Dell computers ship with Windows 7 Home Premium, or an upgraded version if you chose to upgrade during system configuration. Windows 7 offers the ability to burn CDs through Windows Media Player or Windows Explorer, which means you will not need any additional software. Through Windows Media Player, you can burn audio or data CDs, though you're limited to media files; through Windows Explorer, you can burn CDs without limits as far as file type. Audio CDs allow you to play music CDs in standard CD players. Data CDs allow you to back up your files.
Using Windows Media Player
Open Windows Media Player from the Start menu.
Insert a blank CD into your CD burner and close the tray. Wait a few moments for the drive to spin up and recognize the blank disc.
Click the "Burn" tab on the upper, right-hand side of the Windows Media Player window.
Click the drop-down triangle, located just below and to the right of, "Burn."
Click "Data CD" or "Audio CD," depending on your needs. If you want to play the CD in a CD player, select "Audio CD." For backup purposes, select "Data CD."
Locate the files you wish to add from the middle panel by navigating the folders on the left. Drag files into the right-hand panel, where it says "Burn list." You will notice the amount listed above the burn list as "free" will become smaller as you add more files. When you are at zero, your CD cannot hold any more files. For a data CD, you can add up to 700MB of data. For an audio CD, you can add up to 80 minutes.
Drag files from the burn list up or down to change the order in which they are burned. This feature is only applicable when burning audio CDs.
Click "Start Burn" at the top of the burn list to burn the CD. This will take several minutes. If you added more files than you had room for on the CD, then you will be prompted to add another CD. Otherwise, you will be notified when the CD burn is complete.
Using Windows Explorer
Insert a blank CD into your CD burner.
Select "Burn files to disc using Windows Explorer" in the "Autoplay" window. If you do not see the autoplay window, open Windows Explorer by pressing the Windows key and "E" simultaneously. Then double-click the drive letter that corresponds to your CD burner.
Type a name for your CD in the "Burn a Disc" window. Select "With a CD/DVD player" for a media CD or "Like a USB flash drive" for a data backup, then click "Next."
Locate the files you wish to burn in Windows Explorer. Drag and drop these files onto the drive letter which corresponds to your CD burner.
Click "Burn to disc" at the top toolbar. The files will be copied. When completed, the drive will open.
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