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Question: Creating bootable DVDs from .iso by converting to .cdr first

My DVD burner on the Win7 office PC is non-functional, so when I downloaded a Linux .iso to burn, I turned to my Macbook Pro. Simple... insert DVD, Disk Utility, choose the .iso and burn. It worked ... but not the way I planned. Instead of a bootable disk, I got a perfect copy of the .iso ! What was wrong? I'm posting this in hopes of helping the next guy avoid the ~ 2 hrs. of search through forums everywhere to find the right answer.

DON'T burn the .iso directly

DO convert it to a .cdr first, then burn it! Here's how:

1. Open Disk Utility

2. Drag & drop the .iso onto the left panel (under where you see your HD listed), or in some other manner get it into the left panel (may vary with the version of OSX you are using)

3. Highlight the .iso

4. Choose "Convert" at the top

5. IMPORTANT: Choose "DVD/CD master" for the image format

6. For encryption choose "none"

7. Click "Save", and make sure the file type is ".cdr" (you can keep the .iso if you want as well)

8. After some time, you will have another image; burn that image

9. Insert a writable CD or DVD, and choose the slowest possible burn time (for safety)

10. Choose to verify the disk you are burning as well, then click "Burn"

11. Depending on what OS built the .iso, the result may not be readable by your Mac, but the PC or hypervisor where you will install it will be able to read and boot it

Happy burning!

Note: you can also do this from the command line using hdiutil. It will give you more features and options, if needed...

OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.4), Should work with most versions

Posted on Jun 26, 2013 6:45 PM


Nov 2, 2014 2:12 PM in response to TedETGbiz In response to TedETGbiz

Just wanted to thank TedETGbiz for posting this! I was pulling my hair out for hours trying to figure out why the DBAN boot disk I burned on my Mac would not boot up in the old Dell I am donating to charity. This post solved my problem and I am happily erasing all of my personal data from the old computer as I type. Thanks for the clear instructions, Ted.


Nov 2, 2014 2:12 PM

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Question: Creating bootable DVDs from .iso by converting to .cdr first

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