Description of CD-R and CD-RW recording in Windows XP

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This article describes the functionality of the CD recorder 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.

Support for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Image

The CD-RW recording feature that is built in to the Windows XP shell does not support the creation of an International Standards Organization (ISO) image. To create an ISO image in Windows XP, you need to install a third party utility that supports this feature.

An ISO image file is a snapshot of the data and layout of a CD, saved in ISO-9660 format. ISO image files are widely used for storing CD content. ISO is a common CD image format for DOS, Windows (Joliet ISO extension), Linux (RockRidge ISO extension), and other operating systems.

Description of the Staging Area

To facilitate CD recording, Windows XP uses a staging area to store the data for recording, which is located in the following hidden folder:
Drive_letter:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\CD Burning
In addition, the information in the staging area is copied 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.

Note Because the Local Settings folder is a hidden folder, you will have to change your Explorer settings to be able to see it. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Start Windows Explorer.
  2. Click Tools, click Folder Options, and then click the View tab.
  3. Under Hidden files and folders, click to select Show hidden files and folders, and then click OK.

How to Move Files to the Staging Area

There are four methods that you can use to copy files to the staging area:
  • Method 1: You can use a drag-and-drop operation to move the files to the CD burner icon.
  • Method 2: Right-click the file (or files), click Send To, and then click Name or Drive Letter of your Writable CD.
  • Method 3: Click the file, click Send To on the File menu, and then click Name or Drive Letter of your Writable CD.
  • Method 4: Copy the files manually to the staging area.

How to Initiate the Burn Process

There are two methods to start the burn process after the files are in the staging area:
  • Method 1: Under CD Writing Tasks, click Write these files to CD.
  • Method 2: Right-click the CD drive, and then click Write these files to CD.
At this point, the data is copied from the staging area into a monolithic stash file, which is then recorded to the disk as an image.

To view a video of how to move files to the staging area and initate the burn process, click the Play button (Play button) on the Windows Media Player viewer below:

NOTE: To view the above video, Windows Media Player 7.0 or later must be installed on your computer. For additional information about how to obtain Windows Media Player version 7.1, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
299321 Description and Availability of Windows Media Player 7.1

Description of CD Recorder Properties Dialog Box

The properties of a CD recorder include a Recording tab in addition to the standard tabs that are included with all drives. This tab includes the following settings that are specific to CD-R drives:
  • Enable desktop CD recording for this CD-R device: This setting enables the CD-R drive to allow drag-and-drop operations for this device.
  • Store staging disc image on: Use this setting to change where the stash file is created before the file is written to the CD drive.
  • Write speed: Use this setting to set the write speed of the device up to the maximum that the hardware allows.
  • Automatically eject media after recording: Use this setting to enable or disable the ejection of media after recording is complete.

Article ID: 279157 - Last Review: 12/05/2015 22:43:35 - Revision: 7.3

Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Professional

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