This article is from the CD-Recordable FAQ, by Andy McFadden (email@example.com) with numerous contributions by others.
Sometimes, when trying to copy files onto a disc from Windows explorer, you
get a message to the effect that it can't create or replace a file because
access is denied or the disc is full. Some not-so-helpful suggestions about
checking write protection and making sure the file is not in use are offered.
This most often happens when trying to use DirectCD with an unformatted disc.
A common way to cause this is to disable the DirectCD user interface
with msconfig or a similar utility (a mistake -- see section (3-45)),
which prevents the "do you want to format this disc" dialog from coming up.
The solution is to let DirectCD format the disc. If you don't see the CD
icon in the system tray (usually the lower-right corner), you will need to
re-enable it. Under Win98, click on the Start button, select "Run...", type
"msconfig", and click "OK" to bring up the System Configuration Utility.
Now click on the Startup tab and make sure that anything with the word
"DirectCD" in it is enabled. Under Win2K, click on Start, Settings, Control
Panels, Administrative Tools, then Computer Management. When the program
opens, in the left-hand pane click on System Tools, System Information,
Software Environment, then Startup Programs, and make sure DirectCD
is present. If not, you may need to re-install.
If the above doesn't seem to help, or you're not using DirectCD, you
may be able to manually format a disc. How you do this depends on what
software you're using. For example, HP DLA has a utility available from
their CD recording application that lets you format a disc or close it to
See section (3-40) for more information on formatting CD-R and CD-RW media.
In some rare cases, after formatting a CD-R or CD-RW disc for packet writing,
Windows still claims the disc is full when you try to copy files onto it,
or complains that the disc is "locked or protected". This can happen
after files have already been copied onto the disc.
This error message can apparently also occur when trying to copy files
*from* a CD-RW that has been previously written to.
The problem is rare and isn't well understood. It has been reported with
DirectCD 3.x (part of ECDC Deluxe 5.x) under Windows XP. Another instance
of "locked or protected" was reported under Win98. In any event, start
by checking the "msconfig" situation described above. This *might* also
be a media compatibility issue, so if it happens it might be worthwhile
to try different brands of media.
If the disc was closed to ISO-9660 format, you will need to reopen it.
A similar complaint comes up when you try to delete files from a disc without
having packet writing software installed. You can't delete individual files
from a disc written with conventional pre-mastering. See section (6-3).