In the last tutorial, we looked at how you can repair damaged downloads using
PAR files or various decompression packages. We’ll now look at the types of
files you are likely to encounter after you extract your downloads and how to
deal with them. For starters, you’ll need a CD-RW drive if you plan to make a
CD from the files you download. You’ll also need 3rd party software to burn
the CD’s. If you wish to extract the files to your hard drive only, we’ll go
over an option on how you can do that as well.
There are several common types of “image files" you will find in the
binary Newsgroups. These image files are not pictures. Instead, they are files
that were created in a 3rd party software package. Common files include CDI,
ISO, NRG, CCD, and BIN/CUE. Many of these files can be handled by more than one
application, and although we won’t have the opportunity to list every program,
we’ll deal with several of the most common.
The following list will help you to quickly identify the file type that you
are dealing with and the applications that can be used to make a CD:
- ISO: Widely used format. DiscJuggler, Nero, Fireburner, Roxio EZ CD Creator
- CDI: DiscJuggler
- NRG: Nero
- CCD: CloneCD
- BIN/CUE: CDRWIN, Nero, Fireburner
By just glancing at the list, you can see that many of the programs work for
different file types. With this in mind, you will probably want to wait to see
the file type you will most often encounter so that you can purchase it from the
respective vendors. Unfortunately, there can be problems when trying to burn
these types of files. For example, although CDRWIN, Fireburner and Nero are all
listed to handle BIN/CUE files, they don’t always handle the files equally.
You are sure to find times when one of them will burn a CD correctly while the
others will not. There is probably no way around this problem.
These packages can be found at the following web sites:
The applications all work a little bit differently but the ideas are the
same. Suppose you have a BIN/CUE image you wish to burn to a CD. You see on the
list that CDRWIN and Fireburner both handle these files. If you open CDRWIN, you
will find a series of icons, one of which will say “Write from image
file" when you point your mouse at it. If you click this button, you will
be presented with a screen where you can choose your CD-RW drive and the image
file you are burning (in this case a CUE file). You click the image, and off you
go. If you were to need to burn the same CD with Fireburner, you can simply
double-click the CUE file to open Fireburner and then right-click on the window
that appears to display a menu. From the menu, you can choose Burn/Test Burn and
you’ll be on your way. The formats that work with only a single tool (such as
Nero’s NRG) are often the easiest to use as they can often be opened by simply
opening them from the file menu like any Windows file.
If you don’t have a CD-RW drive or do not want to burn a CD, you can still
access the files inside some of the images. First, you’ll need to get yourself
a program called ISOBuster. You can find this file at www.isobuster.com where it
can be freely downloaded. Although it is free, there is also a link on the site
on how you can make a donation. I’d strongly encourage you to do so. It can
work with many common formats including *.DAO (Duplicator), *.TAO (Duplicator),
*.ISO (Nero, BlindRead, Creator), *.BIN (CDRWin), *.IMG (CloneCD), *.CIF
(Creator), *.FCD (Uncompressed), *.NRG (Nero), *.GCD (Prassi), *.P01 (Toast),
*.C2D (WinOnCD), *.CUE (CDRWin), *.CIF (DiscJuggler). You simply open the files
in ISOBuster and are presented with a list of files and folders that can be
extracted from the image file. You can extract all of the files this way or just
the ones that you need.
This is probably the final tutorial in this series. If you have any
questions, comments or ideas for future tutorials, please feel free to post
messages. Good luck with your downloading.