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What is IODD and How to Download It for Your IO-Link Device


How to Download and Use IODD Devices for Booting Multiple ISOs




If you are looking for a convenient and versatile way to boot multiple ISO files from a single external HDD, you might want to check out IODD devices. In this article, we will explain what IODD devices are, how to download and use them, and what benefits they offer.




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What is IODD and Why You Need It




IODD stands for IO Device Description




IODD is a standard that describes sensors and actuators with an IO-Link communication interface. It contains information about the device's identity, parameters, process data, diagnosis data, communication properties, and user interface design. The IODD is stored in an XML file that can be read by engineering tools.


IODD devices are external HDD enclosures that can emulate optical drives and flash drives




IODD devices are special external HDD enclosures that can emulate optical drives (CD/DVD) and flash drives (USB) using the IODD standard. This means that you can store multiple ISO files on your HDD and boot from them as if they were physical discs or USB sticks. You can also mount other media types such as VHD (virtual hard disk), RMD (raw media descriptor), or IMA (floppy disk image) files.


IODD devices can boot multiple ISOs without modifying them or using extra tools




One of the main advantages of using IODD devices is that they can boot almost any ISO file without modifying it or using extra tools. You don't need to convert your ISO files to other formats, use third-party software, or create multiple partitions on your HDD. You just need to copy your ISO files to a specific folder on your HDD and select them from the LCD screen on your IODD device. You can also switch between different ISO files on the fly.


How to Download IODD Firmware and Software




Visit the official website of IODD or Zalman




The most popular brands of IODD devices are IODD and Zalman. You can visit their official websites to download the latest firmware and software for your IODD device. The firmware is the program that runs on your IODD device and controls its functions. The software is the program that runs on your PC and allows you to manage your IODD device.


Choose the right firmware and software for your device model and partition type




There are different models of IODD devices, such as IODD-2531, IODD-2541, ZM-VE300, or ZM-VE400. You need to choose the right firmware and software for your device model. You also need to choose the right firmware and software for your partition type. There are two types of partitions: MBR (Master Boot Record) and GPT (GUID Partition Table). MBR is the older and more compatible type, while GPT is the newer and more advanced type. You can check your partition type by using Disk Management on Windows or Disk Utility on Mac.


Follow the instructions to update the firmware and install the software




Once you have downloaded the firmware and software for your IODD device, you need to follow the instructions to update the firmware and install the software. The instructions may vary depending on your device model and partition type, but generally they involve the following steps:



  • Connect your IODD device to your PC via USB cable



  • Backup your data on your HDD



  • Run the firmware updater program and select your IODD device



  • Wait for the firmware update to complete



  • Run the software installer program and follow the prompts



  • Restart your PC and your IODD device



You can find more detailed instructions on the official websites of IODD or Zalman.


How to Prepare Your HDD for IODD




Initialize your HDD as MBR




The first step to prepare your HDD for IODD is to initialize it as MBR. This will create a partition table that defines how your HDD is divided into logical units. To initialize your HDD as MBR, you can use Disk Management on Windows or Disk Utility on Mac. Here are the steps for Windows:



  • Open Disk Management by pressing Windows + R and typing diskmgmt.msc



  • Right-click on your HDD and select Initialize Disk



  • Select MBR as the partition style and click OK



  • Your HDD will be initialized as MBR



Format the first partition as NTFS, FAT32, or exFAT




The next step is to format the first partition of your HDD as NTFS, FAT32, or exFAT. This will create a file system that defines how your data is stored and accessed on your HDD. The file system you choose depends on your preferences and needs, but here are some general guidelines:


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  • NTFS is the most common file system for Windows. It supports large files, encryption, compression, security, and recovery features. However, it is not compatible with some older devices or operating systems.



  • FAT32 is an older file system that is compatible with most devices and operating systems. It supports files up to 4 GB in size, but it does not support encryption, compression, security, or recovery features.



  • exFAT is a newer file system that is compatible with most devices and operating systems. It supports files larger than 4 GB in size, but it does not support encryption, compression, security, or recovery features.



