What Is Burning a CD or DVD?
The term "burning a CD or DVD" refers to the
process of copying data, such as documents, music, or any other type of data to
Different Types of Media
The media refers to the blank discs you
purchase to burn the data to using your CD or DVD Burner drive in your
There are different types
of media to choose from depending on what type of data, and how much you
are copying to the disk. Different media has different capacities.
Basically speaking, you will use either a CD which will give you
about 700 MB of space to copy to or a DVD which will you
4.7G (4,700 MB!) or more if you use what is called a
Dual Layer disk. For full details on DVD formats and capacities,
see our DVD 101 page here. CDs and DVDs both have
a variations of each media. The post common is CD-R
or DVD-R. The "R" represents
Record once to the disk and it is done. In other words what you copy to
a CD-R or DVD-R disc is written to the disk and you cannot add more data
and DVD-RW for ReWritable media usually has
the capacity as the "R" version but the big difference is that you can
copy data to an RW , delete files off of it, or add more data later.
Similar to copying to or from a regular drive on your computer with drag
and drop functionality.
difference in using RW media is that it must be FORMATTED prior to use
the first time which usually takes a while depending on your burner.
With the "R" type media you do not have to format first, it does it on
the fly during the initial burn process. For more information or to
compare media types see our CD Burners page
What you will need:
- A DVD or CD Burner drive. This is
different from a DVD or CD-ROM (compact disc, read-only
memory) drive. These come
in a wide price range. There are many configurations and speeds. The higher
the speed, the quicker the burn.
- A CD burning software program.
You will usually get some sort of burning software with your DVD or CD
burner the most popular being either Roxio or Nero.
For more info visit: www.roxio.com or
* NOTE that Windows Vista and Windows 7 have integrated a
great drag and drop burring utility. Using this method you do not need a
burning software at all. You simply insert your blank media, and drag your
data to it like so:
- Blank recordable CD or DVD media discs as
Turn off your screen saver. Close any other programs. It's a good idea to start
with a freshly booted computer. Better-safe-than-sorry works here. You don't
want the burning program to crash and leave you stuck with a "coaster"
just because someone sent you an instant message in the middle of things. (A
coaster is slang for a dead CD-R).
There are two ways to go here. You will
either use the software that came with your burner as mentioned above.
Or if you are in Windows 7 for example you can use the built in
burning utility using the drag and drop function.
- If you are using the software that
came with your burner such as Roxio or Nero please refer to the
tutorials in those programs for step by step instructions.
- If you are using Windows 7 follow
these instructions, this is the easiest method:
writable disc, such as a CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, or
DVD+RW disc, into your computer's CD, DVD, or Blu-ray
AutoPlay dialog box that
appears, click Burn files to disc
Explorer. If the AutoPlay dialog box doesn't
appear, click the Start
button , click Computer,
and then double-click your disc burner.
Burn a Disc dialog box, type
a name for this disc in the Disc title
box, click With a CD/DVD player,
and then click Next.
folder that contains the files you want to burn, and
then drag the files into the empty disc folder. To
select more than one item, press and hold the Ctrl key,
and then click the files you want to burn.
toolbar, click Burn to disc,
and then follow the steps in the wizard.
files are copied to the disc. When the disc burning is
complete, the disc burner tray will open and you can
remove the disc. You can now use the disc in another
computer or in a CD or DVD player
TECH TIP: Take the time to
learn how to use your CD or DVD Burner by going through the process
a few times. It takes a little practice but once you know how you
will have the knowledge to burn any data to any media.
Also see: DVD 101 CDR vs CDRW