a program made by Microsoft called Virtual CD Control Panel. It's free, it's simple, and the executable front-end and its driver take up 32 KB of space total (no, that is not a typo.) It gives me a virtual CD drive mounted on a drive letter of my choice, which is fully accessible from Explorer or any other program.
3)I open ImgBurn, and run the ImgBurn disk layout editor, drag all my files from the original ISO to the root of a new project, and I can begin editing/deleting/renaming without any problems.
And now: the caveats.
Caveat #1: VCDCP has been out of development and otherwise unsupported for 8+ years now. However, it works perfectly fine even with UDF up to and including v 2.0, and can be used in Vista and _possibly_ 7. From what I hear, its lack of support for UDF > 2.0 is a limitation only on XP, and can be solved by installing a program called INCD, which brings its own UDF driver set -- I have not confirmed this.
Caveat #2: Unfortunately, VCDCP only supports UDF, CDFS, JO, ISO, and ROCK formats. But for this, it's JUST short of having an actual Windows loop-mount function like the one you find in Linux.
Caveat #3: The ISO (or other image) is mounted read-only, so you cannot edit the image DIRECTLY (of course, that's why I use ImgBurn in step 3). But you can still move, delete and re-arrange stuff to your heart's content using ImgBurn and a fresh ISO, and as for editing stuff...well, an ISO editor doesn't allow you to edit stuff directly, anyway, does it? (I haven't used any of the ones mentioned in this discussion!)
A replacement you might use for VCDCP is Pismo File Mounter; haven't tried it, but it handles zip files, too, and also makes the archive in question accessible as a drive -- just like VCDCP.
Hope this suggestion helps somebody!
Senior Administrator & Reviewer
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Republic of Ireland (North West)
Regardless of the ISO editor, don't expect to be able to quickly manipulate files within the ISO!
To edit an ISO, the tool must rebuilt the ISO, so simply changing a file such as correcting typos in a 5KB text file within a 4GB DVD ISO can take several minutes depending on the speed of the drive the ISO is stored on. Basically, it would probably not be much quicker than extracting the ISO with 7-zip, making the required changes and building the new ISO with ImgBurn, so while a dedicated ISO editor would be easier, don't expect it to be as quick as making file changes to a hard disk image.
For those looking to quickly rebuild a bootable disc, such as add files to a BartPE or Windows OS installation disc, etc., this post shows the process in ImgBurn. Basically, this involves extracting the boot image from the bootable disc, extracting the files and feeding these back into ImgBurn along with the changed files.
Going by this long list of ISO image software tools on Wikipedia, listing 44 products at this time of writing, there is no freeware ISO editor available for Windows yet. Even when it comes to commercial software, there are just a handful of tools that can do the job - Daemon Tools Pro, ISO Master, Magic ISO, PowerISO, UltraISO and WinImage.
Join Date: Jul 2011
Thanks a lot for this thread. I guess I am another Person with Harddisk crash trying to figure out how to make bootable USB Using http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...-grub4dos.html
Since my USB stick was smaller than the data on recovery DVD so needed to edit the ISO file.
For now trying ISOMaster Trial version. Lets hope I am able to resolve this within next 15days.
Join Date: Nov 2011
I'm revisiting this thread after a few years absence and surprised it's still going. I guess that means that there really isn't a freeware windows app that let's you add files to an existing iso.
There are many solutions available which allow an existing iso to be unpacked, have files added and then be repacked. I have only ever come across one which simply adds files to the iso without the unpack/repack overhead.
MagicIso has been mentioned before, but can I draw your attention to a small utility that comes with it called 'miso.exe'. This is a commandline utility that does many things as well as adding files to an existing iso. The command is simply:
miso old.iso -a new.file
where old.iso is the existing iso and
new.file is the file you want to add.
And yes I know it isn't free but it does add files without unpacking and repacking.
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Join Date: Dec 2012
More than a decade of profits for the likes of UltraISO, PowerISO, MagicISO, WinISO, etc
It's hard to believe that people have been searching for a free ISO ***editor*** on ***windows*** for over a DECADE without luck.
Notice the asterisks.
No, I don't want to run Linux.
No, I'm not talking about tools that just create ISOs or extract them from media.
I'm talking about a tool on Windows that can load up an ISO, let me have my way with it, and then save it, retaining all the existing boot image information.
My own search has lasted a full day, and I have found NOTHING that compares to the likes of the paid software listed in the subject.
When a hole exists for a while, usually *some* intrepid soul publishes a free tool. We have several out there, far more complex than a bloody ISO editor (although I'm not knocking the complexity of it either): tools like Alcohol 52 and LogMeIn, that provide (IMO) indispensible functions. Why not an ISO editor?
