Okay to write on discs with a marker?



No problems here using black sharpie. Doesn’t look blurry, though.


Could be the effect of the light shining through the top plastic and rebounding of the data layer. If you put a clear label on a silver DVD then you get a kinda 3D effect.


“Is it really OK to write on DVD-Rs the same like any unbranded CDs”

The question could be asked the other way round, as it’s actually safer to write on DVDs than it is on CDs… :bigsmile:


-------------------- reflective layer
… dye
================ plastic 1.2mm


================ plastic 0.6mm
-------------------- reflective layer
… dye
================ plastic 0.6mm

Cheers :slight_smile:


Wow! Thanks for pointing that out to me! It makes sense. :smiley:


Another important point is to use a solvent-free marker and make sure the tip is not too fine nor your writing pressure too forceful.

Sharpie makes a specific marker for CD-DVD’s, called the Sharpie CD Marker (#37035), which purportedly does not have harmful solvents. The regular Sharpie permanent marking pen has harmful solvents and has the telltale Sharpie smell. The new Sharpie CD Marker has a very different odor to it (not unpleasant) and dries fast.

Another marking pen that is kinder to your media, supposedly, is the Staedtler Lumicolor.

I choose the Sharpie over the Staedtler only because my local Staples store had multicolor 4-pack of Staedtler vs. an all black 4-pack of Sharpie CD Marker and I only wanted black. I only use the “fine” tip and not the “ultrafine” tip to decrease my risk of scratching the media.

And, yes, I also get that mirror-image blurry effect on my Taiyo Yuden 8X T02 DVD+R’s.


Perhaps this is a silly question. I have a bunch of DVD-R’s which have no brand at all and they are nearly see-through before use. I wrote on a couple of these with a red marker before I burned them and got coasters. The next one, I burned before writing on it and it came out okay.

Could the fact that I wrote (on the silver side, not the light purple side) on the disc have caused them to have problems? The write completed, but I had “verify” checked and the verify is what failed. I was using Nero (6.x, I think).

If writing on the these unbranded discs with marker is not recommended, am I better off buying the ones with the white coating for inkjet printing?

I hope this is not too silly a question and I hope it’s just coincidence… it’s like $0.10 per disk for the inkjet printable discs.




I think if you stay with a good brand of disc (Sony-Fuji) made in japan or Verbatim 16x you should have no problem writing on them with a sharpie. Cheapo disc are another story.


The only media of this type that I know are some old CDs of very low quality. Never seen DVD almost transparent. There is no brand also on the box? Where do you find these discs? And what mediacode have?

This can be a good solution: I already do this (but the best results are with a printer :wink: ).

I suggest you don’t buy labels :disagree: :disagree:


These aren’t that old and are DVD-R’s not CD’s. You can’t read a newspaper through them, but you tell if it’s a newspaper or a blank sheet of paper. If you look at a bright light through them you can see the shape of the bulb.

They are unbranded, 50pk cake boxes. I got them on ebay. Paid $30… well, maybe $40 for 100, on ebay, including shipping.

The media code is some unpronouncable series of characters, not a company name. Something like “GRT VTMRA 000” or “AWMT BRTDN 01.” I don’t recall exactly and both the media and the computer on which I have the DVD burner (NEC 3520A) are at home, wheras I’m at work now.

Ahh… I agree with G_Ivan… but if I could only find Japanese-made DVD+RW’s anymore. Every DVD+RW at BestBuy (5 or 6 different brands) all were made in Taiwan. In fact, they had but one media made in Japan and that was Sony CD-R’s.

I know to look for Japanese (or US!) made media, but finding it is not that easy.




Cripes! Why pay $30 on Ebay for some crap Chinese discs when you can get TY for $33 at Rima

Putting that curiosity aside, you can write on the back of a DVD with anything you like and it shouldn’t effect burning or playback. With crap Chinese discs, all bets are off.

Somewhere around here are some tests I did after gouging the back of a DVD with a paper clip and a screwdriver - literally scratching on a label. It had no effect. Anyway, get some decent media.


I’m gonna guess VDSPMSAB 01.


But everything’s cheaper on eBay… :confused:


reminds me of those silver coated el cheapo CD`s :smiley: if you sneezed over them, youd blow the coating right off the surface :rolleyes: :iagree:


Right you are. I’m at home now and I checked one of them with Nero InfoTool. Also, it’s not a see-through as I initially thought, but maybe it’s just that it’s night and dark here now and maybe in the sunlight they seemed more see-through. The non-recording side is a mirror with some tiny pin-point bumps and the recording side is purple-ish. There are no codes at all on the hub. I have only burned five of these recently and three were coasters.

Also, in response to the other poster who asked “why buy on ebay?”

Because I didn’t know any better.

On the other hand, let me ask you this:

I presume that not everyone on ebay is selling fake TY’s. Can you get a good deal on good media there, or am I just better off buying from a place like supermediastore.com?

One thing that turned me off about ebay was one schmoe saying “I’ve got genuine Taiyo Yuden discs… mfg code <whatever>… don’t be fooled by people selling fake TY discs with T322 codes… TY never uses T322 as a code.” Others say this guy is selling fakes and they have genuine discs. I didn’t know who to believe, so I looked for a forum (and found this one). Here, in this forum, most posters don’t have anything to sell and if I find that the general consensus is, for example, that Verbatim discs from Taiwan are decent quality, then I think I can believe that.

It will take me a bit of time to sort out all of your recommendations, but I do feel empowered by this knowledge.

Thanks very much and Happy Holidays to you all!



eBay just doesn’t seem worth it with places like Office Max and Best Buy selling 50pks of Verbatim for $15 each.


I presume that not everyone on ebay is selling fake TY’s. Can you get a good deal on good media there, or am I just better off buying from a place like supermediastore.com?

You’ve just learned the true cost of “cheap” media. 3 out of 5 were coasters, the other 2 are probably very marginal. Thats a lot of money wasted.

If you know what to look for, you can get decent media in stores on sale. but if you prefer to get the best without risk or hastle, just stick with www.rima.com .


Seems to me once you factor in shipping most things are more expensive on Ebay.


Yep. I have found no decent media deals on Ebay in the past 2 years or so, and don’t expect to find any (unless somebody inadvertently posts an auction with incorrect prices.)

Your best bet for deals IMHO? Regularly browse the bargain basement forum here and the hot deals forum over at fatwallet. My best deals on media have been either online sales or big box store sales+coupons/price match/etc. announced in those places.


It may have been chance, or the silvering may be so poorly protected that the marker penetrated the low quality laquering - in which case, it would be just as bad if you marked them after writing.

VDSPMSAB 01 - a poor code, and what sounds like a poor example of it too.

Most Taiwan, India or other media of semi respectable brand name would do far better than that, even if not up to the standards of the best MIJ.


There are some DVDs out there which are apparently not made correctly, not made up to full specs. Some of them have even been reported as lacking the upper plastic layer, being built much like a CD-R (never seen one, only heard of them from time to time).

To answer the question, any properly-manufacturer DVD shold be fine with a marker. The upper layer of plastic protects it, or the branding/inkjet/thermal layer if one exists. Inability to use markers was a myth started in the CD-R days. It was not true then, and it’s technically impossible with DVD.