Creating a Photo CD from Your Computer

Creating a Photo CD from Your Computer

Creating a Photo CD from Your ComputerI will try to make this as easy to understand as possible. Creating a CD is not very hard. We are talking about moving images from your computer, which are saved on your hard drive, and burning them, or copying them, onto a CD or DVD. In my “How To” I am using a CD-RW, which stands for Compact Disk-Rewritable. Rewritable means that you will be able to delete images, and add new images onto that disk. A CD-R means that you once you put the images on that disk, they can not be erased and you will not be able to add to the disk. The same is true for DVD-R and DVD-RW. You can use these steps to guide you if you choose to use a DVD, however, it might be slightly different. A DVD will hold more images then a CD. A typical CD-RW (or at least the one I am using) will hold 80 minutes of footage/music, or 700 MB (mega-bytes) of data. I am using Sony CD-RW for this “How To”.

These steps may vary slightly depending on your computer’s operating system. Windows XP and Windows Vista are likely very similar. I am using Windows Vista. My computer came pre-installed with a CD copy software called Roxio. Because not everyone will have this, I am not using this in my “How To”. If you have Windows Vista you can still burn a CD without that software. (I believe the same is true with XP, but been over a year since I used XP) Here’s how:

Step 1 – Take the CD out of the case and place in your CD drive. (Your CD drive should be capable of burning disks, if your not sure, check your computers stats or contact the manufacturer) Close the tray.

Step 2 – The CD may begin to spin. In Windows Vista you will likely get a window that pops up that will look like this : See Fig A

You can see that I have 3 options. Burn Audio using Windows Media Player, Burn files to disk using Windows, or Add files using Roxio. For this demonstration, chose Burn files to disk using Windows.

Step 3 – The next window that popped up in Windows Vista for me, with the Sony CD-RW disk I am using said this : See Fig B

Some information about this window. If you want to create a disk and be done with that disk, not add or delete to the disk, choose the second option, Mastered. If you want to be able to add and delete files, choose option 1, Live File System. I have done it both ways, and I can assure you, once you choose option 2, you can not add or delete to that disk.

Step 4 – Once you choose your option, for this demo let’s use Live File System, a window will pop up telling you Windows will format the disk and it may take a long time. Click OK. You need to do this. If you chose Mastered you will skip this step. Once the format completes a new window will open. It will look like this : See Fig C

Either option you will come to this window. This is your CD. If for some reason it does not open to this, find your CD drive under COMPUTER and double click to open the disk.

Step 5 – Now that you have your disk open it’s only a matter of clicking and dragging, or cutting and pasting or Send To option. Here’s what you do for each:

  1. Send To option – Open your Pictures folder, or whatever folder you have your images stored in. Vista makes it easy to keep things organized and I keep all mine under Pictures. Within that folder I created other folders, like Christmas 08, Vacation, Birthday, etc. Simply right click with your mouse over the folder or image you want to transfer and choose Send To and choose your CD which will be in the list of choices. See Fig D

Once you do that, your image or folder of images will transfer. You will get a dialog box telling you how long it should take. (Note: Your folder will remain on your computer as you are not cutting this, you are copying. To remove the file or image just delete it from your computer once you are sure it has transferred to your disk, which if you left the disk window open you will see it there.) That’s it. You’re done. Continue to do this with all files you want to transfer to disk. You can store images, data (Office docs), videos and music. Each item has it’s own amount of MB (size of item). Don’t worry, windows will let you know if you have reached the max on that CD. You can check this but that’s another article for another time.

  1. Click and drag is done much in the same fashion. Click on the image or folder you want to transfer. You should have your main folder, in my case PICTURES, open as well as you CD file window. Click on the image with your left mouse button, hold the button, move the image using your mouse and place it into your CD’s file window. That’s it, you’re done. Continue with your other images. Again, this does not remove the file from your hard drive, you need to then delete it.
  2. Cut and paste is a little different. Keeping both your picture folder open, and your CD file window open, click on your image with you RIGHT mouse button, and in the option window that opens select CUT. Then in your CD file window RIGHT click on the open space and select PASTE. That’s it, you’re done. Continue with the rest. This option will remove the file from your computer and you will not have to go back and delete it.

I strongly recommend before deleting any folders off your computer that you first double check that they are in fact saved on the disk. Easy enough to do. Pop the disk out. Push it back in. It will spin. A dialogue box pops up. You’ll have choices like Import Photos, Transfer, and so on, and one that says Open to view Files. Choose that option. You should now be in your CD file window and see all the images/folders/data/music/video that you placed onto the CD. If not, go back through this “How To” and see if you can find your mistake. After it’s all in there, you can now delete those items off your computer as they are safely saved on your CD. If you chose LIVE FILE SYSTEM then you will be able to erase the whole disk, delete some files, and add other files. If you chose MASTERED you will not have this option. If you chose MASTERED after you placed your images onto the CD file window, you may need to press a button that says BURN CD or BURN DISK. This will permanently place these items on the disk and they can not be removed.

Just for your reference, on one of my CD-RW disks I have placed 7 folders containing pictures. The total images is 494 on my CD and there is a small amount of space left. On another that I mistakenly made MASTERED, I have only 3 folders (about 200 pictures) and 3 short Quick time movies from my digital camera and have considerable amount of space left, and I can no longer add to the CD. I will tell you that the CD that has over 400 images seems to load and run much slower then the CD with fewer images, so keep that in mind.

Hope that helps you clear some clutter!

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