1. Nero CD Writing Software

This is a brief introduction to using the Nero CD writing software. This is currently available on the PC Scanner 1 machine in the Help Centre.

Nero is one of the popular CD-writing applications that is often supplied for CD-writers on Windows PCs. It can create or copy CDs in a variety of formats including data CDs and audio CDs. This document covers the basic use of the software to create a new data CD.

2. Types of CD

There are two types of CD:
  • Recordable - also known as CD-R
  • Rewriteable - also known as CD-RW

On CD-R disks, the space can only be used once, although the contents can be added to over multiple sessions until the total space has been used. CD-R disks can be read on a much wider variety of CD drives.

On CD-RW disks, the space can be re-used indefinitely. However, CD-RW disks can only be used on CD-RW drives and not on ordinary CD-ROM read-only drives. CD-RW disks are also more expensive to buy.

3. Starting up Nero

To start up Nero, double-click on the its icon on the Windows desktop.

4. Wizard and Advanced Modes

Nero has two modes of operation: Wizard mode and Advanced mode. What you see when you start up Nero depends on which mode the previous user left selected. Most people use the simpler Wizard mode. The mode you are in affects the operation of some of the buttons and menu options when you are using Nero. To switch between Wizard and Advanced modes, use the [Use Nero Wizard] option on the Nero [Help] menu.

When you start up Nero with Wizard mode enabled, the Nero Wizard automatically runs and prompts for details of what you want to do.

You can call up the Wizard at a later stage by using Nero's [File/New] menu option.

5. Compiling a New Data CD

5.1. Using the Wizard

With the Nero Wizard, follow the screen prompts as shown below to compile a new data CD:

5.2. Compiling the Data

After the Wizard has run, you should be presented with the compilation window. At the right is a file browser which shows you the files available on your own computer system. On the left is an area showing the files that you have selected for placing on the CD - this will initially be blank apart from a disk icon labelled NEW representing the empty CD.

To select files for placing on the CD, drag files and folders from the file browser across to the NEW disk icon. You can then build up a tree of files and/or folders in any combination you like, as shown below. In this example, the file data.z from the local folder My Documents is being added to the CD compilation.

Note that nothing is actually being copied to the CD at this stage - you are just creating a list of the items you want. If you change your mind about an item, you can delete it from the left-hand part of the display by right-clicking on its icon and choosing the [Delete] option from the local pop-up menu.

5.3. Writing the CD

When you are happy with the list of items you have compiled, you copy them to the CD using the [Write CD] option on the [File] menu.

Place the CD for writing into the appropriate drive. On the Help Centre PC Scanner 1 machine, this is the lower of the two CD drives.

On the next screen, click on the Burn button.

Then on the Choose Recorder(s) dialogue, click on the OK button.

Writing of the CD will then begin and its progress shown. The CD writing process is very sensitive to interruption so don't do anything else on the computer until writing is complete.

At the end of the writing process, click the Discard button to remove the progress messages.

To begin work on another CD, use the [File/New] menu option.

6. Adding to an Existing CD

The contents of an existing CD can be modified in a subsequent session - this includes both CD-RW and CD-R disks, but not CD-R disks that have been "closed" (this mainly applies to audio CDs which need to be closed before use on audio CD players).

To add to an existing CD, choose the [Continue an existing Data-CD (multi-session)] in the Nero Wizard dialogue. This will cause the existing CD contents to be read and displayed in the left-hand part of the Compilation window. The contents can be added to or amended in the same way as when compiling a new CD. When the new contents have been compiled, the [File/Write CD] option is again used to write the updates to the CD contents.