- Worldstart's Tech Tips And Computer Help - http://www.worldstart.com -

Saving Files to Disk in Windows 7

Carolyn asks:

Can you write something on how to save files to a CD in Windows 7?

Thanks for the question, Carolyn. While we’ve covered this topic on several occasions, I found no fully illustrated step-by-step directions in our archives, and no instructions at all specifically for Windows 7. However, while the look may be slightly different, these directions will also apply, for the most part, to Vista and XP.

Insert the blank disc and AutoPlay should offer the option to Burn files to disc. If, for some reason, AutoPlay doesn’t appear, just click on the Start button and select Computer. This will reveal all the drives in the computer. In that case, you can skip the next couple steps and just start moving files to the disc.

In the Burn a Disc dialog box, you can add a name and determine how to copy the disc. Since my main purpose in burning discs is to save files permanently, I made the selection, With a CD/DVD player. Once these files have been carefully and permanently preserved, the disc containing them will likely be tossed onto a stack of about a hundred other unmarked discs, to be forever lost. There are people who claim that this is not an efficient filing system. I don’t pay any attention to those people.

Click Next and Windows Explorer will open. The DVD (CD) drive is located under Computer. If it’s not revealed, just click on the little triangle to the left of the Computer icon. There are several ways to move the files to the disc (Copy and Paste, Drag and Drop, etc.). For this demonstration, we’ll use Drag and Drop. Just select the files you want on the disc, click on them and drag them to the drive.

If all the files you’d like to copy to the disc aren’t contained in a single folder, you can move to other folders and continue to add files, as long as there’s room on the disc. Generally, CDs can hold approximately 700 MB and DVDs hold roughly 4.7 GB. For a breakdown on the difference between MB (megabytes) and GB (gigabytes), click here [1]. To find out how much space is being used, click on the DVD Drive and the files will appear on the right. Click on a single file and hold the Ctrl key and tap the A key (Ctrl+A). This will select all the files. Right click and select Properties from the menu.

In the Properties dialog box, the amount of space consumed by all the files is revealed. Since there were only a few files selected to burn to this disc, a mere 5.58 MB of space was used.

Once all the items have been moved to the disc, from the File menu, click Burn to disc.

At this point, a Recording speed option is available. In the past, it was advised to burn discs at a slow speed (the lowest number). However, this was primarily used for burning audio discs, and is not as critical as it once was. The best bet is to choose a recording speed, and if glitches appear in the recording, try a slower speed.

Click Next and the files begin burning to the disc. The amount of time required depends on the recording speed and the amount of data. The few images burned to disc for this demonstration only took seconds, but if a DVD is filled to its maximum capacity, this may take some time.

Congratulations. You have successfully burned your files to the disc. At least that’s what the message will tell you. However, I always eject a disc after recording, and reinsert it to verify that the files are actually where they’re supposed to be.

If you choose to do the same, once the disc has been reinserted, in the AutoPlay dialog box, click Open folder to view files.

Voila. The files are there. Now, if I want to delete these from my computer, I know they’re safely tucked away on this disc. Of course, I’ll neglect to label the disc, and it will probably not be discovered until years from now, by someone who will wonder why the WorldStart guy bothered to copy all the preloaded Widows sample picture files to a disc.

You can find the answers to other questions about burning CDs and DVDs here [2].