I’ve never had a problem with burning data CDs or DVDs in Windows 10, as far as I can remember. I’ve generally used the built-in burning function in Windows Explorer. Well, today, I bought a bunch of comics via this Humble Bundle, downloaded all the comics in it, and then wanted to burn them to disc as a backup. I’ve done that plenty of times before, but I couldn’t get it to work today.
After going through a bunch of troubleshooting steps, I finally gave up and downloaded CDBurnerXP. That worked fine. I’m pretty sure I’ve used CDBurnerXP in the past. (I had an entry for it in my Pinboard account from 2009, so I was at least aware of it.)
I briefly considered going back to Nero, which used to be my go-to program for CD/DVD burning, as far back as 2004. But I’m not sure about Nero anymore. They do still sell their “Nero Burning ROM” program, but there doesn’t seem to be a freeware “light” version anymore, nor is there an obvious way to get a 30-day trial of their full product, so I didn’t want to spend money on that, not knowing if it would work or not.
And there’s still a Roxio product for burning CDs and DVDs, but again there doesn’t seem to be a freeware version or a trial version available.
All of which leads me into a rant about trying to find legitimate freeware/shareware Windows software these days. I’ve found that the best way to find something is to go back through my own Pinboard bookmarks and/or blog entries, and try to find something familiar that I’d used in the past. There used to be good semi-trustworthy sites for finding freeware/shareware, like Tucows (which surprisingly was still around until about a month ago.) There were a few others, but at this point, I can’t ever remember their names.
Nowadays, we’ve got the Windows Store, which should be good and trustworthy, but there’s a lot of questionable stuff in there. Is MajorGeeks.com good/trustworthy? Maybe? Their burning tools page looks pretty good. And this Best Free Software of 2020 article from PC Mag has some good stuff in it (including CDBurnerXP). I guess PC Mag is still reputable.
I get worried about downloading freeware programs that may contain malware. The Windows Store should take care of that, I guess, but it still seems like there’s a bunch of crap in the Windows Store, and a bunch of the more useful freeware utilities don’t ever make it into the store.
I wound up tweaking some security settings as part of my troubleshooting today, and I just noticed that Windows has flagged the installer for an old version of ImgBurn from 2010 as a risk. I let it delete that. (A more recent installer, from 2016, didn’t raise any alarms.) Makes me wonder if that was a false positive or not. Did I download a hacked version of ImgBurn in 2010? I guess it doesn’t matter at this point, since I wasn’t going to install a ten-year-old version of ImgBurn anyway.
Oh well. This is just another blog post from a cranky old man who wanted to spend five minutes burning a DVD backup today and wound up spending an hour or two troubleshooting and working around annoying Windows problems.