How do I properly burn a CD?
June 8, 2005 3:54 AM   Subscribe

I have a file that I want to burn to CD. Easy, yeah, but due to the important nature of the project I want to make sure I do it right...

I'll just come out with it--it's WinXP Home. I have a .bin and a .cue file that I got....somewhere. I seem to remember trying to burn a cd this way and it not working. Do I burn both files together? Is the file format, as in type of CD I choose, important? I'll be using this to reformat my 'puter, so it's pretty vital that I do it right.

Any help would be appreciated.
posted by zardoz to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
This page gives you a lot of useful information.

In short, the .CUE file contains the track layout information, while the .BIN file holds the actual data. You can use Alcohol, Nero or CDRWin (amongst other applications - but not EasyCD if I remember correctly) to create a working CD with these files.
posted by ralawrence at 4:55 AM on June 8, 2005

Thanks ralawrence. I burned one CD and when I rebooted it just gave me a DOS prompt, not the Windows DOS setup screen you normally get. What did I do wrong?
posted by zardoz at 5:50 AM on June 8, 2005

I'm not sure how to get the disk bootable I'm afriad.

Bit of a guess here, but if you're installing a well known Operating System then I normally boot using a DOS floppy (see here for one, the 98SE is good enough) and then run the setup program in the i386 folder. Make sure that the floppy runs smartdrv.exe otherwise the copying of files during the install with be very very slow (over an hour rather than 20 minutes).

If the floppy doesn't have it (and the one I mentioned, I don't think has), just download the file from the internet, stick it on the disk and run it before you start the setup. No other files are required.
posted by ralawrence at 6:03 AM on June 8, 2005

If you just dumped them both onto a CD, it won't work. You need to tell the burning program that you are burning an image CD and point it to the .CUE file. In Nero for example there is a "Burn Image" option in the "File" menu. After you select this it will ask where your .CUE file is. Nero will do what it needs to with the .BIN after this. Other burning software should work in a very similar way. I have produced bootable CDs in this way before.
Also, the files need to be in the same folder, and I think need to have identical names (apart from the extensions). Hope this helps.
posted by Who_Am_I at 6:07 AM on June 8, 2005

Did you burn it as an image, or just the .bin file itself? If you are using Nero 6, choose Burn Image, not Data Disc, then find your .cue (you may have to choose All Types or All Files from the file type menu at the bottom). If the files you have are set up correctly, it will burn as bootable from there.

On preview, Who_Am_I is correct.
posted by dual_action at 6:10 AM on June 8, 2005

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