After inserting a CD-ROM into the optical drive of my computer, two different accessible CDs show up on my desktop. One contains only audio files and the other some additional files. How is this possible? I thought that a CD cannot be divided into multiple partitions?


CDs store multiple tracks – an audio CD has a track for each song, while a data CD has a single track containing the entire filesystem. (Note that the audio tracks are not files even though some systems show them as such.)

It is rare, but possible for a CD to contain both audio and data tracks – often called CD-Extra or mixed-mode CD (both have the same concept but slightly different implementations).

  • What happens if I eject one of the two CDs? (Both tracks have an eject button.) Would I not be able to read data from one of the two tracks anymore unless I re-insert the CD into my optical drive? – FizzleDizzle Apr 10 '17 at 10:14
  • Depends on what the "Eject" button does in your environment. Most likely it'll physically spit out the CD as well. – grawity Apr 10 '17 at 10:15

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