XP won't let me copy files to my CD burner!

Question

I am new to Windows XP and seem to be having a problem with copying files to my CD burner. Whenever I try it, it says that I don't have enough disk space to perform the task, but I am copying less than the 700 MB that the CD can hold. What am I doing wrong?

- Stacy

Answer

This question was answered on June 26, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Unlike older Windows versions, such as 95, 98 and ME, that required third party programs such as Nero or Easy CD Creator, Windows XP supports writing to a CD directly in the operating system.

This means you can drag and drop files to the CD burner icon in the My Computer window or you can right click on a single file or a series of files and select the 'Send To' option and then choose your CD burner drive.

This will 'stage' a copy of the file or files to your hard drive in a temporary folder so that you can burn them later Unlike most older third party CD writer programs, you don't have to do everything in one session Another benefit to this process is that the copy will remain in tact even if the original file is altered or deleted.

But, in order for all this to work properly, you need a lot of free hard drive space on your C: drive, which is the default drive for all the temporary space that is needed The error message that you are receiving is most likely not referring to your CD, but rather your primary hard disk.

If you assume that you should then have at least 700MB of free disk space on your primary hard drive, you would be half right You actually want to make sure that you have twice that amount (1.4 GB) of free disk space because Windows actually makes a second copy of everything you want to copy to CD in what is called a 'complete image' of the staged data.

The reason for this is to reduce the chances of a 'burn error' during the read/write operation between the hard disk and the CD burner If the hard disk can read all of the data to be transferred in a linear method, it eliminates the need to 'jump around' the hard drive in order to read the data, which increases the chances for a successful burn.

Try to free up as much disk space on your C: drive as possible The quickest way is to use the 'Disk Cleanup' utility that is built into XP (Open 'My Computer', right-click on the C: drive icon, click on 'Properties' and then on the 'Disk Cleanup' button below the pie chart.)

If you can't free up enough hard disk space to get past this, you may want to use a third party program that does not make multiple copies and will allow you to burn directly from the original file Most CD burners come with a third party program, just make sure that is it designed for Windows XP If not, my favorite program is called Nero and you download a full version for around $50 at www.nero.com

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Author

Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on June 26, 2003