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by JB Burke

Q. I’d like to be able to create or copy CD’s and DVD’s, but I’d rather not sink a bunch of money into a fancy software package. Are there any reliable free alternatives?

A. There are a number of free ones – the one I use most is ImgBurn, available from their website. Here’s are ImgBurn’s tasks: Write image file to disc; Create image file from disc; Verify disc; Write files/folders to disc; Create image file from files/folders; Discovery. ImgBurn doesn’t copy a CD or DVD directly to another. You need to first create an image (ISO) file from the CD or DVD you want copied, and then burn that image onto a blank CD or DVD (or 2 or 3 or more if you like). Verify allows you to verify the contents of a disc against an image file on your hard drive. “Write files/folders to disc” allows you to bypass the image file creation, and “Create image file from files/folders” does just what it says.

Like any good software, there are many additional options for each basic task, but to tell the truth, I seldom bother with them. It just does a good job of what it does.

Another good choice is CDburnerXP which is available here and it works in XP, Vista and Windows 7. It allows you to directly copy a CD or DVD to a blank. It also has additional functions to allow you to create audio discs, with or without gaps between tracks, as well as erase re-writeable discs.

One or both of those should do the trick.

Published: Courier 7/4/10 - Page 5C