To format the first partition of your HDD as NTFS, FAT32, or exFAT, you can use Disk Management on Windows or Disk Utility on Mac. Here are the steps for Windows:



  • Open Disk Management by pressing Windows + R and typing diskmgmt.msc



  • Right-click on the first partition of your HDD and select Format



  • Select NTFS, FAT32, or exFAT as the file system and click OK



  • Your first partition will be formatted as NTFS, FAT32, or exFAT



Create a folder named _iso in the root directory of the first partition




The final step is to create a folder named _iso in the root directory of the first partition of your HDD. This folder will store all your ISO files that you want to boot from using your IODD device. To create this folder, you can use File Explorer on Windows or Finder on Mac. Here are the steps for Windows:



  • Open File Explorer by pressing Windows + E or clicking the folder icon on the taskbar



  • Navigate to the first partition of your HDD



  • Right-click on an empty space and select New > Folder



  • Name the folder _iso and press Enter



  • Your _iso folder will be created in the root directory of the first partition



Copy your ISO files or folders to the _iso folder




Now you can copy your ISO files or folders to the _iso folder on your HDD. You can use any source of ISO files, such as CDs, DVDs, USBs, downloads, or backups. You can also use any method of copying, such as drag and drop, copy and paste, or cut and paste. You can use File Explorer on Windows or Finder on Mac to copy your ISO files or folders. Here are the steps for Windows:



  • Open File Explorer by pressing Windows + E or clicking the folder icon on the taskbar



  • Navigate to the source of your ISO files or folders



  • Select the ISO files or folders you want to copy



  • Right-click on them and select Copy or Cut



  • Navigate to the _iso folder on your HDD



  • Right-click on an empty space and select Paste



  • Your ISO files or folders will be copied to the _iso folder on your HDD



You can copy as many ISO files or folders as you want, as long as you have enough space on your HDD. You can also organize them into subfolders within the _iso folder if you prefer.


How to Boot from IODD Devices




Connect your IODD device to your PC via USB cable




The first step to boot from IODD devices is to connect your IODD device to your PC via USB cable. You can use any USB port on your PC, but it is recommended to use a USB 3.0 port for faster data transfer. You can also use a USB hub if you need more ports. Once you connect your IODD device, it will be recognized by your PC as an external drive.


Turn on your PC and enter the BIOS or boot menu




The next step is to turn on your PC and enter the BIOS or boot menu. The BIOS is the basic input/output system that controls the hardware settings of your PC. The boot menu is a list of boot options that you can choose from. You need to enter the BIOS or boot menu to change the boot order of your PC and make it boot from your IODD device. To enter the BIOS or boot menu, you need to press a specific key or combination of keys when you see the manufacturer's logo or splash screen on your PC. The key or combination of keys may vary depending on your PC model and brand, but some common ones are:



  • F2, F10, F12, Del, Esc for Dell PCs



  • F1, F2, F10, F12, Esc for HP PCs



  • F2, F12 for Lenovo PCs



  • F2 for Asus PCs



  • F10 for Acer PCs



  • F2 for Samsung PCs



  • F12 for Toshiba PCs



  • F11 for MSI PCs



You can also check your PC manual or online support for the specific key or combination of keys for your PC model and brand.


Select your IODD device as the boot option




Once you enter the BIOS or boot menu, you need to select your IODD device as the boot option. This will make your PC boot from your IODD device instead of your internal HDD or SSD. To select your IODD device as the boot option, you need to use the arrow keys and Enter key on your keyboard. The steps may vary depending on your BIOS or boot menu interface, but generally they involve the following steps:



  • Navigate to the Boot tab or section in the BIOS or boot menu



  • Find the Boot Order or Boot Priority list in the Boot tab or section



  • Move your IODD device to the top of the list using the + or - keys or by dragging and dropping with Enter key



  • Save and exit the BIOS or boot menu by pressing F10 key or selecting Save and Exit option with Enter key



  • Your PC will restart and boot from your IODD device



Use the buttons and LCD screen on your IODD device to select the ISO file you want to boot from




The final step is to use the buttons and LCD screen on your IODD device to select the ISO file you want to boot from. Your IODD device has four buttons and a LCD screen that allow you to navigate and control the device. The buttons are: - Up button: Moves the cursor up or increases the value - Down button: Moves the cursor down or decreases the value - Left button: Moves to the previous menu or cancels the selection - Right button: Moves to the next menu or confirms the selection The LCD screen shows the current status and options of your IODD device. You can use the buttons and LCD screen to select the ISO file you want to boot from by following these steps: - Press the right button to enter the media selection menu - Use the up and down buttons to scroll through the list of media types, such as ISO, VHD, RMD, or IMA - Press the right button to select the media type you want to boot from, such as ISO - Use the up and down buttons to scroll through the list of ISO files or folders in the _iso folder on your HDD - Press the right button to select the ISO file or folder you want to boot from - If you selected a folder, use the up and down buttons to scroll through the list of ISO files in the folder - Press the right button to select the ISO file you want to boot from - Press the save button (the button with a check mark) to confirm your selection and start booting from the ISO file Press the save button to confirm your selection and start booting from the ISO file




Once you have selected the ISO file you want to boot from, you need to press the save button to confirm your selection and start booting from the ISO file. The save button is located on the top of your IODD device and has a check mark symbol on it. When you press the save button, your IODD device will emulate an optical drive or a flash drive depending on your selected media type and mount the ISO file as a virtual disc or USB stick. Your PC will then boot from the ISO file as if it were a physical disc or USB stick.


