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Manipulate CD images with IsoBuster

Dreamcast's profile picture
Published in 
 · 23 Dec 2022

Ever loaded a CD image without knowing what to do, or burned it only to find out that the CD doesn't work or doesn't respond to your expectations? IsoBuster should be able to help you.

IsoBuster is without doubt the best tool for manipulating and extracting files from a CD image. It can read very many formats from the multitude of existing burning software:

  • *.DAO (Duplicator)
  • *.TAO (Duplicator)
  • *.ISO (Nero, BlindRead, Creator)
  • *.BIN (CDRWin)
  • *.IMG (CloneCD)
  • *.CIF (Creator)
  • *.FCD (Uncompressed)
  • *.NRG (Nero)
  • *.GCD (Prassi)
  • *.P01 (Tostada)
  • *.C2D (WinOnCD)
  • *.CUE (CDRWin)
  • *.CIF (DiscJuggler)
  • *.CD (CD-i OptImage)
  • *.GI (Prassi PrimoDVD)

This proves to be very practical when you have only a one of this programs and you have to burn an image that is incompatible with it.

The IsoBuster software interface is relatively simple to understand, with a window on the left showing the image tree structure and a second window on the right showing the list of files in the manner of Windows Explorer, but with a few nuances.

Extracting an image

By default, IsoBuster reads the content of the first cd-rom drive, in order to make an image, but that's not what we are interested in for now. We will start from the principle that you have a CD image that fails to burn, or that the CD obtained after burning is unreadable.

The first step is to open this CD image with IsoBuster using the menu File> Open Image Hila software.

Once the image is opened, the image tree structure points to the base image name, then the different existing sessions (most often a single one), as well as the different tracks (there still, usually a single one for a CD-ROM, and one or two for VCD).

Example of a classical image tree structure for a CD-ROM
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Example of a classical image tree structure for a CD-ROM

Here, the image used is that of Microsoft Intellimouse mouse drivers and is in .ISO format.

To extract the image data, right click on the blue icon (indicated in our screenshot by the arrow) and choose the first option "Extract IP3_2". IsoBuster then proposes to choose the file where the image will be extracted (in our example, a file that will refer to the name IP3_2 will be created and contain CD).

Next step is to close IsoBuster and to burn the data CD with the software of your choice, adding to it all files and records contained in the IP3_2 file.

Attention not to select the file in it meme, but the content of the file (what is seen in the right windows in our example)

VCDs images

In the case of a VCD image the manipulation differs; the image tree structure of your image should look like this:

Manipulate CD images with IsoBuster
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Select the MPEGAV file indicated by the blue arrow, then the file AVSEQ01.DAT file indicated by the red arrow.

(In most cases the names should be similar and the extension is *.DAT. There may however be several files which will then be AVSE01. DAT, AVSE02. DAT, AVSE03. DAT).

Right click on the .DAT file and select "Extacto AVSE01. DAT". The operation should take a few minutes.

Select the obtained file and rename it to "Nomdufilm.mpg". You should then be able to read it with your private video player, or by default the one provided as standard in Windows OS. In case of problem, start the operation again or find out the exact content of your source CD.

If all goes well, open your favorite burning software, for example Nero, and select the Video CD burning. Add the .MPG file created before, then burn your CD (if you proceeded with Nero, it should make a check of the file before adding it to the CD structure).

The creation of an image

Creating an image with the help of IsoBuster is quite simple. It is convenient to differentiate between 2 cases:

  1. a single CD-ROM image
  2. a VCD image

In the first case, open IsoBuster and select the CD drive that contains the CD-ROM you want to make your image. In the left tree, select the very first element (usually called "CD") and right click to access the context menu.

Then select "Extract CD <image>-> Use Data (*.tao, *.iso)" and give a name to your image in the menu that appears. With the extension .iso by default, it should propose CD.tao, but most often the software recognizes .iso and not .tao. Then click on "Save", and wait for the process to finish.

You have now your image, but it may be good to verify it for example with daemon tools if you are not sure about you. If not, you can save the created image.

Manipulate CD images with IsoBuster
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Note: we are talking here about a non-protected original CD image. To create a copy of your original protected CD, you can use Clone CD.

In the second case (VCD image), open IsoBuster and select the CD drive that contains the original CD and you want to create your image. In the left tree, select the very first item (usually called "CD") and right click to select "Extract CD <image>-> RAW (*.bin, *.iso)". In the menu that appears then, give a name to your image with the extension .bin and click on "Save". Wait for the end of the process.

You have hereafter your image. As well as for the CD-ROM, it can be good to verify it with daemon tools if you are not sure of the result.

In this case you could also choose an .iso extension, which software like Nero recognizes better than a .bin.

Note that in general it can be simpler to extract the VCD DAT file in the same way used with an image and re-encode everything with Nero or other burning software.


In general IsoBuster is the indispensable complementary tool to many burning software, because it allows a manipulation of CD images as well as their creation in a very simple and intuitive way. It allows to generate an image that works properly.

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