Creating Your Own Cds
Having run workshops and courses for women returners and administrative staff over the past 8 years Jackie Sherman is very much in touch with the concerns women have about working with computers. She is well aware of the fears female learners and work returners have of being out of date. If you are one of these, there is no other book that specifically covers the issues that concern you.
You have only to lose important files once to know that keeping copies as a backup somewhere safe, preferably not on the same machine, is sensible and necessary.
Up until a few years ago, you would have been told to keep copies of any important files not backed up automatically by your IT department on a floppy disk. Nowadays there are two main reasons why you need to learn how to create your own CDs instead:
- 1.In many organisations, the use of floppy disks is actively discouraged and the drives are being removed from computers or not included with new machines. To make copies of any important files, you will now have to copy them onto optical disks as the only real alternative.
- 2.A floppy disk can hold only 1.4 MB of data, whereas a CD can hold over 600 times as much. For large databases, images or files they are now the best way to keep and transfer copies safely.
At work, you are unlikely to need to create audio CDs, so this chapter concentrates on ways to create backup copies of your data files.
HOW CDS ARE CREATED
The technology used to create a CD involves burning the data onto a disk using a laser. As well as the (D:) drive where you insert CD-ROMs containing programs and files you want to view or install on your computer, your machine should have a further drive – commonly the (E:) drive which enables you to ‘burn’ or write your own disks.
Types of CD
There are two different types of CD that you can write: CD-R and CD-RW.
CD-R or Recordable CDs are cheaper, smaller and are used for permanent archiving of files as they can only be written to once. They can be read by most CD drives and are quite cheap to buy.
CD-RW or Writeable CDs are more useful if you want to continue working on your files, as they can be written to up to 100 times. Once files have been copied on to the disk, updates will overwrite older files with the same name, so that you can always keep the latest versions. The disks are far more expensive to buy and can often only be read if you have a Recordable CD drive on your machine.
USING WINDOWS XP
To burn a file onto a CD, first insert the disk into your recordable CD drive. This may open the CD directly or offer a window that has a range of options. Unless you want to check the current contents, you can close the window and simply locate the files you want to copy from My Computer.
Having found the file(s), click the Copy this file link.
Select the recordable CD drive in the next window and click the Copy button.
A message will appear at the bottom of the screen saying you have files to copy to your CD, so click this to view the files.
Your new files will appear faded, and you will also see any files currently on the CD displayed in the window.
Click the Write these files to CD link and wait for the Wizard to take you through the process. In the first window, name the CD (if you prefer to see a name when searching the disk in future) and then click Next.
The files will now be written to the CD.
When the process is complete, the disk will be ejected from the drive.
There are many CD/DVD recording software programs available: some are free or inexpensive and can be downloaded from the Internet, or your employer may buy a fuller version that offers many extra features. They all work in a similar way: after opening the program and choosing to create a data CD, you are offered two panes – one displaying the files on your computer and the other the layout of the files you wish to copy. Simply locate and drag your files into the layout area and then click the button to begin copying.
One program is CD-Maker 2000 Plus and to use this you would start by opening the program and selecting the type of CD you want to create e.g. Data CD.
In the next window, locate your files using the Windows Explorer pane and drag them onto the Data Track Layout pane.
Insert your CD-R or CD-RW into the recordable CD drive e.g. (E:) so that it is displayed in the CD Recorder window, and check that it is recordable and there is space available.
Click the Step 2 button and accept or change the writing speed before clicking Start. For most purposes, it is sensible to accept any default settings.
A window will now show the copying process, so do not attempt to eject the disk at this stage.
When completed, you will see a confirmation window showing that the data has been copied successfully and your disk will now be ejected.