CreateCD - Windows XP, Windows 2003 and Windows Vista  CD Recording utility
Alex Feinman

0. News

10/09/2007: Build 3.01. First build for Windows Vista. This will also work on Windows XP with SP3 (currently in beta), or Windows Update 932716. It introduces the ability to write DVD disks (including double layer) and chose whether the disk is closed after recording.

10/31/2005: Build 1.33. Bugfix: if no -l option is specified, the label is now set correctly to YYYYMMDD representaion of the current date

07/09/2005: Build 1.29. Fixed a minor bug. If a file specified in the command line does not exist or is inaccessible, a warning is printed and the return value (errorlevel) is set to 1. This might break some of the existing scripts that check explicitly for the return value to be zero. If no files are specified to burn, the empty session is not created any more. THis means you can now use createcd -erase to quick-erase a CD-RW.

01/29/2004 : Build 1.25. Made change that allows CreateCD to run even under an account that does not have administrative privileges. Note that in this case CreateCD might not be able to reset IMAPI subsystem if it becomes unresponsive

06/14/2003 : Build 1.15. Fixed a problem with writing on a CD that already contains some files. Previously CreateCD would not accept such CD claiming that "the media is invalid for the operation." Thanks to everyone who reported this.

1. Description

CreateCD utility is designed as a command-line-based alternative to the GUI-based CD-Recording process in Windows XP and Windows 2003. It has several benefits:

  1. Allows for unattended operations from batch files. A non-zero exit code is returned on failure
  2. Supports erasing CD before recording
  3. When possible, does not create an intermediate copy of the files and directories being recorded 
  4. Supports creating bootable CDs. Currently boot image must be an image of a bootable 1.44MB floppy. The companion utility fdread.exe is used to create an image file of an existing floppy.

CreateCD utility uses the same APIs and interfaces as Windows XP Shell CD Recorder.

2. Usage

The following is a command line format for CreateCD utility:

CreateCD [options] <FILESPEC>[<FILESPEC>]...

options - one or more of the following:

Example: CreateCD -r:e -i:bootflpW98.img C:\Data\*.*

Use CD-Burner E:, make CD bootable using a file bootflpW98.img as an image. Record all files in C:\Data directory

  1. -e[rase] Erases disk using "quick" erase. This is what Windows GUI does. It leaves some data on the disk. The technical details are following: The quick option erases only the PMA, first session TOC, and the pre-gap of the first track. This erases a disc quickly (between 1 and 2 minutes depending on recorder speed), but the program area will still contain user data. A full erase, on the other hand, erases the entire disc.
  2. -f[ullerase] Erase entire disc. Takes quite some time. Depending on recorder model it can be from 10 - 15 min up to an hour. The full erase is effectively a full disc burn with 0 data at a highest speed, so the worst case scenario is 74 min for standard disc at 1X speed
  3. -nologo Do not display logo string. Useful for batch recording
  4. -r[ecorder]:<LETTER> Use recorder <LETTER>. If not specified, the first available recorder is used - typically it is the same one as used by Windows
  5. -s[peed]:<NUMBER> Use recording speed <NUMBER>. If not specified, the fastest speed that media supports is used
  6. -v[erbose] Produce more output. Prints progress messages and percentage done - not good for batch files
  7. -info Print recorder/disk information and exit. Prints recorder model, media type, amount of space available. This option should not be combined with others. The rest of options will be ignored
  8. -eject Eject disk after writing. Default is do not eject
  9. -l[abel]:<VOLUME label> Set volume label. Default is today's date in YYYYMMDD format - 20030329
  10. -i[mage]:<FILESPEC> Make disk bootable using image <FILESPEC>. <FILESPEC>should be an image of a bootable floppy. In order to prepare an image use a companion utility fdread.exe. Create a bootable floppy as usual. If an image is of W98 EBD, it'll contain all CD-ROM drivers. For now only 1.44MB images are supported

3. Download

CreateCD utility can be downloaded here. It is provided in ZIP format (not self-extracting). Unpack zip file into a directory and run utility from command line 

The utility is free. If you really like it, I accept small PayPal donations.

4. License

This utility is free for non-commercial (personal) use. Other types of use should be discussed with the author (a very reasonable person) - see the contact information section. Author shall not be liable for any damage resulting from the use of this utility. All rights are reserved. 4. Contact information Problems should be reported to To discuss licensing issues please e-mail to Alex Feinman