How to Burn CDs and DVDs Using an External DVD Drive

This step-by-step guide walks you through the process of burning CDs and DVDs using an external DVD drive. It provides clear instructions and helpful tips to ensure that you can easily create backups or make your own music and movie discs. By following this guide, you will be able to address the problem of not knowing how to use an external DVD drive for burning CDs and DVDs. Shocking fact: Did you know that CDs and DVDs were invented as early as the late 1960s?


Check Compatibility

To ensure compatibility, first check the system requirements of your computer and external DVD drive. Verify that they meet the necessary specifications by comparing them with the recommended requirements provided by the manufacturer. This will help ensure that both devices are compatible and will work seamlessly together.


Connect the External DVD Drive

To connect the external DVD drive to your computer, follow these steps:

  1. Plug in one end of the provided USB cable into the USB port on your computer.
  2. Plug the other end of the USB cable into the USB port on the external DVD drive.
  3. Ensure that the connections are secure and fully inserted.
  4. Wait for your computer to recognize the external DVD drive. This may take a few moments.
  5. Once recognized, you can start using the external DVD drive to read or write discs as desired.

Insert the Blank CD or DVD

  1. Open the external DVD drive tray by pressing the eject button on the front panel.
  2. Take a blank CD or DVD and hold it by the edges, making sure not to touch the shiny surface.
  3. Align the disc with the tray, ensuring that the label side is facing up.
  4. Gently push the disc into the tray until it is securely placed.
  5. Close the DVD drive tray by pressing the eject button again.

Select Burning Software

  1. Choose a burning software that is compatible with your operating system. For example, if you are using Windows, you can consider popular options like Nero Burning ROM, Ashampoo Burning Studio, or ImgBurn. If you are on a Mac, you can try out software like Roxio Toast or BurnX Free.
  2. Download the selected burning software from the official website or a trusted source. For instance, if you decided to go with Nero Burning ROM, visit the Nero website and navigate to their downloads section.
  3. Install the software on your computer by following the installation wizard. Double-click on the downloaded file to start the installation process. Then, carefully read and accept the terms and conditions. Choose the desired installation location and click on “Install” to begin the installation.
  4. Launch the burning software once the installation is complete. Look for the software’s icon on your desktop or in the Start menu and double-click on it to open the program. Now you are ready to start burning your desired files onto CDs or DVDs.

Open the Burning Software

Launch the installed burning software by double-clicking on its icon or selecting it from the start menu. Once the software opens, it will automatically detect the external DVD drive connected to your computer as the target device for burning. Ensure that the DVD drive is properly connected and recognized by the software before proceeding with the burning process.


Add Files to the Project

To add files to the project in the burning software, start by creating a new project or selecting the option to burn data, audio, or video files. Then, locate the files you want to burn on your computer and simply drag and drop them into the project. Alternatively, you can click on the “Add Files” button and browse through your computer’s folders to select the desired files. Make sure to review the files you have added to the project before proceeding with the burning process.


Arrange and Edit Files (if necessary)

To arrange the files in the desired order, simply click and drag the files into the sequence you prefer. For example, if you have a collection of audio files, you can click on each file and move it up or down in the list until they are arranged in the desired order. If necessary, make edits or adjustments by adding track information such as artist name, album title, or genre for audio files. For video clips, you can trim them by selecting the clip and using the editing tools to remove unwanted sections.


Choose Burning Settings

Configure the burning settings according to your preferences. To select the burning speed, click on the “Burning Speed” option and choose the desired speed from the available options. To select the disc format, click on the “Disc Format” option and choose either CD, DVD, or Blu-ray. Finally, to verify the burned data, enable the “Verify Data” option by clicking on the checkbox next to it.


Start the Burning Process

To start the burning process, double-check all the settings in the burning software. Make sure everything is set up correctly, such as the burning speed and the destination drive. Once you have confirmed the settings, click the ‘Burn’ or ‘Start’ button in the software. The software will then begin the burning process and display a progress bar, indicating how much of the burning task has been completed.


Finalize and Eject the Disc

  1. Finalize the Disc: After the burning process is complete, the software will automatically finalize the disc. This step ensures that no further data can be added or modified on the disc.
  2. Eject the Disc: Once the disc is finalized, the external DVD drive tray will automatically eject the burned disc. Take care not to remove the disc prematurely, as this may result in an incomplete or unreadable disc.
  3. Remove the Disc: Gently grasp the ejected disc from the tray and carefully lift it out. Handle the disc by its edges to avoid any fingerprints or smudges that could affect its readability.
  4. Close the Tray: After removing the disc, press the eject button on the external DVD drive to close the tray. This will prevent any dust or debris from entering the drive when it is not in use.

