WinBook Tech Article
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Subject: Burning Data CDs in Windows XP
Keywords: WinXP Data CD Copy Burning Recording CDR CDRW
Tech Article Number: WBTA20000794

NOTE: You, the customer, are solely responsible for data security. WinBook strongly recommends that you perform a backup of all personal data contained on your system prior to performing this procedure. Warning: WinBook will NOT be held responsible for any data loss incurred during this process.


This article describes the functionality of the CD recording feature. When you use Windows XP, you can write data to a CD-R or write and rewrite data to a CD-RW. In addition, you can erase data from a CD-RW, but not from a CD-R.

You can not just select a file and copy or burn it to the CD. You have to go to what is called a Staging area. Also, music is copied or burned by a different procedure and the instructions can be found in a different Technical Article.

How to Move Files to the Staging Area

There are four methods that you can use to copy files to the staging area:

  1. You can use a drag-and-drop operation to move files to the CD burner icon.
  2. Right-click the file(s), click Send To on the File menu, and then click Writable CD.
  3. Click the file, click Send To on the File menu, and then click Writable CD.
  4. Copy the files to the Staging area.

How to Copy file(s) to the staging area

  1. Right-click Start, click Explore. The explore Window opens.
  2. Select the folder or files you want to copy to the staging area.
  3. To select more than one file, hold the control key down at the same time you click on the file.
  4. Once you have selected all the files you want to copy, select the File menu on the Standard toolbar, then click Send To, and then click the CD burner (Ex. E:\).

How to Initiate the Burn Process.

Once you have sent the file(s) you want burned to the staging areas, you can start the write process one of two ways:

  1. Explorer should still be open at this time. Select your CD burner. The file(s) are in the staging area and you will be able to what files you sent there.
  2. On the Standard toolbar select File menu, click Write these files to CD.
  3. A CD Writing Wizard Windows starts. Type in a CD Name in the box, click Next.
  4. The burning process will start. When it is finished burning your CD, the Window will tell you that you have successfully written files to your CD. You will have an option to copy these files to another CD by putting a check in the box specified. If you are finished copying files to the CD click Finish.

The other process to burn you CD after the file(s) has have been sent to the staging area is even easier than the first method.

  1. Explorer should still be open. Right-click on you CD burner (Ex. E:\).
  2. A menu appears on the screen, Click on Write these files to CD.
  3. A CD Writing Wizard Windows starts. Type in a CD Name in the box, click Next.
  4. The burning process will start. When it is finished burning your CD, the Window will tell you that you have successfully written files to your CD. You will have an optionto copy these files to another CD by putting a check in the box specified. If you are finished copying files to the CD click Finish.

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