Burn DMG file on Windows

Those who buy a new Apple computer and move to the Mac OS X desktop platform from Windows would soon notice a disparity of the installation packages used. In Windows, the extension of an executable file is either MSI or EXE, and when it comes to Mac, it is PKG or APP. Some Mac software is also circulated in DMG format, which is actually a mountable disk image extension with inbuilt compression and security features. DMG helps a software vendor to pack several application files and libraries together for easy shipping. When an end-user clicks on a DMG file, it mounts on the system and opens up the read-only, compressed files enclosed. The installer app included in Mac OS X takes up these files and completes the installation. Since DMG is a disk image, it is comparable with ISO and other Windows formats to some extent.

So, what is the scope of a DMG file in Windows?

DMG as an installer package works only in Mac, but then, you know it’s an archive/disk image too. A number of disk burning/archiving applications in Windows support DMG extension so that we can extract or make changes to the contents of a DMG bundle even if a Mac is not readily available.

DMG in Windows
Nevertheless, most of the people taking a Disk Image to Windows platform search for a method to burn it to bootable DVD. This becomes a necessity when a Mac gets corrupted, and one lose access to/don’t have a Macintosh installer disc, or if someone wants to re-install the latest OS X 10.7 Lion, 10.8 Mountain Lion or 10.9 Mavericks in offline mode. Since Windows PC is common it is easy to get one and manipulate a DMG file to rescue a Mac in dead stage.

Burn DMG file in Windows.

Want to learn how you can create a bootable OS X backup DVD by using Windows tools? Just follow the instructions given in the next video to start with. Requisites for this project is a DMG copy of the OS X downloaded from the Mac App Store, a few software and a DVD.

Our aim is to burn the DMG file (which is not natively supported by Windows) to a Disc with possible workarounds. Burning a DMG file in Windows involves extracting the target disk image  (Mountain Lion here) and restoring the resulting file to a DVD using TransMac.

1. Download 7ZIP here: 7zip is one of the best PC freeware for viewing or extracting the contents of a DMG file in Windows. Install 7ZIP and open the original DMG file with it. Search through the archive until you locate InstallESD.DMG- this is the file we are going to write to a DVD.
2. Download TransMac for Windows here. (15-day trial)
3. Run TransMac as an Administrator.
3. Insert a Dual layer DVD (8.5GB) to the disk drive.
4. Restore the InstallESD.DMG to the DVD as described in the video.
5. Restart to find OS X installer DVD in the boot menu.

The procedure is a bit different in OS X 10.9 Mavericks. In 10.9, we have to extract a file called basesystem.DMG, expand it, and manually add a few files to it to create a disk image, and then burn it to a DVD using TransMac. We will update the article once Apple releases the final version of the new OS.

Convert a DMG file to ISO or IMG or NRG

Programs like UltraISO can be used to mount a DMG file to a virtual drive in Windows environments. This enables you to view the internal files inside the disk, exactly like it appears in Mac. UltraISO also hosts a wide variety of tools that let you convert DMG to Windows readable disk image formats like ISO, IMG or NRG, which we could easily edit or modify if required. UltraISO is shareware; still its 30-day trial is more than enough for an average user. The conversion facility offered by UltraISO is demonstrated in the following video.

Apart from this, there is a disk burner module in UltraISO, capable of writing Mac OS X Install Image (InstallESD.DMG) directly to a DVD. UltraISO is the best option if you’re planning for a Hackintosh (run OS X on Windows desktop), and want to make an ISO version of the  OS X installer from DMG.

NOTE: If you’re converting a DMG  for writing a bootable disc in Windows make sure that it is the correct file we input. When you check the first video, you can see that there are a few more DMG files inside the original OS X Mountain Lion disk image, and we actually have to extract a file called “InstallESD.DMG” before conversion.

If UltraISO is unable to convert your DMG file, you can try DMG2IMG as an alternative.

Download DMG2IMG here, and extract the files to a folder.

Right-click on the “InstallESD.DMG” file you’ve extracted. In the context menu that opens up, select “open with”–>explorer–>DMG2IMG folder and point it to the executable. You will then see a command line conversion window if the DMG file is compatible and an IMG file in the same folder, a few seconds later. This application will return an IMG file of 0KB size if the input is not in suggested specs, that when it has more DMG files inside it. If you face this error, open it using 7zip and look inside the folders for a non-extractable DMG file.


  1. Dear Sir

    Thank you very much for this advise. it worked me fine. I was scratching my mind for the solution for the last three days. Pl. keep posting such kind of great tips. Thanks a lot.

  2. Yep its’ working the ISO file I’ve used ! thanx a lot mate!

  3. Didn’t work for me i’m afraid, also tried Power ISO. Am i doing something wrong?

  4. Does not work with UltraISO, convert errors out with message… Invalid or unknown image file format.

  5. Does not work for me either. Like Decker posted, I also get an error “Invalid or unknown image file format” when i point to my .dmg file. I also use 9.5.2 build 2836.