How to Use Advanced Features of IODD Devices




Encrypt your HDD with AES256-bit XTS encryption and set a PIN code




One of the advanced features of IODD devices is that they can encrypt your HDD with AES256-bit XTS encryption and set a PIN code. This will protect your data from unauthorized access or theft. To encrypt your HDD and set a PIN code, you need to use the software that you installed on your PC. Here are the steps for Windows:



  • Open IODD Manager or Zalman Manager by clicking on its icon on your desktop or taskbar



  • Select your IODD device from the list of devices



  • Click on Encryption tab or section



  • Check Enable Encryption box



  • Enter a PIN code of 4 to 8 digits



  • Confirm your PIN code



  • Click Apply button



  • Your HDD will be encrypted with AES256-bit XTS encryption and protected by a PIN code



After encrypting your HDD, you need to enter your PIN code every time you connect your IODD device to your PC or turn it on. You can also change or remove your PIN code using the same software.


Mount multiple media types at once, such as ISO, VHD, RMD, or IMA files




Another advanced feature of IODD devices is that they can mount multiple media types at once, such as ISO, VHD, RMD, or IMA files. This means that you can access more than one virtual disc or USB stick at a time using your IODD device. To mount multiple media types at once, you need to use the buttons and LCD screen on your IODD device. Here are the steps:



  • Press the right button to enter the media selection menu



  • Use the up and down buttons to scroll through the list of media types, such as ISO, VHD, RMD, or IMA



  • Press and hold the right button to select the media type you want to mount



  • Repeat the steps for each media type you want to mount



  • Press the save button to confirm your selection and start mounting the media types



  • Your IODD device will emulate multiple optical drives or flash drives and mount the media types as virtual discs or USB sticks



You can also unmount the media types by pressing and holding the left button on each media type you want to unmount.


Change the mode of your IODD device to optical drive, removable drive, fixed drive, or dual mode




Another advanced feature of IODD devices is that they can change the mode of your IODD device to optical drive, removable drive, fixed drive, or dual mode. This means that you can change how your PC recognizes your IODD device and how it behaves. To change the mode of your IODD device, you need to use the buttons and LCD screen on your IODD device. Here are the steps:



  • Press the right button to enter the mode selection menu



  • Use the up and down buttons to scroll through the list of modes, such as ODD (optical drive), RMD (removable drive), FDD (fixed drive), or DUAL (dual mode)



  • Press the right button to select the mode you want to use



  • Press the save button to confirm your selection and start using the mode



  • Your IODD device will change its mode and be recognized by your PC accordingly



The modes have different advantages and disadvantages, such as:



  • ODD mode emulates an optical drive and allows you to boot from ISO files. However, it does not support write operations or hot swapping.



  • RMD mode emulates a removable drive and allows you to boot from ISO files. It also supports write operations and hot swapping. However, it may not be compatible with some BIOS or operating systems.



  • FDD mode emulates a fixed drive and allows you to access your HDD as a normal external drive. It also supports write operations and hot swapping. However, it does not allow you to boot from ISO files.



  • DUAL mode combines ODD and FDD modes and allows you to switch between them using a button on your IODD device. It gives you more flexibility and functionality. However, it may cause some confusion or errors if not used properly.



Set your mounted disks as read-only or write-enabled




Another advanced feature of IODD devices is that they can set your mounted disks as read-only or write-enabled. This means that you can control whether you can modify or delete the data on your virtual discs or USB sticks. To set your mounted disks as read-only or write-enabled, you need to use the buttons and LCD screen on your IODD device. Here are the steps:



  • Press the right button to enter the media selection menu



  • Use the up and down buttons to scroll through the list of media types, such as ISO, VHD, RMD, or IMA



  • Press and hold the right button to select the media type you want to set as read-only or write-enabled



Use the up and down buttons to scroll th


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