Creating a hybrid CD-ROM
(HFS/ISO) with Hybridator

Summary: Walkthrough showing how to build on a PC a hybrid Macintosh/ISO CD-ROM containing two parts: an ISO partition to be seen on the PC, a Macintosh (HFS) partition to be seen on the Macintosh. You can't change anything to the Macintosh partition and files aren't shared.


This page presents the steps to build a hybrid (HFS/ISO) CD-ROM on a PC. All the work is done with your usual burning software and with our Hybridator. Hybridator is freeware and can be downloaded from this site.
Our hybrid CD-ROM is built from two parts. An ISO image built the usual way in your favorite burning software, and data stored on a Macintosh (HFS) disk, which will be copied in whole. The ISO partition will be accessible to PC users, and the HFS partition is only readable on a Macintosh. The files are not shared between both partitions. If you want to share the files, see the page on Producing Macintosh CD-ROMs with MacImage. To build a Macintosh only CD-ROM from a disk, see the other walkthrough with Hybridator.

Creating the ISO image

In your favorite burning software, create a CD-ROM project the usual way. But instead of burning the files on a CD-ROM, ask to save the project as an ISO image (a file on the hard disk storing le contents of the future CD-ROM). Most software packages offer such features, at least in their "full" version (not the one bundled for free with a CD-ROM burner). Please refer to your manual or to the on-line help to know how to do in your particular package.

Origin of Macintosh data

Start Hybridator. Its main screen is following:

Click on the "Browse" button to select the drive holding the Macintosh HFS drive. This drive must be a HFS volume and it must be a local drive. You can't access a networked drive this way. In the case of a networked drive (NTFS drive holding Macintosh files, for an example), please see our FAQ. In the case of a MS-DOS formatted volume holding Macintosh files copied by Apple PC-Exchange (now File Exchange), please see also the FAQ.
Since the whole contents of the drive will be copied onto the CD-ROM, the size of the Macintosh drive plus the size of the ISO image should be less than 650 MB (or the remaining space in the case of a multisession CD-ROM).
If the drive is partitionned, Hybridator lets you select the partition you want to copy.

Target image

Since we are building a hybrid (HFS/ISO) volume in this walkthrough, select the "ISO Image" button in the "Target" box. You can type the filename directly or click the "Browse" button to locate the target file in any subfolder of your disk.
You must naturally have enough free room on the disk (up to 650 MB, depending on the size of the original Macintosh volume and on the size of the ISO image).
Now, click on the "Start" button to launch the copy. That's all. You can exit Hybridator.

Burning the CD-ROM

You have now to launch your favorite burning software and ask it to burn the CD-ROM from the image file. The way to do it depends on the software. Please see our FAQ on CD-ROMs for instructions on how to do it with several packages. Please consult also our FAQ on MacImage for some useful comments in the context of making Macintosh CD-ROMs on a PC.

Limits of this method

This method is quite simple, but there are some limits, which must be fully understood.
First, if you have data files which must be seen in both partitions, you have to copy the files twice, once in the ISO partition, once in the HFS partition.
Second, you can't access the HFS partition to modify it, and you have to copy it in whole.
Our program MacImage solves both problems.
See also the FAQ of MacImage and the more general FAQ on CD-ROMs for more answers to common problems.

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