Nero Burning ROM used to be one of the leading optical disc authoring software, where every computer users would have one copy installed on the computer which comes with a CD or DVD writer. But its popularity seems going downhill pretty fast, and a free version of Nero 9, named Nero 9 Essentials, used to be an effort by Nero AG to promote its brand, but it seems like it fails miserably, and has since been renamed Nero 9 Lite.

Nero 9 Lite has all the features of application previously named Nero 9 Essentials, which means it’s a very limited and restricted functionality program. Nero is positing Nero 9 Lite as a free entry point to the Nero 9 Reloaded suite (aff), which costs $79.99. Nero 9 Lite has the following two features:

  • CD or DVD disc copying
  • CD or DVD data disc burning

Nero StartSmart command centre will provide the user interface to perform the disc copying and data disc buring functionality for CDs and DVDs along with Windows 7 compatibility (useless, in fact, as in Windows 7, user can burn ISO and IMG image directly without any software). As usual, there is no authoring or ripping capability.

To make matter worse, Nero 9 Lite will install the Ask toolbar, no exception, although it’s possible to uninstall the Ask toolbar after installed. After using for a while, the reason why Nero re-brand the Nero 9 Essentials to Nero 9 Lite become clear – to ask users to pay and upgrade at every turn. Nero 9 Lite user interface has most features listed, but disabled, and clicking on may of the features will prompted with dialog to buy the full version Nero 9.

While Ask Toolbar can be easily uninstalled, not true for Nero 9 Lite, which can only be uninstalled via Nero ControlCenter. As a result, there is not direct way to uninstall Nero ControlCenter, other than download and run the Nero General CleanTool to remove all Nero software from PC.

User who interested (although not recommended, those looking for free disc authoring and burning software can try Ashampoo Burning Studio 2010) to download and install the free Nero 9 Lite can download the setup installer (Nero- from Email address is required, but don’t use real email though, or else you will be bombarded with spam.