UPDATE: Check out this other ISO Creator app... it is much simpler to use and does not require an install... How I love "portable apps"
Another great FREE tool to help make our jobs easier. ISO Recorder.
Now, why is this tool important for us virtualizers? How does it fit into the way we work with our virtual infrastructure? It is simple, really. It helps us with creating and editing cd images which are necessary if you use VMware ESX or, they are, at least, very handy if you use any other kind of virtualization software like VMware Workstation or Parallels and so on...
When you are ready to build your first virtual server in ESX, you may find it difficult to run back and forth to the server room just to swap out CDs. This is why we have a /vmimages/ folder on our ESX boxes... to store CD & Floppy images in. But, they problem for some people is how to create them. I started out trying to use my CD burning software to create an image of my Windows 2003 Server disk, but since NERO saw that the disk was copyrighted, it would not create an ISO, only a NERO-specific NRG file. The problem? ESX doesn't know what to do with an NRG file. So I did a little Googling and found this very handy little "power toy." Now, it isn't an official MS power toy, but it works just like one. Very simple install, no program groups, just another option when you right-click on a CD drive. ISO Recorder does do more than I am going to talk about, so if you're interested, please do check out the publisher's site.
First, let's look at the install. It is very simple. Here's some screen captures of each step along the way. It is really a no-brainer.
Once you've gotten past that super-easy step, you can pop your CD in your fastest CD drive and open windows explorer... then just right click on your CD drive like such:
and click on "Create Image from CD". At this point it will bring up the ISO Recorder dialog box:
Be sure you know where you're saving your ISO file. These can be quite large and if you're making a bunch at once, you may find yourself running out of hard drive space quickly. By default, it stores them in your "My Documents" folder. Once you're satisfied with the From: and To: options, click the "Next" button. It will start copying the CD image to your aforespecified location:
And then, depending on the speed of your CD drive, it'll be done in a few minutes or so:
Now that you have your ISO file, use WinSCP to copy it to your ESX box and go to town. A couple things to remember is that you don't want to keep your virtual CD drive connected or you won't be able to VMotion and you may not want to even keep it installed in your virtual pc since just existing, it consumes service console resources.
If you find this tool handy, please be sure to support its publisher. He has a PayPal button (like mine) on his page.