The Portal of Geriatrics Online Education

Using a Disk Image .iso Download

What is a Disk Image (*.iso) file?

A file with the extension '.iso' (or '.cdr' on Mac OS) is a CD or DVD that has been made into a single file available for download and can be stored on a hard drive. These are often called CD Images or Disk Images.  This is a common way to distribute software over the internet that normally comes on a CD.  On a Mac OS system, you should be able to use an ISO file much like you would a normal CD. Unfortunately on Windows operating systems, including Windows XP and Windows Vista, you cannot simply click a Disk Image file and open it like a CD.   Read more about ISO formats.

How do I use a Disk Image (*.iso) file?

Mac OsX

Just Click the file and it opens like it was a CD. *NOTE some programs will only run on Windows operating systems.


1) Burn the image to a CD. Then eject and reinsert the CD.
2) Install software that treats .iso files as if they were a CD and lets you access them from your hard drive.
Microsoft has one available for Windows XP here.  (For Windows Vista read on for your options).  Save the file to your desktop and then double click it to unzip it to the desktop. Find the readme file and follow the instructions.

For something a little easier to use or for Windows Vista there are many programs available at  We have had success with Magic ISO  which is free and Power Iso which is not free but very easy to use.


All Operating Systems

Once you can access the contents in the .iso file, if the program does not start automatically, check the notes in the product page  or in the files within the Disk Image for instructions on how to launch the program.

If you need further assistance your local system administrator should be able to help you. In the event you are your local system administrator, please contact POGOe Managing Editor (