CDs and DVDs were the most used storage media in the late 90s and early 2000s. Their low cost compared to hard drives, and the absence of other storage systems made us buy virgin discs of one hundred in a hundred to record our data, music, games or whatever we want. Surely all, or almost all, we still have records recorded at home. And, if we have a reader at hand (something that is becoming more and more complicated) we can read them. But we must do it quickly, since at any time all these CDs and DVDs will stop working, or partially erase data.
The theory says that optical discs can have a life of up to 100 years without loss of data . However, in practice this useful life is much shorter. In the best case, we can get the data to last up to 50 years without getting lost. But we have not always bought high-end CDs or DVDs, quite the contrary, we went to the cheapest record tubs . And the money we save then is the price we have to pay now.
Most inexpensive low-end discs can have a lifespan of 15 to 25 years . In 2000, when we recorded these records, thinking about 15 years from now was too long a term. However, more than 20 years have passed since then. And our data may be unknowingly being erased.
- Save all CDs to a hard drive
- Best programs to convert CDs and DVDs to ISO
- IMGBurn, the best ISO writer and creator
- CDBurnerXP, simple recorder for Windows
- Alcohol 120%, the terror of DRM
- DAEMON Tools, the king of virtual disks
- Nero Burning Rom, the recording suite par excellence
- Ashampoo Burning Studio, the alternative to Nero
- AnyBurn, a free and professional software
- Leawo Blu-ray Copy, a paid alternative
Save all CDs to a hard drive
Today we have many alternatives that will allow us to save our data, alternatives that are also very cheap. If we know how to take advantage of the offers we can buy an external hard drive of 3 or 4 TB for less than 100 euros. Remember that 1 TB can hold approximately 200 DVDs. For 100 euros, on a 4 TB external hard drive we can store up to 800 DVDs.
We can save the data as such on the hard disk (copying and pasting the content) so that they are safeguarded. Or we can create ISO images of them that, when mounted on the computer, behave as if we have inserted the real CD in the PC.
Of course, before continuing, we will have to make sure we have a CD or DVD reader on our PC, since most of them today lack this component. For 20 euros we can have one to use on our PC through the USB port.
Best programs to convert CDs and DVDs to ISO
IMGBurn, the best ISO writer and creator
IMGBurn is one of the best known programs for burning CDs and DVDs from Windows. However, it is also capable of doing the opposite, that is, converting any optical drive into an ISO image quickly and easily. This software is completely free (although it is discontinued) and it works without problems in Windows 10. With a few clicks we are going to be able to put our reader to work so that we can save all our data very easily for many more years.
We can download this program for free from the following link .
CDBurnerXP, simple recorder for Windows
This is another well-known free program known, above all, for its many functions and features when burning blank CDs and DVDs with our data. However, among its main features we can highlight the possibility of creating ISO files from our physical disks, being a great opportunity to safeguard our data before it is lost forever.
We can download CDBurnerXP free for Windows from this link .
Alcohol 120%, the terror of DRM
Alcohol 120% was once one of the best programs to record discs and pass CDs to images. Among its strengths were the advanced algorithms that allowed it to bypass most of the anti-copy systems included in the original movies and games. This program allows us to transfer our CDs and DVDs to the computer with one of the best data validation systems. We can even use it to copy the discs that we have originals without having to worry about anti-copy systems.
We can download Alcohol 120% free from its website .
DAEMON Tools, the king of virtual disks
Although now Windows 10 brings its own virtual drive to open ISO images, years ago these drives did not exist, and to mount the ISO of CDs and DVDs it was necessary to create our own virtual drive. And one of the best programs for it was DAEMON Tools .
This software, in addition to mounting disk images on virtual drives, allows us to transfer any DVD, CD or Blu-Ray to the PC in image format. It also allows us to choose between a wide variety of formats so that if the ISO does not convince us, we can choose others, such as MDS and MDF.
We can download this program from here .
Nero Burning Rom, the recording suite par excellence
Nero is one of the most popular programs for burning all kinds of CDs and DVDs. It is true that in recent years it has been changing its business model, leaving recording a little aside and focusing on being a complete multimedia center for PC. Despite this, it remains one of the most complete suites for both recording data and for passing data from these optical drives to ISO images.
We can buy Nero Platinum, or any of its lower versions from this link .
Ashampoo Burning Studio, the alternative to Nero
Ashampoo’s burning software is one of Nero’s main rivals. This software, instead of trying to become a multimedia center, remains 100% focused on being one of the fastest, easiest and most complete programs to operate with all kinds optical drives. And among all the functions that we can find in this software we can highlight, above all, the functions that allow us to transfer CDs and DVDs to ISO images that we can easily save on the computer.
We can download this program for Windows from its website .
AnyBurn, a free and professional software
Although it is not one of the best known, this is a very simple option for users who do not want complications. This program is completely free for Windows, and it is also very light, so it can run without problems on any PC. It is compatible with practically all image formats, which gives us great dynamism when choosing which format we want to transfer each image to.
We can download AnyBurn for free from the following link .
Leawo Blu-ray Copy, a paid alternative
This is another alternative that will allow us to save a copy of our DVDs and Blu-Rays on the computer. Leawo’s software is specialized, above all, in copying movies, although we can also use it to save data discs on the PC. This program offers a literal dump of the disk ensuring that all data has been passed to the PC without loss.
We can learn more about this program from here . It is a paid software, and not exactly cheap. Therefore, except for having special needs that this program only covers, it is better to opt for any of the previous alternatives.