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How to Use the CD/DVD Burner

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CDs vs. CD-Rs vs. CD-RWs

CDs are compact discs containing audio or data files which can be read from but not written to.

CD-Rs are CDs that can be written to but whose files cannot be overwritten. That is, you can write data or audio to half the disk one day and then fill up the rest of the desk the next day, but you cannot delete what you've already written.

CD-RWs are CDs that can be written to and overwritten several dozen times. CD-RWs are more expensive than CD-Rs and cannot be read by some CD-ROM drives, whereas CD-Rs can be read by all but the oldest, most primitive CD-ROM drives.

Can I burn DVDs?

Yes, the CD/DVD burner can write to DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-R and DVD-RW discs.

How do I burn a CD?

When you go to burn a CD, you should first decide if you want to have it store data files (such as what you might find on a floppy disk or hard drive) or if you want it to behave like an audio CD. CDs that store data can certainly store many types of audio files (like MP3s), but are typically stored all in one data track. CDs set up to behave like audio CDs typically have separate audio tracks which can be sorted, named, and have gaps inserted in between them and thus behave more like a store-bought CD.

The CD/DVD burning software on library PCs is Nero Express 6. Those familiar with this software may know that it can be used in several ways to burn CDs. For those who are not, the following steps cover most CD burning needs:

  • Before you begin, be sure you have plenty of time at the PC to burn a CD. A half-hour is sufficient for most purposes. If you run out of time on the PC, the PC will reboot even if you are in the middle of a recording session. If this happens, you will not be able to resume the recording session when the PC restarts, but instead will have to start the session all over again.
  • Click the Start button, then Run. Type "nero" (without the quotes) and click OK.  This starts Nero Express.
  • Near the top of the window, under where it asks "Which recorder would you like to use?",
  • Under where it asks "What would you like to burn?" you'll see different options (Data, Music, etc.). Move your mouse pointer over an option to read its description.
  • After you choose an option, you will be prompted to add files. Click the Add button, navigate to where your files are, then click the Finished button. Repeat this step as needed.
  • After you have added all your files, click the Next button. Enter a Disc name (for data CDs) or Title/Artist text (for audio CDs).
  • For some types of CDs (e.g., data), you can check the option to "Allow files to be added later (multisession disc)."
  • Click the Burn button.
  • If you have not already done so, you will be prompted to insert a CD-R or CD-RW into the CD drive.
  • While waiting for the CD burning process to complete, be sure to move the mouse every few minutes. This is necessary because after five minutes of inactivity from the keyboard and mouse, the PC restarts, even if the PC is in the middle of a recording session.
  • When the burn process is complete, click OK, then the Exit button. Remember to take your CD!
Last updated: October 01, 2012
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