CD writing in Windows XP and ISO Recorder

A couple of things learned while rebuilding my home pc:

1. If you have Windows XP and a CD or DVD rw drive, you do not need Nero, EasyCD Creator, Roxio, or any other third-party software to write stuff to your CD;

2. A free utility for Windows XP, called ISO Recorder, allows you to create a CD image file. It also allows you to expand an ISO image file and write them to a CD.

Here is the long story.

As I mentioned before, my home computer died a few weeks ago. I salvaged important files using Knoppix. Now it is time to put Windows XP SP2 on it so the family can keep using it.

Here is the problem: I have Windows XP SP2 from one expired MSDN subscription I had before, it is on DVD. However, I cannot or don’t know how to change the bios setting so the machine can boot from my secondary DVD-RW drive (let me know if you know how to do it). Originally, this machine came with a CD-RW drive. (I’ve changed the booting sequence so CD-RW is ahead of the hard disk.) I bought a DVD-RW a few years back so we can use DVDs.

Fortunately, my laptop has a DVD-RW/CD-RW drive. I first copied the Windows XP SP2 iso image file from the DVD to the laptop’s hard drive. I then used Windows’ built-in CD writing ability to copy it to a blank CD, hoping that it somehow allows me to expand the image file. It cannot. That leads me to ISO Recorder, which worked beautifully for me.

It appeared that Windows XP SP2 does not have the ability to write to a blank DVD, even if you have a DVD-RW drive. Again, let me know if I am wrong on this. I found the whole DVD-RW business to be pretty confusing, with so many different formats, media, and acronyms flying around.

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