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I have a netbook with an external CD/DVD burner running Windows 7 Starter. Whenever I put any CD or DVD (doesn't have to be blank) in the drive and navigate to its path in Windows Explorer, it tells me under "Files Currently on the Disc":

Files Ready to Be Written to the Disc (1) desktop.ini 23/03/2011

I can't recall ever doing anything that I would've expected would send any files to be written the CD/DVD.

The contents of the .ini file doesn't look suspicious:

[.ShellClassInfo] LocalizedResourceName=@%SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll,-21815

Is this some Windows 7 feature I didn't know about? A known glitch? Likely the result of some accidental and unnoticed drag and drop? How do I undo it? Is it safe to just delete the desktop.ini via Windows Explorer?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 18 down vote accepted

Here is what happened:

  1. In the process of a burning a CD/DVD or preparing to burn a CD/DVD, you changed the sort order, arrangement, or other layout/view option for the special "Burn DVD" folder Windows uses as a staging area for these files to be different than the default view.
  2. A hidden "desktop.ini" file is created automatically to hold this information, so that the next time you view the folder it will remember your preference. This is normal behavior for any folder on your file system, and if you go looking for it you can find this file all over the place.
  3. After burning the CD, this file was cleared out along with everything else. However, your layout was still non-standard, and so it is recreated when the folder is closed.
  4. You now have a file sitting in the special staging folder, and that trips up the "File waiting to be burned to CD" notice.
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An answer that actually explains what causes it. This shoud be accepted. –  frostymarvelous Jan 13 '12 at 16:40
very good answer quality, I had the same question and it answer it perfectly, thanks you sir :) –  happy Oct 17 '13 at 13:38

The post Desktop.ini file keeps showing up as a file to be written to a blank CD says it is normal behavior. One person suggests hiding system files so you don't see it.

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You get the points for revealing I only see it because I have show hidden files enabled. –  hippietrail Apr 27 '11 at 1:03

Ignore it, it's just a file similar to the thumbs.db file you see. It can also be considered the same as the .DS_STORE file found in Macs. It just contains certain configuration for the current directory.

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Right click on the following folder: C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Burn or C:\Users*[your user name]*\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Burn

Select Properties > Security TAB > Edit > Click on any user name > CHECK: Deny (to the right of Full Control) > OK > OK

Desktop.ini no longer shows up, I don't know what other consequences this will have other than maybe not directly burning to the disc, but most of us use third party burning software anyway.

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Hmm I tried the version with [my user name] and when I clicked on a user name it was also mine. After clicking Deny and OK, the two desktop.ini still show up on my desktop. –  hippietrail Sep 29 '11 at 14:57




Local doesn't show up; just AppData and then Microsoft with an empty folder when Microsoft is clicked.

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Is this an answer or a comment on Bite-me's answer? –  hippietrail Aug 27 at 4:26

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