  6. After posting this I found the same issue on the UltraISO forum.
    Here is the solution.
    Open UltraISO options> GO to configurations and then click on the tab integration.
    From the list select DMG extension and hit OK. Now you can convert your ISO file directly to DMG.

  7. converted well… thanx :d

  8. After I convert the .dmg to .iso and burn it to DVD can I then use it on a MAC. I’m try to get Lion from my Windows 7 computer to a Mac Book Pro. Or can I just transfer the .dmg file from my Windows 7 computer to the MAC via a flash drive? I haven’t tried anything yet I was just wondering which is the best route to go before I start. Thanks for any help.

    • Convert the Lion DMG file (InstallESD) to an ISO file compatible with Windows and burn it to a DVD. Use this media for a clean OS X Lion installation in your Macbook PRO. I did the same, and I’m sure that it will work.

    • JMAC, I did what John said and it worked like a charm. I have a 2007 Macbook Pro that was running lion. I am selling the laptop so I went CTL+R to enter utilities and erase the harddrive hoping to have it in factory setup mode. Well, I erased the drive and once powered on the laptop was automatically booting into utilities. I tried to do the Netdownload option but after the Apple servers scanned my computer and looked into my account, I received a quick message stating that there wasn’t a Purchase of Lion associated with my Apple ID. The only way that I could get this thing to work was to Create an Install Disk at home or take it to Apple. I took it to the Apple Store here in Maryland but they were jam packed. I got frustrated because I was running late for an appointment. I discovered this site and converted Lion.DMG to an ISO using Ultra ISO and then burned it to a DVD again using Ultra ISO. I inserted the disk into my laptop and from Utilities I selected the “Start Up Disk” the laptop identified the dvd and rebooted back into utilities. From there I selected the “Reinstall Mac OSX” option. Like magic, it worked like a charm.

  9. Can’t convert .dmg Mac os 10.7.4 using UltraISO 9.5.3

    • i was trying to do this with the mac osx InstallESD.dmg but it would fail regardless of what converter i used. i had to download 7zip and extract InstallESD.dmg which had another InstallESD.dmg inside it. i was then able to convert that dmg file to a img with imgtodmg and ultraiso.

  10. sir , i tried this but a invalid or unknown file format is that

  11. Santanu says:

    Thank you dude……

  12. hi i tried the configurations but still can’t convert there no others software?

  13. jim@ technology news says:

    Thanks, I was able to convert and run snow leopard on my pc

  14. pisshead says:

    Doesn;t work for InstallESD.dmg = bad image format errors with both apps.. thanks anyway (lion 10.7.2 dmg)

  15. Prosenjit says:

    Using ultra iso i have changed the format to iso and burn it to a dvd. But when I want to installed a fresh copy in my Intel desktop, I cant. It dose not a bootable dvd.
    How can I make that image to bootable to take boot from dvd for a fresh installation of MAC OSX Lion.

  16. PowerISO

    no one can burn dmg file

    so how can i burn this dmg file in Windows….?

  17. hey guys i give you one worning and solution.

    solution and worning is that first you will copy your dmg file any other place because if you do anything wrong so your dmg file is damage .and ultra iso is very great thing

  18. udontknowme says:

    This worked for me on Ultraiso or atleast the .dmg to .iso conversion worked. However the image size is 4.6gb and ultraiso reports total size is 4149gb. Hitting the burn burn with a fresh 4.7gb dvd occurs with an error of “error verifying blocks on media (2321743 needed, 2295104 available).

    So im guessing you need eithe a dual layer empy dvd disc. I have drive capable but not the media :(

  19. thanks thats working man

  20. Thank you for this post. This was a great help. Struggled and googled for two days until I found your post. Thanks

  21. Did not work for me. TransMac did work though.

  22. After getting errors as well I solved it a completely different way. I copied the dmg file to my usb stick, then put the stick into the laptop and burned it from there. But then of course you must already have a computer with a macos installed =P

  23. Please use MacDrive 9 to mount OSX DMG in Windows and use MacDrive burner to burn mounted DMG to the blank disc as Mac disc. BTW MacDrive is not free so that is the only set back but it could be an essential tool if you have both PCs and Macs in your home.

  24. Chandan Jaiswal says:

    Download application called Win32diskimager or Unnetboot (MAC or Other Unnetboot is the bast.

  25. i have apple macbookpro which came without os, i downloaded the mountain lion and follows the screen instruction to convert to iso and burn to cd through windows which i have done it, yet when i place the cd into the apple and boot, it cannot load the cd … it just boot the ibm secure data disposal utility that was used to wipe off the original data, please what is the way out. thank you

  26. It’s difficult, no esier way?

  27. i have a macbook 1st version in which 10.4 .. so i am try installed new version 10.6 but not installed error show machine backup .. so i am new download 10.5 but i dont know how to installed i have window 7 i have .iso file 10.5

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