While searching for inspiration for 3D programming ideas, I decided to play a few old games for a few minutes to get the feel for the classics. In so doing, I had one game that the CD was burnt using Nero, which saved the CD as an NRG file. Unfortunately, Linux can’t natively use NRG files without some tweaking or special programs.

What Linux can do, however, is convert the NRG files to standard ISO file formats which can be used in Windows. A quick duckduckgo search lead me here: http://ubuntuhandbook.org/index.php/2013/09/one-command-to-convert-nrg-to-iso-in-ubuntu-linux/

In the article, it suggests using nrg2iso, which should be available in the Ubuntu repository. While it was available, and seemed to work, the end result was an unusable file that took up over 600 mb of space and couldn’t be mounted as a CD. So, I had to keep digging. A quick apt-cache search for nrg gave me some clues:

alaskalinuxuser@alaskalinuxuser-OptiPlex-7010:~/Downloads$ apt-cache search nrg
libcdio-dev - library to read and control CD-ROM (development files)
libcdio17 - library to read and control CD-ROM
acetoneiso - feature-rich application to mount and manage CD and DVD images
bashburn - simplify cd/dvd burning at the command line
ecm - prepares CD image files so they compress better
furiusisomount - ISO, IMG, BIN, MDF and NRG image management utility
fuseiso - FUSE module to mount ISO filesystem images
golang-github-disintegration-imaging-dev - Simple Go image processing package
iat - Converts many CD-ROM image formats to iso9660
nrg2iso - Extracts ISO9660 data from Nero ".nrg" files

Iat looked interesting, online I could only find a page in German, stating it is an ISO9660 Analyzer Tool, but other searching online revealed it could be used for converting nrg files to iso’s as well. So, I gave it a try:

alaskalinuxuser@alaskalinuxuser-OptiPlex-7010:~/Downloads$ sudo apt-get install iat
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following NEW packages will be installed:
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 28 not upgraded.
Need to get 7,056 B of archives.
After this operation, 24.6 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Get:1 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu bionic/universe amd64 iat amd64 0.1.3-7build1 [7,056 B]
Fetched 7,056 B in 0s (21.2 kB/s)
Selecting previously unselected package iat.
(Reading database ... 280573 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack .../iat_0.1.3-7build1_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking iat (0.1.3-7build1) ...
Setting up iat (0.1.3-7build1) ...
Processing triggers for man-db (2.8.3-2ubuntu0.1) ...
alaskalinuxuser@alaskalinuxuser-OptiPlex-7010:~/Downloads$ iat ./Mechcom_gold.nrg ./Mechcom_gold.iso
Iso9660 Analyzer Tool v0.1.3 by Salvatore Santagati
Licensed under GPL v2 or later

Detect Signature ISO9660 START at 339968
Detect Signature ISO9660 START at 342016
Detect Signature ISO9660 at 344064

 Image offset start at 307200
 Sector header 0 bit
 Sector ECC 0 bit
 Block 2048

And the result was a success! Not only did it complete properly, but the generated ISO file was usable in Linux. So now I can play some games… er, conduct my research.

Linux – keep it simple.

2 Replies to “Convert Nero’s NRG to standard ISO file format”

  1. I had to jump through hoops to convert my old game CDs that I had preserved on disk. Back in the pre-NT kernel days (i.e., Windows 95 and 98), “CD Copier Pro” was a brilliant piece of software that stored CD contents in some format that is hard to find these days, and the extension was .FCD. I think I had to find some funky shareware tool to convert the .FCD files to the proper .iso format we use nowadays. The NT-kernel replacement software was named “Virtual Drive Manager” I think, which could use some .VCD format which may or may not have been .iso with minor extensions, and just .ISO format. Good times, and good games!

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