How to burn a CD with Windows XP

Information Superhighway

photo credit: nickwheeleroz (on holiday)

Floppy disks have long since departed from the computer landscape. Most comptuer companies have not included floppy drives as standard equipment for at least two years.  I say good riddance except for one thing…they were easy to use. Computer users felt comfortable copying and backing up information to these slow, yet convenient drives.

For quick and roomy storage today, I recommend flash memory drives (click here for a tip describing these).

However, almost all computers now come with a CD/DVD burner drive…a CD/DVD drives capable of creating (burning) CD’s. Capable is the operative word in this sentence because many computer users still feel daunted by the task of  burning a CD. Windows XP aims to  help simplify the process and does a reasonably good job at it. Here’s how to burn a CD with Windows XP:

  1. Go to the folder containing the files you want to copy to a CD (usually My Documents)

  2. Find the files or folders you want to copy and RIGHT click on them (remember you can use Ctrl+Click to select multiple files or folders)

  3. Click the Send To option, then your CD/DVD recordable drive letter (may be D or E in most cases)

  4. Repeat this process for any files and folders you want to copy (keeping in mind that the maximum storage available on a CD is 650-700 megabytes)

  5. When you are finished, insert your blank disk (or previously copied disk)

  6. Click ‘cancel’ on the windows that appears

  7. Click Start —> My Computer

  8. Double-click your CD drive icon and a window will pop with the files and folders you selected. They will be in a section called “files ready to be written to CD)

  9. Click the “write these files to CD” link in the left hand task panel and follow the on-screen wizard.

You can repeat this process over and over until the CD is full…yes, you can write and rewrite to a CDR using this method…you just can’t delete files from a CDR.

You will not be able to backup directly to this drive using only the Windows software. To backup financial or other info to a CD, first save it on your desktop or some other designated place and then follow above steps.

Windows XP does not allow you to burn DVDs with this method, but Windows Vista does. In addition to using this method for burning CDs, your computer might also have a copy of Nero, Roxio, or Sonic burning software installed. You can use these programs to burn data CDs and/or DVDs as well.

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