I have looked into this exhaustively and do not have a definitive answer. I am making a hard disk copy of all my purchased software & keys. In cases with older, less used programs, I might throw away the discs and use the image as the copy. Also, having already accidentally damaged one Windows XP SP3 disk and having to PURCHASE a replacement at at cost of $30 or so has increased my interests in copy methods for CD/DVD's.
Software titles include "Windows XP" "Windows Server 2008," "Microsoft Office 2007," "Adobe Photoshop" "TurboTax, "Windows 98" "Windows 7 Server" etc.
Do any of these titles have copy protection?
I know the operating systems need to be copied correctly or they will not boot or will fail to install properly.
From what I have read the .cue/bin or mds/mdf are closer to making a 1:1 copy of a disk?
Will an .iso file be an exact copy of the disc? Do I need and exact copy of these discs?
If an .iso is the best, most standard format, will a program like Alcohol 120% make a better .iso file than Nero? Is there a program that has it's strength in making .iso files ?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.