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Using CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs

Started by bamalli, July 27, 2009, 08:47:31 PM

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 Using CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs

Over the past few weeks, we have gotten many questions on copying files from the computer to a CD and vice versa. The following articles, taken from our newsletter archives, address some of these questions.

Putting Files on a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM Disk

Computers that have CD or DVD writers generally come with writing software. Since writing programs vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, the following steps will be very general, but, hopefully, will help you get started.

The first step is finding your CD or DVD writing program. Open the Start menu and look under Programs. Look for CD or DVD writing, burning or something similar. Open the program.

If you get choice for writing manually or using a wizard, pick the wizard. If not, proceed to the next step.

You will have to choose what type of CD or DVD you want to create, music/audio or data. If you want to put files on the CD or DVD, choose Data.

The next step would be selecting the files you want to put on the CD or DVD. Most programs will show the Windows file structure, with the folders and files in one pane, where they can be selected and then added to the Write list. You may see an Add button, or be able to drag and drop the file into the pane to create your Write list.

Once you have added all the files you want, look for the option to write to the CD or DVD.

Some writing programs will give you the option to test the disk. You may want to test the disks the first few times you use the writer. If they always test ok, in the future you can skip this step.

While the CD or DVD is being written to, do not work with your computer, especially opening or closing programs. The writing process can be interrupted, causing what is called a buffer underrun error, and it could make your disk unusable.

The Writing program will usually let you know when the process is complete. You can then close the program and remove the disk from the drive.


Copy to a CD or DVD with Windows XP CD or DVD Copier

Question: How do I put my files onto a CD or DVD? I use Microsoft Word and Windows XP.

If you are using Windows XP, you do not need to buy expensive CD or DVD -recording software. If your computer has a CD-RW or DVD-RW drive, Windows XP comes with built in CD burning software that will do the job for you.

When you insert a blank disk in your ROM drive, Windows XP will ask you if you want to open a writable CD folder. Click OK.

This folder is where you will temporarily store files that you want to put on a CD. You can copy files to this folder by dragging and dropping them or open Windows Explorer, copy the file and paste into the temp folder.

When you have all the files you want to put on the CD, you are ready to write to the disk. Click on Write these files to CD, which you will see on the left side of the CD folder window. All the files that you put into the temporary folder will be copied to the CD.

Note: files can be copied to a CD-R disk only one time while a CD-RW disk can be used over and over. If you are using a CD-R disk, make sure that you put all the files you want to copy into the temporary folder. Once you have put these files on the CD-R, you will not be able to add any more.


Copy Files from a CD or DVD to Your Computer

Question: How can I copy the contents of a CD to my hard drive?

First, make a place on the hard drive to store files from the CD. For now, make a folder on the desktop. That will be easy to find later. And, in the future, if you want to move it to the My Documents folder, all you have to do is drag it in.

To make a folder, right click on a blank spot on your desktop. In the menu that you now see, point to New and then click Folder. A folder will appear on the desktop with the name New Folder highlighted in blue. Type a name for your folder, and it will replace the highlighted name.

Now you have a folder on the hard drive for the CD files. Double click on it to open it.

Put the CD in the drive and close it. A window should open automatically, listing all the files on the CD. If it does not open, double click on the My Computer icon, and then double click on the CD drive.

There are now two windows open on your desktop; one has the contents of the CD, and the other is the empty folder on the hard drive.

Arrange the windows so they are side by side, each taking up approximately half of the screen. To do this, right click on a blank spot on the taskbar (the bar across the bottom of the screen). From the resulting menu, click Tile Windows Vertically. The two windows will now line up next to each other.

In the window with the CD files, click Edit on the menu, and then click Select All. All the files will be highlighted. Point to any of the highlighted files, hold down the left mouse button, and drag into the other window (the empty folder on the hard drive). Give the files a few moments to copy.

The files from the CD will now be in the folder on the desktop. You can remove the CD from the drive.

To open any of the files you copied from the CD, double click on the folder icon, and then double click on the file you want to open. The file will open in the appropriate program.