Why Won't Windows 8 Burn CDs?

by Andrew Aarons

By default, Windows 8 should be able to burn CDs and DVDs. It can write to discs and can rewrite discs, as long as your computer’s hardware supports that kind of behavior -- if your computer has a CD-RW drive. A Windows 8 machine may fail to burn a disc for a few reasons not specific to the operating system, but Windows 8 itself has only one known issue with disc burning.

Windows 8 Problem

Microsoft reports one known issue with burning a CD using its built-in software. Since the operating system is designed to be simple to use, Windows 8 supports right-click “burn to disc” options. If you try to burn files to a disc while a disc is being burned, however, Windows encounters an error and says, “There was a problem burning this disc.” The operating system interrupts its burning process to add new files to a queue to be burned, making the disc you were in the process of burning into a handy coaster but a bad CD.


Until Microsoft releases a Windows 8 update that specifically addresses its known CD burning issue, it advises you to simply wait until one disc is finished burning before starting a queue for the second disc. Additionally, apart from losing one blank CD to the mistake, nothing much else happens if the disc stops burning; Windows keeps all of the files in a temporary folder and offers you the choice to insert a new CD and burn the exact same files again.

Disc Problems

You may not be able to burn to a disc in any version of Windows if the disc is damaged or if it already has a finished session on it. This depends on how you burn discs. Each time you burn a CD you have the choice to finish the session or finish the disc. Finishing the session means that Windows finalizes the CD’s file system so that the computer can read the disc but you can add to it again later (with a CD-RW). Finishing the disc means that the file system is closed so that the disc can be read in a CD player or in another computer; you can’t burn to a finalized disc.

Third-Party Software

If you updated your computer to Windows 8 after having Windows 7 or an earlier operating system, there’s no guarantee that your old CD burning software will work correctly. If you haven’t already, burn to CD with Window’s built-in Burn to Disc utility. Software by another manufacturer may or may not work correctly in Windows 8, but you can check the manufacture’s website for a Windows 8 version of the burning program -- or to see if that software is compatible with Windows 8 at all.

About the Author

Living in Canada, Andrew Aarons has been writing professionally since 2003. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Ottawa, where he served as a writer and editor for the university newspaper. Aarons is also a certified computer-support technician.

Photo Credits

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