Description of the CD-ROM Recording Feature in Windows Server 2003

For a Microsoft Windows XP version of this article, see
279157 .


This article describes the functionality of the CD recorder feature that is included in Windows Server 2003. You can use the Windows Server 2003 CD recorder to write data to a CD-Recordable (CD-R) disc, or write and rewrite data to a CD-Rewritable (CD-RW) disc. You can delete data from a CD-RW disc, but not from a CD-R disc.

You can send, drag, or save files and folders to a CD recorder drive (CD-R or CD-RW). After all the files to be written are present, click Write to CD. The CD Wizard starts, which helps you to tell the Windows CD recorder how to name the CD and record the files.

More Information

Description of the Staging Area

To facilitate CD recording, Windows uses a staging area to store the data for recording. The staging area is located in the following hidden folder:
Drive_letter:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\CD Burning
Windows copies the information in the staging area to a monolithic disc image file before you record the data. By default, this file is named "Cd burning stash file.bin" and is located in the root folder. You can change the location of the file in the CD recorder Properties dialog box.

To Copy Files and Folders to the Staging Area

  1. Double-click My Computer.
  2. Click to select the file or folder that you want to copy to the CD. To select more than one file or folder, hold down the CTRL key while you click the files or folders that you want.
  3. On the File menu, click Copy.
  4. In My Computer, double-click the CD recording drive, and then click Paste on the File menu.

    Windows displays a temporary area where the files are held before they are copied to the CD. Verify that the files and folders that you want to copy to the CD appear under Files Ready to be Written to the CD.


  • Do not try to copy more files to the CD than it can hold. A standard CD holds up to 650 megabytes (MB). A high-capacity CD holds up to 850 MB.
  • Make sure that you have enough disk space on your hard disk to store the temporary files that are created during the CD-writing process. For a standard CD, Windows reserves up to 700 MB of the available free space. For a high-capacity CD, Windows reserves up to 1 gigabyte (GB) of the available free space.

How to Initiate the Recording Process

You do not have to initiate the recording process immediately after you copy files and folders to the staging area. You can accumulate data until you are ready to start the recording process. There are two methods to start the recording process after the files are in the staging area.

Method 1

  1. Insert a blank, writable CD into the CD recorder.
  2. Click Start, and then click My Computer.
  3. Double-click the CD recording drive.
  4. On the File menu, click Write these files to CD.

Method 2

  1. Insert a blank, writable CD into the CD recorder.
  2. Click Start, and then click My Computer.
  3. Right-click the CD drive, and then click Write these files to CD.
Windows copies the data from the staging area into a monolithic stash file, and then records the data on the recordable CD as an image.

NOTE: After you copy files or folders to the CD, view the CD to confirm that the files are copied.

Description of the CD Recorder Properties Dialog Box

The CD recorder Properties dialog box includes the standard tabs that are included with all drives, plus a Recording tab. This tab includes the following settings that are specific to CD recording drives:
  • Enable CD recording on this drive: Turn this on to indicate that you can copy files to the CD. You can only turn on (enable) CD recording for one device at a time.
  • Store staging disc image on: Use this setting to specify the location of the stash file.
  • Write speed: Use this setting to set the write speed of the device up to the maximum that the hardware permits.
  • Automatically eject media after recording: Use this setting to turn on or off the automatic ejection of the CD after recording is complete.
NOTE: Some CD burning programs replace the Recording tab with custom tabs.

For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

326982 Cannot Copy Files to the CD-R/CD-RW Drive