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Ask Max: CD Burning Question

Asked on 09/16/2008:

I have a mirror G4 with a PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-104. At first, I had trouble trying to figure out how to burn a cd. MacHelp lead me to the DiskUtility, but I still couldn't burn. I might have erased something I shouldn't have, because now the drive won't mount any cd's. How do I get them to mount again?? Please help!


Burring a CD or DVD requires some software. Apple is good at building in this software, but it does depend on what version of the Mac OS you are using.

In Mac OS X there is burning support built into the Finder, often it is called "Desktop Burning." This allows you to insert a blank disc and it will appear as a writable volume on the Desktop. You Drag files to it until it is full and then drag it to the Trash to burn the disc. Rewritable CD-RW/DVD-RW disks have to be erased in Disk Utility first, but then they act the same as the plain CD-R/DVD-R discs. It is also possible for other applications to burn discs. A common application that people burn CDs with is iTunes. Because there are a few burning options, most times the Mac OS will ask you what application you intend to use. You can also set a default burning application, and never be asked the question again. Perhaps this is what has happened to you. You could have set a default action of "ignore" for the inserting of blank discs.

To fix this, go to System Preferences under the Blue Apple menu. Click on the CDs & DVDs icon. Change the popup menu for "When you insert a blank CD:" to show Ask what to Do. Then Change the popup menu for "When you insert a blank DVD:" to show Ask what to Do. Close the window and then insert a blank CD-R. Set the Action popup menu to "Open In Finder" and click the OK button. It should now be on your desktop ready to have you add files to it. When you are ready to burn it, just drag the disc over to the Trash. The Trash icon will change to a burn icon and you will be asked to confirm the burn.

In OS 9 Desktop Burning was not available. A non-Apple program was needed called Toast, but the OS 9 version is discontinued. The OS 9 version of iTunes will burn music CDs, but for modern disc burning, OS X should be used.

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