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In our quest to encourage TechSoup users to download software rather
than order the traditional packaged product with factory discs, we want to make
sure that you know how to save your software so you can reinstall it if you
need to, or put it on multiple computers if licensing permits it. Downloading
major applications is different than downloading a document or an mp3 file. It
takes more time and has several steps in the process. After you download
software, we recommend that you save your new software to a network volume,
an external hard drive, or burn it to DVD or CD.
In a recent TechSoup survey we did on downloading software, one major
reason that respondents said they preferred to have traditional package product
software with the factory discs is because they felt that they may need them
again. The fact is that you don't need factory discs to do that, and it's
actually greener for you to burn your own discs in that it reduces packaging
and shipping. Several of our donor partners offer a download option. Two main ones are
Adobe and Microsoft.
In the case of Adobe software, see How to Download Adobe
Software. Adobe downloaded software comes in as a self-extracting
file format, and often in two files. For Adobe suites, (where there are multiple applications included as a set) you need to
locate Install File 1. This file will begin the installation and extract all of
the files located in Install File 2. When you want to burn these files to a DVD, you simply open up your DVD burning software, choose to burn a data DVD and follow the instructions. Find
some simple ehow.com instructions on how to burn data to a DVD here.
For most computers purchased within the last five
years, CD and DVD burning software already comes installed and configured for
your computer and your CD and DVD burner. If you don't have the software,
you'll first need to check to see if your CD/DVD drive actually burns disc,
and if it does, then download freeware or commercial DVD burning software that
is compatible with your CD/DVD burner. Find an array burning software choices
at CNET's download.com.
Popular DVD burning software programs include ones
by Nero for Windows and Linux, which has both freeware (Nero BurnLite) and
more full featured commercial applications like Nero Burning ROM.
Roxio is another big name in this field with Roxio
Creator for Windows and Roxio
Toast for Mac.
In the case of downloading Microsoft software, see
Licensing Service Center how-to pages for step-by-step instructions on how
to download Microsoft software. Microsoft downloaded application files come in
as ISO files. These are essentially
images of complete CDs or DVDs compiled as one whole image file. They have an
.iso file name extension. ISO images can be loaded into multiple CDs or DVDs if
In Windows 7 and Mac OS X, you can burn ISO files onto a DVD using the built-in
programs in each operating system (Disk Utility for Mac and Windows Explorer in Windows). If you are using older OS versions you will need a third-party
program like the free ImgBurn
to either physically burn the disc, or "mount" the file virtually using an
application like MagicDisc.
With Microsoft downloads it's often easier to burn the ISO files to disc and
then install them. You can burn ISO files with nearly any CD/DVD burning
Here are some additional how-to resources that may be
Photo: Theophilus Photography
Thank you for this blog I am now encouraged to try free software online. I found this site which also allows us to download free burning software.
I downloaded Acrobat X Pro Win some weeks ago. It downloaded just fine. However, I didn't have the forethought to burn a copy of the program in case I purchase a new computer or have a crash. I need to know how to do that. Where are the files located, and should I use CD or DVD discs. Help please and keep it simple.