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Using CD Rewriteable Drives

Before You Begin:

ITS provides limited support for this quicknote.  It is provided for informational purposes and questions regarding this quicknote will be answered to the best of our knowledge but are out of the scope of the ITS Helpdesk training.

To follow the directions given in this Quicknote, you must use a computer with either Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7. For other operating systems you will have to refer to the Users manual for directions on CD burning. The directions provided here work best with computers on campus, but may work for computers off campus that are also running one of the three mentioned operating systems. It is always best to have several ways to access important documents. Consider using your Personal Drive (H:\ drive), a USB/flash drive, or emailing smaller documents/files to yourself for access from other computers.

The differences between a CD-R and a CD-RW are that a CD-R can only have information written to it one time and the information cannot be removed or erased, whereas a CD-RW can have information written to it multiple times and the information can be removed or erased. For a more detailed description of a CD-R and CD-RW please refer to the “What is a CD-RW” Quicknote.

 Using CD Rewriteable Drives in Windows Vista/7

Windows Vista and Windows 7 give users the option to burn a CD using either the Live or Mastered format. The Live format is compatible with only PCs running vista/7, while the Mastered format will work with older versions of Windows.

 Live Format Burning Instructions

  1. Insert either a CD-R or CD-RW into your CD-Rom drive.
  2. Click Burn files to data disc in the dialog box that appears.
  3. Click Next in the Burn a Disc dialog box.
  4. Open the folder that contains the files you want to burn and drag the files into the empty disc folder. As files are dragged and dropped, they are automatically copied to the disc.

Master Format Burning Instructions

  1. Insert either a CD-R or CD-RW into your CD-Rom drive.
  2. Click Burn files to data disc in the dialog box that appears.
  3. Type a name for this disc in the Burn a Disc dialog box and then click Show formatting options.
  4. Click Mastered and then click Next.
  5. Open the folder which contains the files you want to burn. Drag the files into the empty disc folder and click Burn to disc. The files will now be burned to the disc.

Erasing a CD-RW in Windows Vista/7

  1. Open Computer by clicking Start and then Computer.
  2. Click the drive icon for your rewriteable drive.
  3. Click Erase this disc.

Using CD Rewriteable Drives in Windows XP

  1. Insert either a CD-R or CD-RW into your CD rewriteable drive.
  2. Right-click on the file you would like to burn to the CD.
  3. Select Send To and choose your CD-Rom drive.
  4. If you have previously send a file with the same name to the CD it will ask you if you want to replace the file. If you do not wish to replace the file select Cancel and rename the file before trying to add it to the CD again.
  5. Once you have repeated steps 2-3 with all files you would like to burn to the CD, proceed to step 5. Please note: Windows does NOT keep track of the space available on a CD. You must keep track of the space you have used on the CD and how much you have left. To view a file’s size, do the following: right-click on the file, select Properties, and the file size will be displayed. There are typically between 650 MB and 700 MB available on a CD. 1 MB = 1000 KB and 1 KB = 1000 Bytes.
  6. Open My Computer and right-click on your CD drive.
  7. Select Write these files to CD. The CD Writing Wizard will now open.
  8. Enter a name for your CD in the CD name text box. Check the box to close the wizard once the files have been written and click Next.
  9. Your files have now been burned to the CD.

Erasing a CD-RW in Windows XP

The directions in this section apply only to CD-RWs. You cannot erase a CD-R. If you do not see the options described below you are not using a CD-RW.

  1. Open My Computer.
  2. Double-click on your CD Rewriteable drive in My Computer to open it.
  3. In the CD Writing Tasks pane click Erase this CD-RW. The CD Writing Wizard will now appear. Click Next and the CD will be erased. Erasing a CD will remove all information contained on it. Make sure there aren’t any files on the disc that you will need before you erase it.

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