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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    another dvd / rw question (xp - current)

    I am an antique main frame programmer who is surviving in the world of servers and PC's, but I am looking for info on DVD's.

    i understand that dvd's / cd's don't have cylinders - tracks - records etc. I have been told that the dvd /cd's write in a spiral from either the enter or the edge of the platter. This raises these questions -

    Does a RW DVD have to rewrite all the data on the DVD when a new file is added?

    I don't think one has to format write new dvd's - but just guessing on that (seems like that is a procedure from the dark ages)

    I tried creating a DVD on my new box with little to no success. The Dell box came with a Roxio package that leaves much to be desired in the area of help / instructions. After giving up on writing (I think it worked - but not sure) - I continually get a little message on reboots saying that something needs to finish writing the dvd.

    Does anyone have a instruction web site - pdf - wikipedia - or google entry that will at least get me started?

    I feel like "Well I bought the box, the dvd burner, and a pack of +/- RW dvd's - therefore: I should figure out how to use the stupid thing"

    Tom

  2. #2
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    Re: another dvd / rw question (xp - current)

    Yes, data on CDs and DVDs are written along a spiral path of the laser beam, starting from the center and going towards the edge. BUT - there is a special zone closer to the center, which is designated for special information about data written on the disk (similar to Master Boot Record on floppy disks). When you want to add a file to rewritable optical disc, everything depends how previous information ("session") was formatted: there are several possibilities (the session is open, the session is closed, the disc is finalized). If the disc is finalized, you must to erase all previous data and rewrite it (most of the programs will prompt you to erase such disc before use it for burning).

    For more information I would recommend

    DVD-Video Disc Workshop
    What is DVD, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/+RW, DVD-RAM, DVD+R DL?
    What's on a DVD?

    and many other...

    Unfortunately, you did not tell which DVD you want to create (data DVD, regular DVD, DVD with video clips, slideshow, etc.) Look at

    Burning Questions: Instant Reference Guide to Creating DVDs and CDs

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger st3333ve's Avatar
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    Re: another dvd / rw question (xp - current)

    I'm no DVD expert, but I've got a DVD-write drive and I'm a Roxio user and I can tell you a couple things:

    Assuming you only want a DVD-RW disc to be readable on that same computer drive (as opposed to, say, readable on your living room DVD player, which might not be possible under any circumstances, depending on the DVD player), the disc can be and remain formatted in a way that the rewriting is basically the same as most other rewritable computer media. A file that's deleted creates an empty area on the disc that can then be re-filled with a newly-written file (or part thereof). The fact that the data is arranged in a spiral doesn't change this.

    I don't know if this is a Windows XP thing or a Roxio thing, but when you write a bunch of data to a DVD-RW disc, the last chunk of the data can end up being write-cached, and not written to the disc until Windows is shut down. If you try to eject the disc before shut down, Roxio should intervene and present you with a dialog about how you want the disc formatted (unless you've elected to bypass that dialog), and in any case the cached data should be written to the disc (automatically, I mean, not through anything you should need to do) before Windows shuts down. If you somehow managed to eject the disc while cached data remained unwritten -- maybe because of a power loss where Windows wasn't shut down, or maybe by somehow shutting down or freezing whatever "background" process (Windows or Roxio? I'm not sure) monitors the ejection of the drive and the cached data -- that might explain those reboot messages you've been getting. (And please note that, if and when that happens to a RW disc, you should probably assume that all the data on the disc may be suspect and reformat the disc.)

    Incidentally, if there's a way to prevent this write-caching of DVD-RW discs, I haven't stumbled on it. I think I did some web-searching on the subject at some point and ended up learning that I was stuck with it, but note that this was undoubtedly a search relating to CD-RW drives rather than DVD-RW drives, so if the latter are different, maybe there's a thing or two I need to learn.

  4. #4
    5 Star Lounger st3333ve's Avatar
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    Re: another dvd / rw question (xp - current)

    Please note that my earlier post should have distinguished between DVD-RW and DVD+RW. It's my understanding that DVD+RW allows for "random access" rewriting. I think what you said about the whole disc having to be rewritten may have applied to at least some early stages of DVD-RW (as opposed to DVD+RW), although it may not be true of current versions used with current-generation drives.

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    5 Star Lounger st3333ve's Avatar
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    Re: another dvd / rw question (xp - current)

    It looks like I may have posted based on too little experience (and/or misunderstanding my web research).

    My DVD write drive is a Sony DVD

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