Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Burning Files and Folders to CD

Sometimes it is necessary to copy data off your computer to a removable media, like a CD or DVD. So to handle situations like this, Windows XP comes with CD burning software built in to the Windows Explorer.

A standard CD can hold about 650 Megabytes, but some newer non-standard higher-capacity CDs can hold more data (i.e.: 700MB+). I have not used this media so I can't offer any advise as far as compatibility with current and older drives.

To create a CD, follow the instructions below:
  • Insert a blank CD in to your CD recorder drive.
  • Open 'My Computer' under the Start menu.
  • Select the files or folders you want to copy to the CD (To select multiple items, hold down the CTRL key and click the files or folders you want to copy).
  • Then, under the File and Folder Tasks pane, click 'Copy this file', 'Copy this folder', or 'Copy the selected items' (the option will change depending on what items you selected).
  • In the Copy Items dialog box, find your CD recording drive click on it and then press the Copy button.
  • In My Computer, double-click the CD recording drive.
A window will open, and will show all the files and folders that will be copied to the CD when your ready to commit the files. Double check to make sure that these are all the files and folders that you want to copy. After you write these files to the CD, you can not add or delete these files. If you're using a re-writable CD you will have to reformat the CD and start over again.
  • Under 'CD Writing Tasks' pane, click the link 'Write these files to CD'.
  • The 'CD Writing Wizard' will be displayed, follow the instructions in the wizard.
Note: If you have low hard drive space you will not be able to write the files to CD. Windows makes temporary copies of all files that you're going to write to the CD on your local hard drive. You will need about a Gigabyte of free space to create a CD.

Bonus Tip:
It's useful to check the CD after you finish burning it to make sure that the files copied properly. So to help make this confirmation process easier, you should turn off the feature that automatically ejects the CD when the data transfer process is finished.

To stop the CD drive from automatically ejecting the CD:
  • Open 'My Computer' under the Start menu.
  • Right-click your CD recording drive, and then select Properties.
  • Click the Recording tab, uncheck the 'Automatically eject the CD after writing' checkbox.

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