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How can I drag-and-drop to copy files and folders directly to recordable/rewritable CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs in the same way as I can to a hard disk drive in Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7?


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Problem

In Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7, how can I drag-and-drop and copy files directly to recordable CD, DVD and Blu-ray discs in the same way as I can to a hard disk drive? That is, without having to start my disc-burning software.

Answer

Note that there is no support at all in the inbuilt burning software in Windows XP for burning recordable DVD discs (DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW and DVD-RAM). Third-party software, such as Cyberlink PowerDVD, has to be used. Microsoft probably did not want to compete with third-party software by including a DVD-burning tool in Windows XP but then changed its mind for Vista and Windows 7, which can both burn CDs and DVDs, but, unfortunately, it looks as if Windows 8, expected to be released in the last quarter of 2012, won't be able to do so, probably due to complaints from the third-party disc-writing software developers feeling the pinch.

Note that XP, Vista and Windows 7 do not provide native support for Blu-ray Disc playback or Blu-ray disc-burning, and it is unlikely that Windows 8 will, because, apparently, Microsoft intends to remove even CD/DVD burning from Win8.

The following video shows you how to go about burning files to a recordable CD in Windows XP. The page says that the method can be used for burning to recordable DVD discs, but Windows XP does not support burning DVD discs, only recordable CDs. A CD Writing Wizard is used, not a DVD-writing wizard.

Burning CDs in Windows XP -

http://www.aumha.org/win5/a/xpcd.php

Burn a CD or DVD in Windows XP -

http://video.about.com/windows/Burn-a-CD-or-DVD-in-Windows-XP.htm

However, Windows Vista and Windows 7 can burn both recordable CD and DVD discs:

How to burn CDs and DVDs in Windows Vista -

http://www.wintuts.com/Burn-CDs-DVDs

How to burn data and ISO files to recordable CD/DVD discs in Windows 7 - http://www.pcbuyerbeware.co.uk/...

UDF packet-writing software enables a user to drag-and-drop files to blank recordable CDs or DVDs using Windows Explorer, My Computer in Windows XP (Computer in Windows Vista) , and the standard Save functions from within applications. Windows Explorer in Windows XP provides some support for recordable UDF discs that allows you to read UDF discs produced by some third-party software, such as Direct CD. You can only read the data on the disc, because it is not possible to write to, add files, delete individual files from an existing disc, or update any single file using a UDF disc in Windows XP. You can only erase the entire disc.

After the packet-writing software has formatted the rewritable disc, you can add files and folders by making use of Windows Explorer to drag-and-drop files or folders to your optical drive, or by using the Send to command by right-clicking files and folders in My Computer (Computer in Windows Vista) or Windows Explorer and selecting the optical CD/DVD writer. Doing that makes it appear as if the files are being written to the disc directly, as in a UDF system. However, nothing of the kind is happening. By default, copies of the files are stored on the hard disk in your Documents and Settings folder. In My Computer, you can then right-click on the drive/writer's icon and choose Write these files to CD, or open the drive by double-clicking on its icon and choose Write these Files to CD, which appears in the bar on the left of the window.

If you are working within an application, (Word, Excel, Access, etc.), you cannot save to the drive letter directly from the application. You have to go to either My Computer, or Windows Explorer to save the file to the recordable CD media.

There are two leading software packages that work in that way with most CD writers. Drag to Disc, which used to be called DirectCD, is part of Roxio's Easy Media Creator. InCD is part of the Nero suite. Both of those packages can use rewritable media, such as CD-R and CD-RW discs. Roxio's Drag to Disc can even drag-and-drop write to write-once media, such as CD-R, DVD-R, and DVD+R discs. You can also use DLA, which is available as a stand-alone program from Sonic.

Cyberlink PowerDVD software comes bundled with many desktop and laptop PCs. It features drag-and-drop recording to DVDs. You just drag a file or a selection of files to its icon on the Desktop.

Visit cyberlink.com to download a trial version of that software.

Hardware-based packet writing has been made possible by the Mount Rainier (MRW) standard, which means that the CD/DVD writers themselves support packet-writing. Mount Rainier (MRW) is a format for recordable optical discs that provides packet writing and defect management. Mount Rainier can be used only with optical drives that support it, but it works with standard CD-R, CD-RW, DVD+/-R and DVD+/-RW media.

Windows XP with Service Pack 1 (SP1) installed provides some support for the Mount Rainier format. At present, a computer running Windows XP SP1 or higher, (SP3) will read Mount Rainier discs directly in a CD writer that has the necessary firmware, or in most drives using the reader program EasyWriteReader from nero.com. Formatting and writing a Mount Rainier disc requires a CD writer with firmware installed that supports the format. Third party software, such as InCD (version 3.28 or later) and Drag to Disk support it on CD-RW discs.

Mount Rainier (packet writing) -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Rainier_(packet_writing)

Windows XP and prior versions of Windows (95/98/98 SE/Me) do not support MRW natively. Those versions of Windows require third-party software to read and write MRW-formatted discs - usually the same packet-writing utilities that allow native UDF file systems to be written to optical discs. The versions of Windows Vista for home users, released on January 30, 2007, support the Mount Rainier standard natively.

Neither Windows Vista nor Windows 7 provides support for Blu-ray playback or burning to recordable Blu-ray discs. However, if you want to drag-and-drop files to a rewritable Blu-ray (BD-RE) discs, you can use third-party software that supports it, such as Cyberlink Power2Go. There is also free CD/DVD/Blu-ray burning software available:

http://www.ilovefreesoftware.com/16/articles/8-free-software-to-burn-cd-dvd-blu-ray-discs-free.html

Blu-ray Disc [information] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc


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