I'm not sure what an "&" is, but I think it's a formatting problem - something you're doing when you write in the forum.
As to the free space, I don't know why it would be reporting wrongly, but if I were worried about it, I would copy the contents to my hard drive and then burn them to a new CD-RW. Did you format the disk prior to use? If you did format it, then the disk will not be empty and you can't just "burn" to it. However, if you did format it, then you can drag and drop files and essentially use the disk like a floppy. However, formatting can make the disk appear "not empty."
It normally takes about an hour to format the CD-RW, but there are a number of programs out there and there are variables. For instance, HP makes some software that will "Fast Format," which means it will start the format, then actually format in the background while you work with the disk. Although you can remove a fast formatted disk from the drive even though it's not completely formatted yet, you can read it on other machines but you cannot write to it on other machines until the format is complete.Here
is a thorough explanation of CD burning.