Working with ISO Image and MDF/MDS using Daemon Tools Lite, Part 1: Introduction

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Working with ISO Image and MDF/MDS using Daemon Tools Lite


ISO Image

ISO image or disk image is an archive file of a CD/DVD, or any other disc format. An ISO image contains files and folders which are on the disc. The concept is similar to a zip file except that the data that stored on an ISO image is stored in an uncompressed format. ISO images do not support multi-session, so they cannot be used for audio CDs, VCD, and hybrid audio CDs.


MDF/MDS (Media Descriptor Image file) both also are a disc image format. MDS is an optional media descriptor file. It contains meta-data about the original media while the MDF file is an archive file. MDF/MDS supports multi-session, hence it can be used for audio CDs, VCD, and hybrid audio CDs.

Why use Disk Image file?

The benefits of disk image are

  • A disk image can be burned to a CD or DVD by using any image burner software.
  • Easy to backup and maintain data because it is a file.
  • Better access rates than a optical drive when using a virtual disc.
  • No more noise from CD or DVD anymore when using a virtual disc.

With these benefits, it is a good to start to use a disk image file instead CD/DVD. In this series, I will show you how to create a disk image files both ISO image and MDF/MDS. Then, how to mount an image file as a virtual drive to access data without using the original CD/DVD anymore. The software that I use in this series is Daemon Tools Lite version. It is free license if you use at your home and not for commercial purpose. Otherwise, you have to buy it.
Note: There are many other disk image software such as Alcohol 120%, CloneDVD, ImgBurn, IsoBuster, MagicISO, Nero Burning ROM, PowerISO, UltraISO, etc. They are different in features and supported format. Some can only create an image file, some can only burn an image file, etc.

Daemon Tools

DAEMON Tools is an advanced application for Microsoft Windows which provides one of the best optical media emulation. With DAEMON Tools you can back up your physical CD/DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray discs into “virtual discs” or so called “disc image” files, which run directly on your hard drive.

Daemon Tools Banner

Here is the features of Daemon Tools Lite version:

  1. Emulate virtual CD/DVD-ROM/HD DVD and Blu-ray drives. DAEMON Tools Lite enables you to emulate up to 4 CD/DVD virtual drives on your computer.
  2. Create a disc image. With DAEMON Tools Lite, you can create ISO and MDS image files from original discs inserted in physical CD/DVD drive.

Note: Daemon Tools Lite is also supported on Windows 7 Beta version.


I’m going to divide this series into 4 parts:

  1. Part 1: Introduction
    This post gives you an introduction to disk Image and daemon tools, the software that is used throughout the series.
  2. Part 2: Install Daemon Tool Lite
    This post shows how to download and install Daemon Tools Lite on Windows XP.
  3. Part 3: Create an ISO Image
    You will see how to create an ISO image from a DVD movie using Daemon Tools Lite on this post.
  4. Part 4: Create MDF/MDS files
    This post shows you how to create MDF/MDS files from an audio CD using Daemon Tools Lite.
  5. Part 5: Mount Disk Image
    After you have image files, I will show how to mount an image file to a virtual drive.
Series NavigationWorking with ISO Image and MDF/MDS using Daemon Tools Lite, Part 2: Install Daemon Tools Lite >>

One Response

  1. Alejandro Flores July 18, 2009

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