Note: If the disc does not automatically eject, you can manually eject it by pressing the eject button on the external DVD drive or using the eject function in the disc burning software.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, with the help of this guide, you have learned the essential steps to successfully burn CDs and DVDs using an external DVD drive. By ensuring compatibility, connecting the drive, choosing suitable software, adding files, adjusting settings, and finalizing the disc, you can now enjoy the process of creating your own custom CDs and DVDs. Happy burning!

Necessary Equipment

  • External DVD Drive
  • Blank CDs or DVDs
  • Burning Software

Mastering disc burning

  • Ensure that your external DVD drive is compatible with your computer’s operating system. Check the manufacturer’s specifications or consult the user manual for compatibility information
  • Connect the external DVD drive to your computer using the USB cable provided. Make sure the drive is securely connected and recognized by your computer
  • Insert a blank CD or DVD into the external DVD drive. Ensure that the disc is compatible with the drive and is of good quality to avoid any writing errors
  • Open the CD/DVD burning software installed on your computer. Popular options include Nero Burning ROM, Windows Media Player, or ImgBurn. If you don’t have any software installed, you can download and install a free burning program like CDBurnerXP or BurnAware
  • In the burning software, select the option to create a new data disc or burn an ISO image, depending on your requirements
  • Browse your computer’s files and select the files or folders you want to burn onto the CD or DVD. You can also drag and drop the files directly into the burning software window
  • Before starting the burning process, double-check that you have enough space on the CD or DVD for all the selected files. If necessary, remove some files or reduce their size to fit within the available storage capacity
  • Set the desired burning speed. Higher speeds may result in faster burning times but can also increase the risk of errors. It’s generally recommended to choose a moderate speed for better reliability
  • Configure any additional settings, such as disc finalization (which prevents further writing on the disc) or disc verification (which checks the integrity of the burned data)
  • Click on the “Burn” or “Start” button to initiate the burning process. Depending on the size of the files and the burning speed, it may take a few minutes to complete
  • Once the burning process is finished, eject the CD or DVD from the external drive. Handle it carefully to avoid any scratches or damage
  • Test the burned disc by inserting it into a CD/DVD player or another computer to ensure that the data was successfully burnt and can be accessed without any issues

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Use an External DVD Drive

  • Connect the external DVD drive to your computer using the USB cable provided
  • Make sure the computer recognizes the external DVD drive. You can check this by going to “My Computer” or “This PC” on Windows, or “Finder” on macOS
  • Insert the DVD or CD you want to use into the external DVD drive
  • Once the DVD or CD is inserted, your computer should automatically recognize it and display its contents. If not, you can manually open it by double-clicking on the DVD drive icon
  • To play a DVD movie or install software from a DVD, double-click on the corresponding file or program within the DVD drive
  • To burn a DVD or CD, open the software you want to use for burning (e.g., Windows Media Player, iTunes, or third-party burning software), select the files you want to burn, and follow the prompts to complete the burning process
  • After finishing using the DVD or CD, you can eject it by either right-clicking on the DVD drive icon and selecting “Eject” or by pressing the eject button on the external DVD drive

Frequently Asked Questions about External DVD Drives

What are the advantages of using an external DVD drive?

There are several advantages of using an external DVD drive:

  1. Versatility: An external DVD drive allows you to read and write DVDs and CDs on any computer or laptop, regardless of whether it has an internal optical drive. This is particularly useful for devices, such as ultrabooks or newer laptops, that no longer come with built-in DVD drives.
  2. Portability: External DVD drives are compact and lightweight, making them highly portable. You can easily carry them in your bag or pocket, allowing you to use them on-the-go or when traveling.
  3. Easy installation: External DVD drives are typically plug-and-play devices, meaning they require no additional software or drivers to be installed. You simply connect the drive to your computer via USB, and it is ready to use.
  4. Backup and storage: An external DVD drive can be used for backing up important data or creating physical copies of files. DVDs provide a reliable and low-cost option for long-term storage, especially for large amounts of data.
  5. Compatibility: External DVD drives are compatible with various operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux. This makes them suitable for users across different platforms.
  6. Upgradeability: Unlike internal DVD drives, which may require opening up your computer or laptop for replacement or upgrading, external DVD drives can be easily replaced or upgraded without any technical expertise.
  7. Cost-effective: External DVD drives are generally affordable, making them a cost-effective solution for users who occasionally need to read or write DVDs or CDs but do not require a built-in optical drive.

Show all Most Helpful Highest Rating Lowest Rating Add your review
  1. One suggestion I have is to include information about the different file formats that can be burned onto a CD or DVD. It would be helpful to know which formats are compatible with most devices.

  2. I would also appreciate some troubleshooting tips in case I encounter any issues during the burning process. Overall, a very informative and useful article!

  3. Great article! The step-by-step instructions were easy to follow and I was able to successfully burn a CD using my external DVD drive.

    Leave a reply

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