How to Burn a CD/DVD
You have a DVD/CD burner in your computer, but have no idea how to burn a DVD/CD, well here's how.
It's usually pretty easy. Most CD writers come with some kind of DVD/CD writing software. Since this varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, this is going to be a VERY basic lesson. It should help get you started though.
Not sure where your DVD/CD burning program is? It should be lurking somewhere under the Start menu, Programs (it's not necessarily on your desktop or quick launch toolbar).
OK, assuming that you've discovered the location of your DVD/CD burning program, here's how it typically works:
1. First, if you get an option for either writing manually or via a wizard, pick the wizard (you can get fancier later on).
2. OK, now you are probably going to be asked what kind of DVD/CD you want to write, either audio or data. If you're saving files, choose data. If you're pirating music, oops, I mean making a music CD for your own use from your own CDs, choose music.
Note that for music CDs and for stuff you want to archive, a CD-R is your best choice. If you have a CD-RW, use that for data that you may or may not want to save (they don't always work so hot for music, at least from the standpoint that many CD players refuse to play CD-RWs).
3. OK, the next step is probably choosing files. Most of the time you'll get a "Windows Explorer" type interface that lets you either choose files manually or just drag & drop.
4. That should be about it. At this point, you should have an option for writing the CD.
Note that most programs will let you "test" before you write the CD. The first couple times you use the CD burner, this may not be a bad idea. If you find you have no problems, this is probably a step you can safely skip from then on.
During the actual CD writing process, it's best not to mess with your computer. Just stand 4-6 feet away and let it write the CD.
Most DVD/CD recorders record on the fly. If the computer is busy and can't get the info to the CD burner fast enough, you'll get a buffer underrun error - and your CD will be useless (well, you could make a modernistic coaster out of it I suppose).
Burning with Windows XP
Did you know that Windows XP has built-in CD burning software? That's right, and I'm gonna tell you how to use it...
It's actually very easy. Here's all ya do:
1. First, you need to tell Windows what files you want copied to CD. You can do this in a couple of different ways:
Method 1 -
The first method is to right-click the file you want to copy, then select Send To, CD-R (or whatever your CD writer is called).
Of course, you can use your CTRL key to select multiple files then send the whole mess to the CD burner. For more on the exciting world of multiple selections, head to: http://www.worldstart.com/tips/shared/selsavvy.htm
When you do this Send To thing, you'll get a cute little "balloon" from your system tray telling you that the files have been added to your recording list. Click that little balloon and you'll open the list.
Method 2 -
The next method is to open My Computer, then your CD-R or CD-RW drive. It's probably best not to have any CD in the drive at this point, since all the files on that CD will show up and make things a little confusing (OK, I guess a blank CD is alright).
Anyhow, just drag and drop (or copy / paste) the files you need to copy to the open window.
Here I am, draggin' and droppin'...
Note that when you send, drag, or copy these files, it only puts them on a list, it doesn't automatically start making the CD.
2. OK, at this point you should have some files that have been sent to the CD burner. Now it's time to actually make your CD. Note that if you want to sound a bit more hip, you would say it was time to "cut" or "burn" the CD, but I digress.
So, stick a blank (writable) CD into your drive, open My Computer (if it isn't already), then double-click the CD-R/RW drive. You should see the list of files you've selected to record. Note that you may already be on this screen if you either did a Send To and clicked the balloon or if you did the drag & drop thing (since this was where you were dragging & dropping to).
Now, look for the CD Writing Tasks section. It should be at the top left of the screen.
Click the Write these files to CD link and it will start Windows CD burning wizard. From there, just follow the prompts.
Note that if you accidentally stick a file on the list that you don't want on CD, you can remove it by right-clicking the file and selecting Delete. Don't worry, it won't delete the file from your computer, just from the CD writing list.