Copying Files to a CD or DVD

by Barry Dysert
(last updated March 9, 2015)

2

If you have a CD or DVD drive on your computer you can use discs as a type of removable storage medium. These discs provide a great means for storing permanent backups, too. Discs come in many flavors, but you should have either an "-R" (recordable) or "-RW" (rewritable) disc.

To copy files to a disc, insert the disc into the drive. Depending upon the type of disc and your AutoPlay settings, Windows may display the AutoPlay dialog box. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The AutoPlay dialog box.

Note that the letter that Windows assigned to the drive is "D:". This may be different on your system. If the AutoPlay dialog box does appear, just close it. If you now open Windows Explorer, you'll see device "D:" as one of your local drives. Since I inserted a blank CD, when I click on that drive Windows displays the Burn a Disc dialog box. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. The Burn a Disc dialog box.

Here you give a title to your disc and also indicate how you want to use it. If you want the disc to work like a normal read/write disc that you can move, copy, and delete files on, choose the first option ("Like a USB flash drive"). If, instead, you want to create a permanent archive, where you are going to copy an entire collection of files to the disc and then store it somewhere, choose the second option ("With a CD/DVD player"). This tip assumes that you want to use your disc like a USB flash drive, so type in the title, ensure the top radio button is clicked, and click the Next button.

After clicking Next, the disc is formatted and you can subsequently use it as a regular disc drive (although it will be noticeably slower). When you are finished, you can eject the disc. When you want to use it again, re-insert the disc and it will become available as normal drive just as it was before.

 This tip (10116) applies to Windows 7.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 35 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer. He is currently a software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. When not working with Windows or writing Tips, Barry is an amateur writer. His first non-fiction book is titled "A Chronological Commentary of Revelation." ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Understanding Desktop Widgets

Widgets are small, lightweight applications that continually run on your desktop to provide information. You can add, ...

Discover More

Using Windows with a Projector

If you want to show what's on your computer screen through a projector so that others can see it, the process is about as ...

Discover More

Using Robocopy to Mirror Directories

It's simple to use Robocopy when dealing with entire directories. Dealing with directories is what it does best! This top ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Adding Locations to the Search Index

You can fine-tune Indexed Searches by adding locations to the search index. This tip tells you how.

Discover More

Defragmenting a Hard Drive

As files are added, removed, and edited on a hard drive, the files and the disk itself become fragmented. This causes ...

Discover More

Working with Compressed Files and Folders via Zip

Windows 10 provides multiple ways to work with compressed files and folders. One great way is to use the Zip utility, ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 7 - 4?

2015-03-09 10:41:00

Barry

Hi Sharon,

Sorry it's confusing. The thing is, when you prepare a CD/DVD for writing, you can prepare it in one of two ways. One way is by having the CD/DVD be used like a normal hard drive. That is, you can read, write, delete, files on it as long as it's loaded.

The other way to prepare a CD/DVD is for archival purposes. If you do this, you're setting it up to do a one-time write to the disc, after which you'll only be able to read from it. (People used to use DVDs to make backups.)

My tip mentions both ways but goes on to "assume" that you want to use it as a hard drive and therefore tells you to click the top radio button.

Make better sense now?


2015-03-09 10:23:36

Sharon Forest

The paragraph starting with "Here you give ..." is very confusing to me. Maybe I'm not reading it right. You are saying to click the second button for the CD/DVD player and then you say choose the top button. Please further explain. Thank you.


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.