CD-Rs and CD-RWs

How come on a CD-RW you cant edit the data that is saved on it? i know that i cant on a CD-R because it’s a read only, but isn’t a CD-RW suppose to be read and write? :confused:

The data is enclosed in sessions. If the session is closed, you cannot add/modify the session anymore. If the disc is closed, you cannot add any sessions.

Well in some instances you can. If you use Roxio’s DirectCD/DragToDisk , which is packet writing software, then this is possible, otherwise no.

Rewritable generally means that the disk can be erased and a new data set written.

As TimC says, if you use a CD-RW like if it is a CD-R you will get the same end result in terms of the way you can use the info. So, after you close (finalize) the disc you can only read from it, unless you erase the full stuff that will allow to re-use it as if it was a blank new disc.
This is the advantage side of CD-RW used as a CD-R - you can re-use it several times, using Nero, Roxio or other CD writing application (XP can write to CDs directly, but I never used a RW under it).

When you use it as a floppy - meaning that you have to format it for UDF file sys and use packet writing software like InCD or DirectCD/DragToDisk - you can write, erase and rewrite, so you can edit your files.

ok, then how do i set up a CD-RW to do that?

I suppose you refer how to use it like a large floppy.

    • You need a packet writing software package, like Nero’s InCD or Roxio’s DragToDisk or equivalent;
    • The way you can do it, changes according to the package but you have the possibility to install it in a way that it flashes you a window when you put a blank CD-RW into the drive;
    • For instance, InCD offers you the possibility to format a disc (blank or used) when you open Explorer and rightclick over the drive’s letter icon;
    • You can perform a fast or a complet format, this will take longer and the first will allow you to write to the disc while it continues the formatting process in the background;
    • You may have the possibility to choose several UDF versions, but you probably can live with the default, unless you have special needs (here you have to look for the most convenient to you);
    • After the disc comes available for use, you can just drag and drop files to it, and the to do the operations you could do if it was in the hard disk;
    • Wish you good luck as packet writing software can bring you compatibility issues with other software you may have installed, and take into account that RWs may have a shorter life than CD-Rs if use them for archive purposes;
    • Last, you can find probs if you write your RW in a friends machine with a dif brand packet writing software or even if its from the same name as yours it is a dif version.

Note that Roxio’s DragToDisk is far superior to Nero’s InCD from my experiences and far less likely to cause other CD/DVD related problems.

ok thanx. i’ll have to try that out…would i have to buy the needed software or would my computer already have them? :confused:

You’re the one that can answer the question, as you didn’t disclose any info about your Operating System and/or installed software.
Most likely you should have at least some OEM version of burning software, if the drive came with the machine. Look at you documentation and discs that came with the PC, and see if you’ve got any of the names above - it can be another brand also.
If you have XP as OS this can be missing as this version of windows can burn discs, but it doesn’t do RWs packet writing.

ok, i guess i’ll have to ask dad. i dont think he would like it if i were to try to find out on my own.

Do it, maybe he is in a good mood…