Most modern laptops and desktop computers come with built-in CD-RW drives. CD-RW stands for "compact disc readable writable" and these drives are commonly referred to as CD burners. With this computer recording technology you can quickly and simply copy information from one CD onto another using your CD-ROM drive. This technology is especially useful for musicians, film-makers and software developers who need to make copies of music, movies and software programs for distribution.
Open your CD burning software program (also called CD authoring program). Most new computers that come equipped with a CD-RW drive have the CD burning software already installed. Popular CD burning software programs include Roxio Creator, Ashampoo Burning Studio, and Nero AG.
Choose the option to copy a CD or DVD disk. Select the appropriate source drive where the disk will be located and then press "OK" or "Next." The CD-ROM tray will open.
Insert the disk that you want to copy into your CD-ROM/CD-RW drive. Name this new disc in the box provided (when you use the disk this name will appear at the top of the file folder). The program will read the source disk and save the information temporarily to memory. When finished, the tray will open again. Remove the disk.
Next, insert your blank CD-RW disk into the tray and click "Next" to continue the burning process. The program will copy the information from the first disk onto the blank disk and then spit it out when finished.
With a CD-R disk you can only write information to the disk once (also called "WORM"--write once read many). With a CD-RW disk you can copy information to the CD then delete it later and record something else. Be sure to label your new CD as soon as you finish copying it. You can either mark the top of the CD with a black marker or use a circular CD label (see "Resources" below for CD labels and label printing software). You can also copy one or more files from the original source disk---to do this simply select "Create New Disk" in step two instead of "Copy a CD." You will then be able to picks files from the source disk to add to your new disk.
Most copyrighted CD and DVD disks are now created with special protections that prevent consumers from copying them without permission.