Burn a CD or DVD without using additional software in Windows Vista.
Most people think they have to go out and buy software to burn CDs and DVDs. Windows Vista has the ability to burn CDs and DVDs without any additional software built into the operating system.
Burn A CD or DVD
There are two very different ways to burn a CD or DVD in Windows Vista.
The default is called Live File System and lets you use the disk just like you would use a USB or hard drive. You can burn files to a Live File System disk and add more files to the disk at a later time. If you’re using rewritable CD or DVDs you can even erase files from the disk. A disk burnt using the Live File System is not readable by DVD players for playing movies on TVs. Most computers (Windows XP on up) can read Live File System disks.
The second way to burn a CD or DVD is called Mastered. A mastered CD or DVD is a onetime burn that can’t be changed or erased. A mastered CD or DVD can be read by most DVD players.
Live File System
- Select a batch of files to burn.
Hint: Hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard and click each file you want to select one time. If you want to select a bunch of file that are in the same spot, click the first file and then hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and click the last file in the batch.
- Click Burn in the blue bar located at the top of Windows Explorer.
- Give this disk a name in the Disk title box.
- Click Next to add the files to the disk. The files will be burnt to the disk.
To add additional files the disk from now on simply select the files, point at Send to and then select the drive. You can also drag and drop or copy and paste the files in the drive.
You can see how much space you have left on the disk by clicking Start and clicking Computer. It will show you how much space is left on the disk with a bar graph on that drive.
Note: Be patient when ejecting a Live File System disk. Your computer has to finalize a few things before it can eject the disk.
- Select the files you want to burn.
- Click Burn in the blue bar at the top of Windows Explorer.
- Give your disk a name next to Disk title.
- Click Show formatting options.
- Select Mastered.
- A window will open showing you what is in the burn image.
If you want to add more files to this disk you can still do so at this point by following steps 1-6.
- When you’re ready to burn the disk click Burn to disk in the window that pops up in step 6. If you closed that window you can always open it by double clicking the CD or DVD burner drive.
- A burn to disk window will pop up. Give your disk a title, select the speed to burn the disk at and click Next to start the burn.
Hint: If you’ve added files to a Mastered disk and you have not burned them yet you can remove a few of the files by double-clicking the drive you’ll use to burn the files and delete them from there. You can also remove all the files from the image by right-clicking the drive you’ll use to burn the files and select Delete temporary files.
If you’re trying to burn a music CD for playing in a CD player you need to use Windows Media Player to burn it. See my Burning an Audio CD guide.
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