Friday, October 13, 2006

How do I get my photos onto my XP system then burn them to CDROM?

Dave, how do I move my pictures from my new digital camera to my hard drive to make a copy of them on a CD-R? My OS is Windows XP home.

For this question, I decided to do a bit of experimentation of my own. After all, I'm a professional photographer on the side (you can see some of my portfolio online at Colorado Portraits,) so I should know this stuff, even if I primarily use a Macintosh for my photography work.

Rather than plug my camera in directly, however, I used a compact flash card reader instead, a cheap card reader to use instead (the $25 SanDisk 8-in-1 reader). Why bother getting one of these? Because it's at least 5x faster than transferring the files directly from the camera.

Anyway, I plugged in the SanDisk unit to my Windows XP system and was pleased to see it appear as a "generic USB drive" without having to install any drivers. Even more impressively, Windows automatically pointed out that the unit could perform faster if it were hooked up to one of the USB 2.0 ports on the computer, rather than the default USB 1.1 drive.

Unlike my main Mac OS X system, however, Windows XP doesn't launch an image capture program for transferring photographs from the digital camera memory unit, it just shows the drive with two folders, DCIM and .Trashes. Open DCIM and you see a folder that's named after your camera (mine is "D100"), open that folder and you finally see all the photographs on the camera.

To save them to your desktop, just drag and drop the desired pictures or the top-level folder to your desktop and everything'll be copied as desired. I'd actually recommend that you create a new folder (I name mine after the current date), drag everything into that folder, then move that folder into your "My Pictures" folder, so that you're using the preferred Windows organization.

That's half the challenge.

To burn a CDROM of the images, you need to insert a writable CDROM disk into your burner drive, then select all the images or folders you want to copy onto the disk.

Right click on them and choose Copy this File, Copy This Folder or Copy These Selected Items (depending on what you've chosen). In the Copy Items dialog window, choose the writable drive, then click "Copy".

Now -- yeah, this is a hassle -- go back to My Computer, then double click on the writable drive again. Check that everything you want to copy shows up under the "Files Ready to be Written to the Disk" section. Ready? Everything looks good? Click on "Write these files to CD" under CD Writing Tasks, and your system should start burning the disk.

That should get you going. If you find that you still can't get files from your camera, or can't successfully burn to CDROM, please come back and we'll see if we can find some easier solutions.

This artical was written by: Dave Taylor on his web page Ask Dave Taylor

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