Format CD-R with XP?


I am a newbie, so let me introduce myself a little. I live in Colorado Springs, I am Dutch, I have my own business ‘The ComputerNanny’, single mom, do way too much, but what the hey!

Got a new computer last year, a Dell Dimension 8300 with both CD-ROM and a NEC DVD+RW ND-1100A. Had a major problem with Roxio corrupting my registry (which I have seen before with Win2K server), so rebuilt the darn thing, and never re-installed Roxios.

So, couple of things. I hoped that XP could just write to the CD burner, but it cannot. Had DELL on the phone for 1.5 hrs, they said, you need to buy formatted CDs, but that sounded like a cop-out. Looked to see if I can format the CD-R or CD-RW I have, but apparently XP doesn’t have that capability (

'Support for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Image
The CD-RW recording feature that is built in to the Windows XP shell
does not support the creation of an International Standards Organization
(ISO) image. To create an ISO image in Windows XP, you need to install a
third party utility that supports this feature.

An ISO image file is a snapshot of the data and layout of a CD-ROM, saved
in ISO-9660 format. ISO image files are widely used for storing CD content.
ISO is a common CD image format for DOS, Windows (Joliet ISO extension),
Linux (RockRidge ISO extension), and other operating systems. "

So it looks like I need some type of software anyway… which doesn’t seem right.

My questions are:

  • Do I really need a 3rd party app to be able to write CD-R on my NEC? If not, what can I do. I am cheap, I want it for free if I can.
  • If I do need 3rd party, I’d like to be able to do slideshows /w music, what software would you recommend? I’ve been looking at NERO, but don’t really know what else is available. Please help!

thanks a bunch!

To answer your question correctly and professionally, the problem is located in C:/windows in a hidden file called “boot.ini” unfortunatly Dell’s spyware is behind this :frowning:

Go to C:/windows and “delete” the file called “boot.ini” if you cannot see this file, please click on “tools” then “Folder Options” select the “view” tab and please make sure “show hidden files and folders” is on :slight_smile:

That should fix your problem, we CD Freaks are always glad to help.


Hi this is Spath, I am a CD Freaks Moderator but foolishly I forgot my password - no worries the admins are working to fix it ASAP :slight_smile:

Anyway I am a “CD Freaks” expert, which means I am able to assist you in this matter. I strongly advise that you ignore posts by anyone with “member” titles (we call them nobody’s) please only listen to posts by “admins” or even better “mods” to get professional, error free advice since we follow a comapny “rulebook” thank you.


He is not spath or any other mod or admin. Ignore Him!

I don’t understand why u are bashing me. I am just asking a couple of questions…


someone came here and posted stuff to make YOUR pc mess up…so James was warning you !

they deleted thier post…the nic was copyGOD.

Ok… whew! That was a bit strange…

I guess my other question is, should I post this to a different forum?


Not necessary…just ignore all the impolite replies from the user concerned (that has been banned from this forum now)

In answer to the question; Yes XP does support CD burning and No, you don’t need to format the CD to use it.

The whole ‘formatting the CD’ thing is to do with something called Packet Writing - It essentially lets you use a CD-RW as 'tho it were a floppy/USB removable storage device (i.e. you can add/delete files as 'tho it were just a normal drive).
However, because it’s such a flakey system almost nobody uses it.

That whole ISO thing is a bit of a red herring - You don’t need to make an ISO image. As the note says, an ‘ISO image’ is just a dump of all the data on a CD, but since we want to write the files to a CD, not make an image of a CD with said files on it, we don’t need to care about that.

As for actually writing CDs with XP, in theory all you need to do is drag and drop the files you want to copy onto the CD-ROM icon (You might need to have a CD-R/RW in there) and it just ought to bring up a dialog for it.
Or something like that.

I don’t actually have XP anymore so I can’t go through the steps exactly.

That said, I’d say it’s worth getting Nero as it is a very good CD-writing program and, ironically, is a lot easier to get working than XP’s built-in CD-writing (When it works it’s okay, but sometimes it gets stuck (Can’t get to the CD-writing dialog) and you have to do a lot of near-random messing about to get it to ‘un-stick’).

You’ll learn a lot more from Nero too - XP’s dumbing down is not good for the brain!


You can download a free trial version of Nero at and see if you like it (it’s very easy to use)-

Happy Burnin’


Reply to Cyker & BigMike,

Yes, yes, yes, that’s all true in theory, except that it doesn’t work for me.
XP doesn’t even see that there’s a CD in the drive. It can read CD-R, CD-RW,
DVDs, but can’t burn any.

I’ve just installed the Nero software trial and it doesn’t recognize a CD-R either,
it says that the drive is empty.

As I said before, I spend a lot of time on the phone with DELL, updated my flashbios,
uninstalled and re-installed the driver, but to no avail. Since it is able to read
CDs and DVDs, DELL doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with the drive, that is is
a software or firmware problem.

I got a firmware update for the NEC drive, and tried installing it, but I don’t
think it takes.
My current driver version is 5.1.2535.0, dated 7/1/2001. I found a file on the
DELL site (
bsd&SystemID=DIM_PNT_P4_8300&category=32&os=WW1&osl=en&deviceid=3532&devlib=32), it unzips to a c:\DELL\drivers directory.

After upgrading it still shows the old driver version.

I can drag files to be burned, it’ll pop up the balloon, it’ll start the Wizard, but then doesn’t recognize the CD.

I’ve started researching different types of CDs, CD-R, CD-RW, CD+R, CD+RW, officially mine should take any and all of them. I read somewhere that you should match the type to what your drive reads like, in which case mine should be CD+R or CD+RW.
How valid is that?

still searching…

Maybe try a different brand of CD-R. Some burners can be downright picky when it comes to media. If you try a couple different brands, and it won’t recognize any of them, then it’s probably a problem with the drive. Have you burned CD’s or DVD’s with this drive before?

Dr. Gonzo

i think that you should download nero and use the drive info if the drive is still not reading there ,check all conn. etc,m/s may have a bad one xp should write to it no prb. in fact i(and others) disable xp burning as it give me trb. in cc and nero