How to Format CDs to Burn

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Before burning data to a CD, you must first format the CD. Formatting is another word for preparing the CD to receive the data you wish to burn onto it. On many current operating systems, all that is necessary to format a CD is to place it into the CD drive. The formatting process will begin automatically and then the CD will be ready to use.

Things You'll Need

  • Personal computer
  • Blank CD
  • Open the CD drive and place the blank CD into the drive. Close the CD drive.

  • Wait for a window to appear with options for proceeding. Choose "Burn Files to Disc."

  • Choose a name for the new CD and enter it in the empty field in the next window. Press "OK."

  • Select a formatting option in the next window. Choose between "Live File System" and "Mastered." If you are burning a collection of files (songs, for example) and you wish to be able to use the CD in other computers and in other CD players, choose "Mastered." If you are using a CD in an ongoing fashion to back up files on the computer, choose "Live File System."

  • Click "Next" to begin the formatting process. After the CD is finished formatting, you will be free to burn the data to the CD.

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