Accessing a CD-ROM

Your computer uses many different media types to store data. Floppy disks, hard drives, USB cartridges, and CD-ROMS are some of the different devices you might employ for storing information. Most computers come equipped with CD-ROM drives, making it one of the most popular media available. The CD-ROM is durable, cheap and holds a relatively large amount of data. In this exercise we will learn how to access folders and files from a CD-ROM.

When you first insert your CD into the drive, you might see the scroll down menu at right. Unless you want to watch a movie or listen to music, you will probably want to select Take no action. This returns you to the My Computer menu.

Before your CD-ROM can be accessed, it must be placed in your CD drive. Generally that is located on the right side of your computer. Be sure the drive is closed, and give if a few seconds to be read by your operating system. One general bit of operating advice: when you are not using a CD-ROM, remove it from the drive. If you do not remove it, the drive will keep spinning, causing your computer to use unnecessary resources. If you are operating your computer on battery power, this is a special problem because it will drain your battery much quicker. Now: to begin, go to Start > My Computer.

Assuming that you have inserted the CD into the drive (face-up), you will now see confirmation that it has been read (highlighted in blue at right). You will also see, under Details, information about your CD. It will give you the CD's name (in this case it is identified only by manufacturer's number, and also how much free space is available from the total CD capacity. Double-click on the CD icon to open it.
When you return to My Computer, you will see a listing of files and folders on the CD. Double-click on any folder to see the files inside. Then double-click again to open any file you choose. You now know how to access any file on any CD-ROM you might have to read from your computer. One suggestion: if you are going to use any of these files frequently, you will probably want to take advantage of the "Copy this folder" command to move the file to your hard drive. It will enable you to access that file much quicker than having to go the the CD-ROM each time.

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