How to burn CDs and DVDs in Windows Vista

In this tutorial I will show you how to burn your files on a CD or DVD, using only Windows Vista’s built-in tools. In order to write a CD or DVD you must have an optical disc drive capable of burning such storage media. If you double click on the Computer icon from your desktop, these drives are listed as CD RW Drive or DVD RW Drive. If you have an appropriate drive, then you need blank CDs or DVDs on which to burn your files. If you have those as well, just follow these instructions:

First, take a blank CD or DVD and insert it into your CD RW or DVD RW optical disc drive.


After a few seconds the AutoPlay menu should pop-up. Depending on your configuration, you will have several options available. Click on ‘Burn files to disc using Windows’.


If the AutoPlay menu does not show up, you can right click on the drive containing the writable CD or DVD and then select Open AutoPlay.


The ‘Burn a Disc’ wizard will now start. Type the disc title and click on the ‘Show formatting options’ arrow.

Burn a Disc

Now you can choose the format of your disc. If you choose Live File System, you can copy files to the disc at any time, instead of burning them all at once. This option is recommended if you want to burn files that occupy less space than the disc capacity. This way, you can add other files at a later time until you fill all the available space on your CD or DVD.

If you choose Mastered, you won’t be able to add files to the disc at a later time, even though there is some free space left. Also, discs created using this format are more likely to be compatible with older computers and operating systems.

Burn a Disc

Once you have decided on the format click on Next. A new window will appear, asking you to drag files to this folder to add them to the disc.

Burn a Disc

Open another Computer window or Windows Explorer and go to the location of the files you want to burn. Select them and, with the left mouse button pressed, drag them to the previous window.

After you have dragged all the files you want to burn, click on the Burn to disc button.

Burn a Disc

Choose the recording speed and check the option that says ‘Close the wizard after the files have been written’. If you want to, you can also change the disc title. When finished, click on Next.

Burn a Disc

The burning process will now start. Wait until the progress bar reaches its end and the CD or DVD is ejected from the optical disc drive unit. Depending on your system and the amount of files burned, the burning process can take from a few seconds up to several minutes.

Burn a Disc

Related articles:
How to burn a Video DVD using Windows DVD Maker
How to burn an Audio CD

Recommended articles:
Burning Questions: Instant Reference Guide to Creating DVDs and CDs

32 thoughts on “How to burn CDs and DVDs in Windows Vista”

  1. Vista built in CD/DVD Burner
    This program is very unreliable and takes for ever just to burn a 512mb data disc,which usually does not complete or crashes. Third party software does the job reliable and fast,like Nero.

    • First, U can save movie
      First, U can save movie whatever u can make it.. just save it an appropiate file format on desktop and then u can burn this file on optical disk drive.. If you have any question then it will be mention on the internet..
      if you can’t go for internet then i will show you how to write movie on dvd drive..first take a blank DVD into DVD drive then you can see a option tht choose a file format option…(it seems look like a bullet button..) then choose live CD files..and click next..if you want to format on your disk then click next and go ahead..thenafter the other windows brower will be open in next stage and it will ask your dreag and drop file where u can save your data..just go to this location and paste it on DVD disk then click on URN to disk button..nd enjoy ur Movie in DVD…

      Can you tell me tht it’s a corret process whuch u want…

      thx and enjoy ur weekends

  2. Do not understand Live vs Mastered
    I actually understand live to a point. I know that is similar to copying files to any disc. But I thought Mastered also should be used if you are looking to make a disc playable to most regualr DVD players.
    Also unclear on DVD creator. Can it be installed on Windows Vista Bus. Ed. or just Ultimate & Premium?

  3. burning issues
    My PC keeps rebooting when trying to burn either CD or DVD. Tried using Vista burning process and Nero 8, but the same thing happens ruining the blank disc in the process. Any help out there please?

  4. burning issues
    i use this program to burn about fifty cd-r’s and dvd-r’s. when i realized some of my folders were on the disk but the files on the inside weren’t inside them. then I looked closer at the other folders 1 to 15 files were missing.. I tried running the burner at slower speeds and that did nothing to help in some cases made it worse. anyone have any suggestion how to fix it.

  5. Burning Issues
    When i try burning files on to a blank DVD+RW, i follow the process’ up to when the DVD window appears, however i am not able to drag and drop files and folders on to the DVD. Please Help!!

    • about burning issue
      don’t try to drag files from the same wizard you see with the title “Drag and drop files to the disc” instead go to “My Computer” icon on the desktop and through it go to the file location that you want to burn on the disk and then select all the files you want to be on the disk and then with the left key of mouse drag all of them to the wizard titled “Drag and drop files to the disc” after that click on the “Burn to disc” title at the top and then your actual burning process will start! good luck!……………….reply me if it is successfull!

