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Old 21. Jul 2013, 08:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Which BurnAware Option will burn a bootable ISO disk?

I've downloaded the Windows 7 ISO referred to in this article. I want to use BurnAware to make a bootable DVD. Which option should I choose:

- Boot Disc
- Burn Image or
- Make Boot ISO

While BurnAware's help file is brief, it is too brief. I'm confused by 3 choices which seem to mean the same thing. I think the correct choice is Burn Image, but I can't be sure. Could someone advise me?

I did burn a DVD of the Windows 7 ISO using FreeISOBurner, but it doesn't boot. That's the reason I want to burn another one with a different program and test it. Mind you, I have used FreeISOBurner to burn a Parted Magic disk and it does boot, so I'm not sure why the Windows disk doesn't boot.

At the same time, I'm assuming the Windows disk, should be bootable - maybe it isn't, and I'm making a wrong assumption. Again, could someone who knows confirm (or deny) this?
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Old 21. Jul 2013, 09:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Joe, you are correct. The Windows disc should be bootable. If there was an MD5 or hash provided on the download page, you can verify if the image was downloaded properly. Or, if you have 7-zip installed, you can try to open the ISO image as an archive, and see if it opens, and shows files. That's also a check.

Just choose "Burn Image" with BurnAware. That's the option to use when burning an image on a disc.

I use BurnAware Free. It's interface is great, and the program is simple to use, and works great.
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Old 21. Jul 2013, 09:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks Anupam.

I forgot to mention that I did check the integrity of the download with the MD5 on Microsoft's site with HashTab, and it was fine.

I'll try burning the image with BurnAware and report back.

And no, I don't have 7-zip. I'll download it if the above fails.
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Old 21. Jul 2013, 11:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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OK. I successfully burned a disk with BurnAware and it boots fine. Strangely enough, I re-tested the disk made with FreeISOBurner and it too also boots . So now I have 2 Windows 7 disks! Maybe that's a blessing in disguise because I feel it's a good thing to have an extra one .

Thinking back, I don't recall getting the message to "Press and key to boot from CD or DVD..." when I tried first time. That made me think. Now I was having an issue with the BIOS at the same time. What I'm recounting below is from my own experiences.

I had set the BIOS to boot from the CD/DVD drive first. I used the function key to "Save Changes and Exit" to do this. After booting successfully from a disk for the first 2 or 3 times, I couldn't get it to work again .
  • When the BIOS is set to boot from the C: drive first, the CD/DVD drive shows up in Windows Explorer. Also, when right-clicking the drive and choosing Properties, Windows tells me "This device is working properly". I even tested it with a movie on DVD to confirm it was working.
  • On the other hand, when the BIOS is set to boot from the CD/DVD drive, it doesn't show up in Windows Explorer!
Re-checking the boot order in the BIOS confirmed that nothing had changed from my last setting. I was absolutely baffled!

Today, snooping around in the BIOS again, I saw there was a "Save Changes" option (among others) under "Exit" in the menu bar. I decided there wasn't any harm in choosing that, and I did. Also, when exiting, I chose "Yes" when prompted by the dialog box to save changes and exit. Waala! Everything seems to be working now. (I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this issue is solved for good).

Bear in mind:
  1. My BIOS is an Isyde H20 Setup Utility and the version is 1.00
  2. What worked for me may not necessarily work for you.
To my mind, there shouldn't be any difference between both methods of saving changes. Why should one worked and the other be problematic? Your guess is as good as mine. Lesson learned: BIOS is compiled just like any other software, so it can't be buggy too.

So to recap: If you are having problems getting your saved changes in the BIOS to work reliably, look for an option in the menu bar that says "Save Changes" and try that.

I literally spent hours on the internet searching for an answer, and not a single person mentioned this solution. All the solutions/suggestions I saw referred to updating, reflashing, hardware issues, etc, etc.

I hope this helps someone some day.
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Old 22. Jul 2013, 06:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Joe, good to know the image burning was successful.

About the BIOS, it might be a BIOS quirk, or a bug, perhaps. You should check to see if a new version of the BIOS is there for your laptop model. Although, unless you really feel that BIOS needs updating, then only go for it, otherwise it's a risky business updating the BIOS.

Generally, all BIOS come with the option of "Save changes and exit" and it should work that way. But, maybe it's kind of a quirk with your BIOS, where you have to save the changes. Weird.
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Old 22. Jul 2013, 11:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Fwiw, when burning I believe it's a good idea to always burn at the slowest speed.

Faster burning speeds are more prone to error, and this seems to be especially true with bootable disks.
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Old 22. Jul 2013, 01:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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@Anupam,

FWIW, I've checked the manufacturer's site and there are 4 BIOS releases/revisions after my version. The only one which hints at an issue vaguely close to mine states:

Quote:
1. Fixes Boot Order variable fail When Plug in too many storage. 2. Adds Insyde workaround for boot device vairable lost issue.
From what I've read, flashing BIOS always carry a degree of risk. Seeing that I've got it to boot from the optical drive, albeit with a minor quirk, I'd rather live with it like that. IMHO, it's not worth the risk to reflash the BIOS.

Question: What are the "Boot Disk" and "Make Boot ISO" options in BurnAware for?

@sicknero,

I did notice the fastest speed was set by default (both in BurnAware and FreeISOBurner). And yes, it did occur to me too that I should probably select a lower speed because I've read about it having a possible effect on reliability. Nevertheless, all the bootable disks I've burned tested OK. It's good that you have pointed this out though, so I'll try the slowest speed on future burns.
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Old 22. Jul 2013, 01:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The 2nd point in the quote does seem related to the issue you were having.

Nowadays, flashing BIOS involves less risks, as the technology has improved, but still, risk is always there. Depends on how much advancement has been done by the vendor to safeguard the process. Earlier, BIOS flashing used to be done only by floppy disks. Now, you can flash BIOS from the Windows itself.

Well, if you feel like going for it in future, you can do it. You can leave it for now, if it's working.

Boot Disc, and Make Boot ISO, are basically the same thing. The first will make a boot disc from local files/folders by directly writing to the disc, whereas "Make Boot ISO" will make an ISO image from the local files/folders, which can be burned to a disc later.
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Old 22. Jul 2013, 02:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Anupam, I've never flashed BIOS before. As it is, I'll flash it only if I encounter more serious issues later on. Thanks too for the info about the 2 options in BurnAware.
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Old 22. Jul 2013, 03:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My pleasure .
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