The distros are in ISO9660 format. You need a program that
handles ISO9660 images, and transfers them to the CD. I used
Nero for the job. In addition, you need a burner that can
handle a 700MB burn. The first time I tried to prepare my
Linux CD, I discovered to my horror that the burner I was
using, couldn't actually do a burn that big. I had to buy
a new burner to handle the 700MB file.
When I burn with Nero, there is a scanning function for
verifying the media afterwards. I used that function to
"dial in" my spindle of media. I discovered, that the
burn would only be good at 4X, and as long as I don't
try to burn faster than that, the discs are perfect.
My Knoppix CD does work with Windows. If the CD is inserted,
there is an autorun file on the CD, that causes a browser to
open and a Knoppix web page to appear. If I explore the CD,
I can see a "boot" and a "knoppix" folder, and in the latter
folder, there is a 700MB file visible. I expect that is
the compressed file system that Knoppix eventually
mounts. (The 700MB file is read when needed at runtime,
and is compressed. So the OS decompresses the necessary pieces
of it, to launch applications and the like.)
For Knoppix, you should study the "cheat codes" web page,
as it has a number of interesting options. These are
useful if you're getting as far as the "boot prompt".
If you aren't even getting that far, then you'd probably
want to try the CD in some other computer first.
For example "knoppix testcd" at boot time, checks the
CD contents for you.
Knoppix even includes a copy of memtest, and at the boot
prompt you can type "memtest" and thus the Knoppix CD
doubles as your memtest boot media.