  6. problem
    I tried this but it doesn’t work. sometimes it asks me to format the disk before i burn something to it… then when i drag and drop, it works and the computer says burn completed sucessfully. but when I try to play the cd in a computer, car , stereo etc it tells me that the disc is blank or sometimes it says ‘undisk’

    can anyone help?

    • Questions
      If you are asked to format the disk, it means you are using a Rewritable CD/DVD? Is that correct? Generally, stereos from cars or other devices do no read Rewritable discs and that might explain why it doesn’t work. In order to help you out please give more details like: what type of cd/dvd you are writing, what data you are writing and what devices are you are using to read their contents.

      • im having the same problem.
        im having the same problem. it goes through the entire process, says complete, go to test the disk and its blank. im using cd-r and dvd-r. no rewritable. the dvds burn fine, but it wont burn a cd to save its life. have no idea whats wrong. been like this ever since i burned my first dvd. is there a toggle somewhere that you have to switch between cd/dvd?

  7. Burning Music CDs
    I’m having exactly the same problem – have used AppleMacs and PCs for many, many years and have never had this problem before – all discs I’ve attempted to burn have played perfectly on my Dell XPS420 running Windows Vista Home Premium Service Pack 1 but fail to play on any other CD player. I’ve trawled the internet for ages and tried all kind of “fixes”. I’ve also tried using various burning software – in the past I’ve never used anything other than Windows Media Player to burn CDs cause it always did the job I required. Absolutely delighted with my Dell computer it’s all I could ask for in a computer but totally spoiled by Vista.

  8. Burning issues
    I am having problems burning movie files onto a dvd+rw.

    1st try: I dragged them to the disk drive, and burned them. Looked successful, but WILL NOT play on my dvd player.

    2nd try: I formatted the disk, and did the same thing. Still won’t play on my dvd player.

    The disks play on my computer, but will not play on my dvd player.


  9. Vista CD Burining
    I have an issue. I cannot burn files to CD using Vista OS. I cannot copy the files into the CDRW window. All it does is ding at me. The drive is detected as a recorder drive etc, and other burning software can write to CDs. Any suggestions?

  10. Burning or copying?
    when i dragged and dropped my video file into the box, above the file it said ‘files currently on the disk’, and there was no button telling me that i could burn the files, just a button for erasing the files…….. help plz!!

  11. no playback?
    i made like 5 dvd’s all different ways because none of them work. i try to play them in my dvd player and it says disc error- playback feature may not be available on this disc. but they work in my computer…why??? what is a program i can use for this to work on my dvd player?

  12. no audio no video
    I am having problems also… I am doing everything right… or at least I believe I am… my computer burns a dvd just fine (live & mastered) then I put the dvd in my dvd player & it says “no audio no video” does anyone have a clue what I am doing wrong?

  13. Thanks. That’s cleared up
    Thanks. That’s cleared up that problem now. Didn’t use Mastered format the first time, and my new CD player couldn’t read the CD. Just came up with the message “No SND”, which didn’t help in figuring out what the problem was. So thanks again.

  14. Follow all procedures however i can’t burn a disc
    I have followed all the procedures and i have insert a blank DVD, however, after i drag all the necessary file into the window, there was no “burn to disc” appear and there was only “erase this disc” appear on the top of the window. That’s why i have tried many times still unable to burn the file into the DVD, why???

  15. dvd maker help
    Im trying to burn a home movie and pictures to dvd from windows movie maker but, after i get it all set up in dvd maker the encoder only goes to 22.8%. And there it stays for hours. Is there anything i can do to fix this??

  16. Burning onto an empty CD
    This just started happening. When I try to burn a CD, the bar at the top goes to full red, and it says “Filled”, and I cannot seem to make it go away. Yes, I have tried several blank disks, with no luck.

  17. Burning issues
    I found an easier solution. Roxio Creator was on my computer when I bought it but I’d never used it. I destroyed several CDs by trying to write on them with Windows 7. (After getting the error 0x800703EE Windows tells me there are 0 bytes used and 0 bytes free on the disk. If they’re neither used nor free, what the heck are they?). So with the next disk I decided to use Roxio, and hey presto, all written, saved and readable with no hassles.

  18. your solution does not work
    I followed everything to the letter, twice!

    Vista will play DVD+R and RW in a computer only and will not play on regular DVD player.

    I have two brand new Sony DVD players and they should work, correct.

    I received error messages – no audio data and no image data!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is insane.

    I bought this PC to burn DVD’s and have never once had success with them playing on a regular DVD player.

    I am so disgusted!

  19. Play order
    I am trying to burn a dvd of photos. Under preview they play in a random order instead of the way I had them arranged. ?? Also some play more than once. How to correct?

  20. I burnt a CD using Windows
    I burnt a CD using Windows and later I realised that Live File System is default on Vista. Now I want to do it again as Mastered. Is it better to use Windows or Nero? Will there be any problems? I can’t afford to ruin another CD. I wasted a lot of time already.

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