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MDS File

An MDS file is an optional media descriptor file that can be generated when creating a disc image from a CD or DVD.

MDS file format is a binary file with the magic number "MEDIA DESCRIPTOR" appearing in the beginning of the file. The MDS file contains metadata about the original media, specifically the position of the layer breaks or layer breach bit, a property of the copy protection feature of DVDs. An MDS file is then used in conjunction with its related disc image to re-create the DVD. It is called an MDS file because of its implemented file extension .mds. It could also be described as being an archive file of MDS format.

MDS file can be created by optical disc imaging applications. The MDS file format is primarily utilized by the commercial application Alcohol 120%. However, it was also used by DVD Decrypter (now ImgBurn) which has since been released to Macrovision by its original author, Lightning UK!. It is presently used in limited fashion by Lightning UK. ImgBurn. Daemon Tools also uses this format to mount/emulate MDS files. CDemu allows the MDS files to be used under Linux.

MDS is one of disk files. It contains track listings and header information for a CD or DVD disk image (.MDF file) created by Alcohol disc imaging software; defines the structure and formatting of the data on the disc.

You can mount MDF+MDS file with Alcohol 120%.

There are 4 ways to mount MDF+MDS file as a virtual disk:

1 Using file association

Open WinMount main window.

Click the Option drop down menu.

Select Options-File Association and tip MDF to be associated with Mount.


2 Using right-click menu

On MDF+MDS, right-click drop down menu.

Click WinMount3 -> Mount to new drive.

WinMount will mount it to a new virtual disk.


Mount the MDF+MDS file to a new virtual drive. Assign a disk letter for the MDF+MDS file.

You can assign a disk for the MDF+MDS file, such as H: or K: or whatever you like.

  1. Click the button Mount to on the toolbar of WinMount main interface(or right-click the MDF+MDS file and select Mount to...).


  1. Select a MDF+MDS file and select a drive. Then WinMount would mount the MDF+MDS file to the assigned disk.


You can also input a path for the MDF+MDS file.

For example, select "H:" and input "folder\folder1", then the MDF+MDS file would be mount to "H:\folder\folder1".

3 Using toolbar

  1. Click the button Mount File on the toolbar of WinMount main interface;


  1. Select an MDF+MDS files and click Ok. WinMount will mount it to a new virtual disk.

4 Using drag

Drag a MDF+MDS file to WinMount main interface. WinMount will mount it to a new virtual disk.

When attempting to burn or mount a CD disc image file, you may occasionally encounter the MDS format. While this file type is essentially the same thing as an .iso file, there are many programs which do not recognize it. As such, it can be a useful tool to learn how to convert MDS files into different disc image types for the greatest level of compatibility.


Things You'll Need:

  • A Disc Image File

  • Modern disc burning program, such as PowerISO, MagicISO, Alcohol 120%, or Nero Burning ROM.





Alcohol 120%


Nero Burning ROM


Step 1

Download a copy of any of the programs. If you are using a different program, you may skip this step.

Step 2

Run the installer, and install the program to your computer. Once it is installed, run the program.

Step 3

Locate the MDS file you wish to convert. Open the MDS file; you should see the contents of the disc image in the file manager. If you do not see a listing of the contents your image file may be corrupted.

Step 4

Select Save As under the File tab. Navigate to the folder you wish to save your converted disc image in. Rename the file, and save it as an .iso file. The file should now load normally in most applications. You may also need a .bin file on rare occasions, both programs are capable of opening and saving in the .bin file type as well.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some modern operating systems can automatically convert .mds files to .iso simply by renaming the file extension. You may wish to attempt this prior to downloading a new program.

  • When modifying a disc image, you may wish to save a copy of the original in a different location in case of any irreparable changes made to the image while attempting to convert it.

If you want to burn MDS file, you can try to use MagicISO to do this. The following instructions will guide through it.


Step 1

Download MagicISO and install it on your computer.

Step 2

Click 1 button to show this dialog.


Step 3

Choose your CD/DVD Writer.


Step 4

Insert CD/DVD writable disc to driver.

Step 5

If writable disc is not blank, Please click Erase button to blank CD.


Step 6

Enter MDS filename which you want to burn into CD Image file editbox.


Step 7

Choose CD or DVD Writing Speed.


Step 8

Choose which mode to burn CD. You can choose Mode 1 or Mode 2/XA.


Step 9

Check optional Test Writer and Burn Proof.


Step 10

Click Burn It! button to process.