How to Make a CD Writable

By Jim Campbell

Updated February 10, 2017

Format your CD
i cd on cd image by Stephen Kirkby from

Writable CDs provide you with the ability to back up your important documents and installation files. Before writing to the CD, it requires a format. The Windows operating system can format these CDs for you without any external, expensive applications. The format process allows you to write information to the CD. Windows supports two kinds of format options, which provide different methods for saving your computer information.

Insert the blank CD into your writer. The Windows operating system detects the blank CD. After the CD loads into the drive, a window is displayed prompting you for the format.

Click the option labeled "Burn Files to Disc." This starts the format process and creates the writable CD. The first window prompts you for a CD label. This label is shown whenever you view the CD in your computer's drive. Enter a label and click "Next."

Click the button labeled "Show formatting options." This lists the two types of formatting options for your CD. The "Mastered" file system requires you to send all the files you want to save to the CD and click "Close" to burn the CD. The Live File System allows you to save files to the CD one-by-one without closing the CD. A Live File System CD works similarly to a hard drive.

Click "Next" to start the format process. Windows formats the CD, so you can write to the disk.