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24bit's picture
Joined: 2010 Nov 19
Archiving or Toasting Mac HFS CDs without a Mac CD-Writer

Some here may take it for blasphemy, but as a lot of us do own a Windows rig, one might consider using the free IMGBurn with Windows to read or write HFS Mac CDs - even more when the Mac optical can not write by design or has developed issues over time.

Downloads page for latest version of ImgBurn


Write image file to disk

Click to enlarge

If you plan to burn a .toast file from the Garden, just rename .toast to .iso and let IMGBurn do its job with the least possible speed.
I´m usually setting speed to 1X and let the app and the optical writer figure out...
As a bonus you will hear the nice jingle when IMGBurn completed its task. Smile
I did not create a single coaster so far going that way, but I did get piles of them from various Macs.

Using IMGBurn is brain dead simple, but If you should install IMGBurn, be sure to select custom install and uncheck all boxes offering adware and other crap.

If you want to archive a Mac HFS CD, start IMGBurn and insert your Mac CD afterwards.

All is ready to archive

Click to enlarge

If IMGBurn does not suggest a suitable name for the new file, put in a nice name via the browse button.
(note the black/grey arrow in the pict above)
The button will pop up the Windows file requester where place and name of your new image may be specified:

Giving the new .ISO image a name

Click to enlarge

When ready, choose the least possible speed for archiving too, though this is not as vital compared to burning a file.

Archiving Mac CDs in mixed mode with e.g. audio partitions does work this way just the same.
IMGBurn will automatically select bin/cue if the CD´s volume structure is incompatible with ISO.

Handling DVDs is possible of course, but keep in mind the ≈3.7 GB limitation with FAT32 volumes.
Archiving a (double layer) Mac DVD will fail, unless the file is written to a NTFS volume.


SwedeBear's picture
Joined: 2009 Apr 18

@24bit: Great info! One question; have you tried IMGBurn with bootable Cds ie does it manage to burn them back bootable?

24bit's picture
Joined: 2010 Nov 19

Yes SwedeBear, I made the D-9.2.2 for my iMac that way and can confirm it was booting fine.

Protocol 7's picture
Joined: 2010 Aug 7

Imaging with Windows tools is preferable to anything Mac-side as it removes any chance of the image file getting modified by mounting it. Thankfully, this doesn't happen as often as it used to.

There's nothing special about bootable CDs. Just read the disc out to a iso and it will boot when burned back regardless of the system. I've always imaged my CDs and DVDs on Windows and they boot fine.

MikeTomTom's picture
Joined: 2009 Dec 7

Thanks for the excellent post, 24bit. Its now a sticky.

I've been using ImgBurn for imaging Mac CD/DVD's to .iso and writing Mac .iso's to CD/DVD in preference to using Toast for this task for perhaps 7 or 8 years now. It is very reliable and easy to use.

@SwedeBear: ImgBurn checksums what its working with in both directions, the checksum must match before it will finish its task. You get perfect unmodified byte for byte copies every time.

Note: Instructions for defusing current versions of ImgBurn - ridding it of spy/adware from it's installer and converting the program into a portable app are included on this page.

themacmeister's picture
Joined: 2009 Oct 26

Nice guide. I use ImgBurn on Windows all the time, never ever thought of this functionality Smile