Yet no free ISO editor on Windows for over 10 years. It's like they (the makers of the named non-free apps) paid someone to go kill anybody even thinking about it.
I'm sorry, but an ISO editor is not something I'm paying even $30 for. I paid for AnyDVD, and happy that I did - it helps me every day. And I barely paid more than $30 for that.
I was hoping to find *something* so that I could bring an end to this huge, decade-old thread and ease the squeeze on the pocketbook for all my fellow techies looking to make small mods to bootable ISOs, and yet, I've failed.
The best I could come up with is two options, neither exactly perfect.
Option 1. Get the "free" version of UltraISO that was made for "PC User readers". Not a good option as it's really thievery. Sadly, I gave in and opted to do this (because it's so freekin easy). <Bows head in shame>
Option 2. Be a hacker: use 7Zip and ImgBurn. Use 7Zip to extract the files from the original ISO to a working folder. Add/delete/change files to your hearts content. Use ImgBurn to reconstruct the ISO using the working folder plus the boot image extracted from the original ISO. Problem here is that you need to make sure you get all the nitty gritty properties about the newly constructed ISO correct or you don't have a copy that is correct, and the result may or may not work as you expect. I didn't want to go there if I didn't have to. It would be nice for someone more in the know to post a small tutorial on how to get this right every time (or a link to an existing tutorial).
Here's hoping the new year sees an end to this tool monopoly...
Senior Administrator & Reviewer
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Republic of Ireland (North West)
Otherwise, I'm sure most disc recording software including ImgBurn would offer the ability. Since ImgBurn and nearly all recording software can create an ISO and can burn an ISO to disc, I don't see what's stopping them from offering the ability to import an existing ISO into the compilation editor, allow the user to add/delete files and then burn this new compilation to disc or a new ISO file. I've also seen this feature request on ImgBurn's forum a few times.
At this stage, it's coming to the point where there is little to no need to edit an ISO. Nearly every new OS and bootable utility can be booted from USB and once the bootable USB stick is created, it's usually very straight forward to make changes to its content. E.g. for Windows 7, he most common change I do is delete the ei.cfg file after creating the bootable USB stick, which basically turns it into a universal installer (gives the chance of Home/Professional/Ultimate during installation.) I then add a few frequently installed applications to my stick, such as the latest version of Avast, Firefox, Internet Explorer 9, etc.
As for the rare time I need to modify a Windows XP ISO, nLite provides this ability, e.g. add motherboard SATA driver, additional files/folders, etc.
If I need any utilities in a recovery console (or WinPE/BartPE) such as HDD Tune to check a HDD's health, I place these on a USB stick, boot the CD and then access the USB once I'm at the command prompt, a bit like in the old DOS days where I booted a DOS floppy disk in drive 'A' and had my utilities on a separate floppy disk in drive 'B'.
Join Date: Dec 2012
That's funny because I was ADDing the ei.cfg file back to a Windows 8 DVD to get it to stop asking for the KEY during installation. Without that file the TechNet DVD I have requires key entry to proceed with the installation - very inconvenient. With a carefully crafted ei.cfg file, the installation is coaxed into into allowing the key entry to be skipped and for the DVD to behave just like your ALL VERSION Windows 7 DVD. Well, not quite, ENTERPRISE version is a separate DVD, as it is for Windows 7 (if I'm not mistaken).
You're right, these days there is very little need for an ISO editor, LITTLE, but not NONE, yet. I'll hail the day when anyone will be hard pressed to find a computer with a mechanical drive of any sort in it. I've already banished DVDs and hard drives from my house; well, almost. I have a single USB 3 BluRay writer for all backwards compat scenarios - just plug it in where needed. My DVD collection is on an 8 TB RAID5 array, with new titles added via ripping on the BluRay writer. Said RAID is the only device in the house containing hard drives, as such an array built with SSDs would send me into bankruptcy.
As for Win/Bart PE, well, all I can say is, Windows 8 TOGO has all but removed my need for preboot and/or live linux environments. YMMV.
And of course, my entire bootable ISO collection--most of which was rendered obsolete by Win8TOGO--is stored on a 60 GB SSD housed inside the wonderful Zalman VE300 virtual drive enclosure, for guaranteed booting on (nearly) any machine I walk up to that has a USB port.
However, while I may have nearly eliminated spinning media from my universe, I think I'll be having to deal with its virtual (ISO) counterpart for still some time to come. Fortunately, 99.99% of that will be ISOs of video discs, not data, where an ISO editing tool is not needed. Whew! Thank goodness for that.
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