How to Copy a CD to a USB Drive

By Naomi Bolton

Unlike USB ports, which come standard, not all computers and laptops ship with CD drives. The contents of a CD can be copied to a USB drive for easy transfer between devices, provided that the CD does not have any form of Digital Rights Management to prevent illegal distribution. The procedure can only be performed on a system that has a CD or DVD-ROM drive as well as an available USB port. The free space on the USB drive must also meet or exceed the amount of the data on the CD.

Step 1

Insert the CD that you want to copy into the CD or DVD-ROM drive. Click or tap the message that appears on the top right corner of the Windows 8.1 Start screen and then select the "Open folder to view files" option.

Step 2

Press "Ctrl-A" to select all the files and folders on the CD and then press "Ctrl-C" to copy everything.

Step 3

Insert the USB drive into an available USB slot and then tap the message that appears on the top right corner of the screen.

Step 4

Select "Open folder to view files" and then press "Ctrl-V" to copy the contents of the CD to the USB drive. Wait until the progress indicator reaches 100 percent to signify that all files have been copied before removing the USB drive. The duration of the process depends on the total size of the files transferred.

Tips & Warnings

  • To copy bootable discs, like the Windows installation disc to a USB drive, use the "diskpart" utility, included with Windows to first make the USB drive bootable as well. Type "diskpart" (without quotation marks) from the Windows 8.1 Start screen and press "Enter" to open the utility. Select "Yes" and then type "help" (without quotation marks) for more information on how to use the utility.
  • Diskpart is an advanced utility that can cause data loss if not used correctly.