Can you combine 4 ISO-files into just 1 big ISO?

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RealBlackStuff
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Can you combine 4 ISO-files into just 1 big ISO?

#1 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:08 am

I have a set of 4 Lenovo Recovery discs in ISO format (W7-Pro/SP1 64-bit).
Disk 1 (ISO-1) is bootable, the other 3 (ISO-2, ISO-3, ISO-4) contain Data and are asked for in sequence during install.
Together they are ~ 11GB.

I have burned them onto 4 DVDs and can install from those DVDs.
But I'm getting tired from swapping those DVDs.
Is it possible to combine these 4 ISO files into just 1 big bootable ISO?
Which could then be installed on a bootable 16GB USB-stick, using e.g. Rufus.
Anybody try this?

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Re: Can you combine 4 ISO-files into just 1 big ISO?

#2 Post by jaspen-meyer » Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:33 pm

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:08 am
I have a set of 4 Lenovo Recovery discs in ISO format (W7-Pro/SP1 64-bit).
Disk 1 (ISO-1) is bootable, the other 3 (ISO-2, ISO-3, ISO-4) contain Data and are asked for in sequence during install.
Together they are ~ 11GB.

I have burned them onto 4 DVDs and can install from those DVDs.
But I'm getting tired from swapping those DVDs.
Is it possible to combine these 4 ISO files into just 1 big bootable ISO?
Which could then be installed on a bootable 16GB USB-stick, using e.g. Rufus.
Anybody try this?
I'm not sure this'll work, but my gut reaction is, from a linux terminal:

Code: Select all

cat 1.iso 2.iso 3.iso 4.iso 5.iso > combined.iso
Then burn combined.iso to the usb with your tool of choice, Rufus, dd, other.

Another try would be to extract all of the files and repackage them. I'm guessing both of these methods would work on some iso's but not on microsoft install dvd's.

edit:
someone of the Dell forum asked the same question and got a windows way of doing 'cat':
http://en.community.dell.com/support-fo ... t/19649422

Code: Select all

copy /b 1.iso+2.iso+3.iso+4.iso+5.iso combined.iso
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Re: Can you combine 4 ISO-files into just 1 big ISO?

#3 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:07 pm

Thanks, but that's not what I am asking.
The Dell guy had one big file that was previously split in multiple part-files.
Copying those back together again would indeed work.

But my ISOs are independent, not part of 1 big file.
They were the original Lenovo Recovery set of 4 disks (CD/DVD), where each disk was converted into an ISO for storage on a NAS.

I want to combine/edit them all into one big ISO (or other file-type), which can then be installed on a USB key.

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Re: Can you combine 4 ISO-files into just 1 big ISO?

#4 Post by rkawakami » Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:36 pm

I would assume that it would take more that a simple concatenation action. Typically, multi-disk install/restore operations will check for specific disk labels during swap times in order to guarantee that the proper files are available. My uneducated guess is that you could accomplish a single disk/thumb drive install by placing each expanded .ISO file into its own subdirectory (not the actual .ISO file but each individual directory and file), named the same as the disk label from the original CDs/DVDs and then edit the original install macro/script file to point to these directories when the disk swaps were supposed to occur.
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Re: Can you combine 4 ISO-files into just 1 big ISO?

#5 Post by shawross » Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:37 pm

I use a program called TotalMounter which allows you to create virtual drives and save these as ISO files. I use this to create a system repair disk for Windows but on their website they say it will allow you to create as many as 8 virtual drives. It is free for CD size ISO files but obviously there may be a charge for what you require.

http://www.kernsafe.com/product/totalmo ... tures.aspx
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Re: Can you combine 4 ISO-files into just 1 big ISO?

#6 Post by jaspen-meyer » Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:17 am

I assume you didn't try my suggestion and therefore can't tell us where/if it failed.

A mac user, wanting to backup an installation DVD to iso, recently came to me for help. I made the iso with dd. Getting to mac to use the usb required spoofing, tricking the OS into mounting the usb as a dvd. As a first step, burn disk 1 to usb and get it to boot.

rkawakami, what do you do with the folders/files once they've been edited? I assume we need a usb drive which is bootable and which runs autoexec.bat, or whatever it's called these days.

If you plan to do this over a network, here's another idea:
install linux on the usb, and copy each iso to the usb's file system. Mount each iso and make them network-accessible. i.e.
here's your home directory
/home/user
and here are the iso files
/home/user/1.iso
/home/user/2.iso
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