The first time I needed to burn a DVD or CD I remember it took me an hour or so of searching out and downloading and testing software before I discovered a method I liked. Hopefully this post can save you a bit of that time.

The first thing you’ll want is some burning software. For this guide I’ll use my (free) favorite: ImgBurn, though you can substitute a different burning app if you’d like. Burning is a two step process: copy the original disc to your computer, and then copy to a new, blank disc.

Step 1: Copy the DVD (or CD) to your Computer

This step copies the contents of a disc to your computer’s hard drive. It creates an ISO file(pronounced: eye-ess-oh) that you can burn to a blank DVD or CD in step two.

Insert the disc you’d like to copy and open ImgBurn. Next click on “Create image file from disc”.

Next, choose the name of the .iso file and where to save it by clicking on the file and magnifying glass icon (or File > Browse for a destination file). Now choose a place to save your digital DVD or CD copy and click Save. (I choose to save mine to the desktop.)

Once you have the name and location set, you are ready to click the Disc to File icon (or File Menu > Read).

ImgBurn will show you its progress. (This can take a while.)

When its finished you can move on to Step 2.

Step 2: Burn an .ISO to a Blank Disc

This step burns a disc image (a copy of your DVD or CD) from your computer to a blank CD or DVD.

First insert a blank disc into your drive. Next, change ImgBurn to Write mode by choosing Write from the Mode menu. (If you’ve closed ImgBurn, open it again and select Write image file to disc.)

Select the .iso file you’d like to burn by clicking the file and magnifying glass icon. Find your .iso file and click Open.

Once you’ve opened the .iso you’d like to burn, click the File to Disc button (or File Menu > Write).

ImgBurn will start burning your disc for you. (This can take a while, too.)

At one point it will open and close the disc drive. If you have a slot-loading drive or a laptop Imgburn will be unable to close the disc drive and you’ll need to push the disc back in so Imgburn can verify the disc (check to make sure all the 1’s and 0’s made it to the right spot). When verification completes you have a new copy of the disc.

That should be it, but if you have any questions you can always shoot us an email at helpdesk @ or call extension 109.

Note that it’s not legal to make a copy of a disk for which you or the UUA does not own the copyright, so don’t do that.



About the Author
James Curran