Burn your own CDs

There are a couple of reasons you might want to save or burn files onto a CD. For example, you can:

  • Store old and important documents on CD to have as backups. I regularly backup important documents for work and at home.

  • Keep copies of all of your digital photographs. I've collected hundreds of pictures of my kids and it's nice to know they're saved in more then one place.

  • File old e-mail from work. You can't keep all of your e-mail in Outlook, so it's nice to store it somewhere in case you should ever need it for reference.

  • Create personalized music CDs to play in your car or give as gifts.

I’m thinking about this today because I dropped my computer while walking to a morning meeting. It took a pretty hard fall onto the sidewalk, but luckily my Toshiba laptop came back to life. If it hadn’t turned back on, and without the CD back-ups, I would have lost a lot of files and memories.

If you're running Windows XP, then you don't have to go out and buy expensive CD–recording software. Windows XP features built–in CD burning.

To burn a CD using Windows XP:

  1. Insert a blank CD–R or CD–RW in your CD drive. You must have a CD–R (writable) or CD–RW (rewritable) drive. A dialog box opens, asking if you want to open a writable CD folder. Click OK.
  2. On the Start menu, click My Computer, and navigate to the drive and folder where the files you wish to copy are stored.
  3. Select the files you wish to copy, and drag/drop or copy/paste them to the open CD recording folder.
  4. In the left pane of the CD folder window, click Write these files to CD.

Now you're all set. Just remember not to copy more files than than the CD will hold. Check the CD's storage capacity before you get started.

--Jason Kozleski

Comments (25)

  1. Smurfje says:


    It’s a pity that XP doesn’t support DVD-burning. Now I still have to buy that burning programm to backup my documents and pictures on a single DVD instead of different CDs.

  2. I appreciate any hints or tips you can supply to get the most out of my computer!  I am 85 years old; it is a long uphill jog to catch up with you young-uns.  Thanks!


      How do i convert my cd’s which is pictures and music to play on my dvd’s It plays on my computer but not my dvd players and I have five of them and nothing

       w r w

  4. Hi:

    What type of CD Dish a person has to buy to copy music and wave songs… I have windows media 10 and Windows XP Software.






  6. I just wanna know is that possible to write multisession CDs in Win XP

  7. I am trying to find out how to find and open the "microsoft" file "cd burning"."search" says it exists, In my data backups it shows that when I back up data it goes to this file. But I cannot find or access the contents of this file to burn the data to a Cd.

  8. maydelie Carranza says:

    Iv been triyng to burn my cds i have a windows XP I followed this intructions but I get lost in the 4th step

  9. Tom Hanson says:

    Please tell me why sometimes xp will not drag and drop. In fact twice xp quit recognizing my dvd drives and I had to reload xp and then all my application software.

    Something in xp drops the ball. uninstalling the cd drivers and then rebooting for plug and play to install new drivers did not work.


  10. I cannot get win XP to reconize my CD Writer

  11. I cannot get win XP to reconize my CD Writer

    All it want to use is Image Recorder which

    will not write to a CD or even reconize a disk

    in the drive Any help please.  Russ Fraser

    Thank you

  12. William Wallace says:

    Will the next windows (Vista) be

    able to burn cd’s and dvd’s?

  13. <font face="Papyrus">This is very useful for a beginner, I give it a 4.5 though because you didn’t mention burning music CDs with Windows Media Player.</font>

  14. Is it possible to add files to a CD-R incrementally or must all backup be done only once?  That is, can I follow the instructions above and burn say, 5 files to a CD-R; then, come back tomorrow and add another 3 files?

  15. The cd burning article was most interesting.

    But the thing is can any-one get to do this? I definately can`t. Despite being an old codger of 77 I cannot get my rewrite drive to recognise that it has got a brand new disc in it!! And I have tried many different virgin discs. I think I shall give up on a perfectly easy task. Best Regards, Ken Tann

  16. Brian Abbott says:

    I think its a shame that Windows Movie Maker doesn’t allow one to save to a file format that one can use to burn a DVD. My Nero software doesn’t recognize the WMV extension and I can’t make Windows Media Player burn a DVD (it only wants to burn music). When will Microsoft’s Operating systems catch up to the digital media revolution? When I try to use Explorer to drag & drop to my DVD it doesn’t work. What a scandal! The whole industry is at odds with one another, raping the consumer of hard earned dollars to purchase products that don’t perform unless additional time and money is spent on plug-ins.

  17. Frances says:

    I used windows xp to copy some files to a cd. Unknowingly one font file was a ‘read only’ file. This font file was actually copied to to the cd, but now I cannot delete it from the "files ready to be written to the cd" temp file.  Error is, Cannot delete verdanab.ttf: Access is denied. I know the disk is not full and the file is not currently in use. I tried to check the read only box in the properties window, but it didn’ work and still will not let me delete it.

  18. I have a problem please help me. I have audio files which are voice recordings that are saved on my hard drive as WAV.  I was originally able to listen to the recordings but now that I have gone back to listen to them again they have error code:-  COOOD1197  Cannot play the file.  I need these recordings asap can you help?  Do I need to reconfigure the files?  Please help me!!!

  19. after reading your instructions on burning a CD from program files , I found it extremely easy and knowledgeable in the process.  thank you very much for making this information excessiveable.  

    Marvin GITTENS

  20. Leslie says:

    When I put my CD in the drive, it doesn’t open up a dialogue box, it just puts on the Please Wait symbol, and after a few minutes, that goes away. No box though.

  21. TEREASA says:

    Vista dropped CD drive 2 times.  I am unable to retrieve or input the path.  My computer will not restart or shut down.  It stalls and stays that way until the power is cut off.

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