There are a couple of reasons you might want to save or burn files onto a CD. For example, you can:

  • Store old and important documents on CD to have as backups. I regularly backup important documents for work and at home.
  • Keep copies of all of your digital photographs. I've collected hundreds of pictures of my kids and it's nice to know they're saved in more then one place.
  • File old e-mail from work. You can't keep all of your e-mail in Outlook, so it's nice to store it somewhere in case you should ever need it for reference.
  • Create personalized music CDs to play in your car or give as gifts.

I’m thinking about this today because I dropped my computer while walking to a morning meeting. It took a pretty hard fall onto the sidewalk, but luckily my Toshiba laptop came back to life. If it hadn’t turned back on, and without the CD back-ups, I would have lost a lot of files and memories.

If you're running Windows XP, then you don't have to go out and buy expensive CD–recording software. Windows XP features built–in CD burning.

To burn a CD using Windows XP:

  1. Insert a blank CD–R or CD–RW in your CD drive. You must have a CD–R (writable) or CD–RW (rewritable) drive. A dialog box opens, asking if you want to open a writable CD folder. Click OK.
  2. On the Start menu, click My Computer, and navigate to the drive and folder where the files you wish to copy are stored.
  3. Select the files you wish to copy, and drag/drop or copy/paste them to the open CD recording folder.
  4. In the left pane of the CD folder window, click Write these files to CD.

Now you're all set. Just remember not to copy more files than than the CD will hold. Check the CD's storage capacity before you get started.

--Jason Kozleski