Modern hard drives are now so large and inexpensive that there’s really no need to store files on anything else, other than for backup purposes. So if you’ve just upgraded yours, or bought a new PC with a capacious hard drive, you might want to consider using it to store any files you have stashed on CD or DVD. Here’s how to do it in Windows 7 and 8, but the steps are much the same in all versions of Windows.

Read: The rise and fall of the CD: 12 facts you might not know to find out about the history of the CD.

Copying files from CD/DVD to your hard drive

There’s no difference between copying files, photos, MP3s or video files from a CD or DVD to your hard drive than from any other kind of storage — although depending on the age of your optical drive, it may be a bit slower.

Start by opening an Explorer window on the Windows Desktop and browsing to the Documents folder. Select Documents in the left of the window, then in the right, right-click an empty area and choose New > Folder. Type a name for the folder and press the Return key.

Create a new folder

Insert the disc you want to copy the files from and, after Windows has opened a new Explorer window for it, simply drag the files from its window to the one with the folder you just created on your hard drive.

Copying files

[Read more: How to avoid hard drive disaster]

Copying audio CDs to your hard drive

Since 2015 it's been illegal to rip CDs to MP3.   Windows Media Player does have a Rip CD option, but if you use it you will be breaking the law. 

Read more: USB memory stick not responding? Don't ditch it yet - you might be able to save it