Windows XP makes it really easy to archive your files to CD-ROM. Or at least that's what it pretends. I just right-click on a file or folder, and it says "Send to CD-RW station(E:)". So I choose that, then go to the E: folder. There is the file, shadowed, and to the left is an option to burn it. So I tell it to do just that, and it keeps itself busy for some minutes. The CD station opens and the program completes.
The resulting CD is not readable in either of my CD stations. There is no hint of why. I suppose it wasn't quite that simple after all. Or it could be because it's a bad PlexWriter and should be spanked or at least returned to the shop. I suppose the way to find out is to try a dedicated CD burning program. But frankly, I think such things should be part of the operating system, the way Windows XP pretends.
Using the program "NERO burning ROM" which came with the Plextor, I got a lot more fancy options and details. The successfully completed CD was however still considered "blank CD" by both the Plex and the main DVD/CD reader, and the latter politely asked me to insert a CD in the drive.
The good news is that they are both eminently readable on the HP laptop. Not quite what I had hoped for, but still better than nothing. The CDs are written, but evidently the CD writing software somehow interferes with the operating system's ability to see them as actual CDs.
The tentative conclusion so far is that burning CDs should be left to teenagers, as it is too complicated for adults.
This time, I turned off the Multisession feature and added a closure tag that would make it impossible to write more to the CD. (It was almost full anyway.)
This made no difference. However, I found out that you don't burn CDs while already overtaxing the system resources in various ways. Because if the buffer ever runs empty, the whole process is aborted and the formerly blank CD is now a piece of trash. It can still be used to place cola bottles on, though.
It is not to my satisfaction that I cannot restore the files to the same computer from which I backed them up. Perhaps a solution will present itself. Anyway, it is not as if anyone ever uses such back-ups. It is done to feel better about deleting files you don't have room for anymore.
The obvious next step is to set up a home network between the two XP machines. This way, I can read the files on the portable and just copy them to the desk machine. Yes! Throwing money at problems always helps. It is The Norwegian Way of solving things. Easier than thinking. Besides, a home network is always cool to have. Hmm, wire or wireless? ^_^