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ISO files are CD or DVD disc image files based on the ISO-9660 standard, containing uncompressed copies of the data on the original disc.
They can also include the filesystem data, like boot code, file attributes and folder structures.
When creating an ISO, the software will duplicate every bit of information at it is on the disc, including the disc header data which is usually lost in the case of regular disc creation.
ISO files can be opened using dedicate software applications or with a file archiver.