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It sounds to me like you just burned the ISO to the disk.
In Roxio, did you specify to burn from a CD image? If not, you need to do that. If you open Roxio, click on File, and near the bottom it will say record from image. Check that, make sure it looks for iso files, find the Mandrake iso's and burn em.
Assuming you did that correctly, it's also possible you downloaded some bad iso's....then you'll have to redownload them again.
Ok first off:
read this link "What is a Linux ISO?" http://linuxiso.org/viewdoc.php/isofaq.html#whatisiso
Next, you don't save the iso file to the cd, you burn the iso as an image to the cd, which creates folders, files, and bootup stuff that is needed to boot your computer with . That's it!
As for burning: here's a link to a howto for nero http://linuxiso.org/viewdoc.php/neroburning.html Or, you could order preburnt cds from vendors for cheap bucks (like $1 per cd) i don't know any off of the top of my head, but i've been to many such sites before.. just google something
Not sure if I totally understand the post, but I'll give it a shot.
First - you can use Nero to burn .iso files by selecting "Burn Image", however, if you're in windows (which I'm assuming you are) I prefer MagicISO.
After burning the discs, you need to go into the setup of your machine on bootup (usually done with DEL or F1) and change the boot order to boot from CDROM first.
Distribution: Red Hat, Slackware, Smoothwall, Fedora, Mandrake, *BSD
If you're using Roxio, all you should need to do is RIGHT click on the .iso files and select "record to CD" on the menu which appears. This will burn a CD from the iso image file, instead of just copying the iso file itself to the cd