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Thread: Formatting CDs?

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    Formatting CDs?

    It has been so long since I have had to work with CDs, but my client wants the material on a CD (Don't ask). I can't remember if it is necessary to format them before using them, or do you just "write" on them. If they do require formatting, is it just like formatting a disk? Thanks in advance.

    Ron M

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    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Ron,

    It depends on the type of CD/DVD you want to create and weather or not it is a Re-writeable CD. Re-writeable media needs to be formatted. Read only media does not, you can just drag and drop in explorer. If memory serves?

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    OK. "If memory serves"...you haven't worked with them for a while also?

    I assume formatting them is just like any other disk?

    Ron M

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    Administrator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    How to Format a CD

    (I had forgotten about single-session and multi-session burning... )

    Hope this helps...

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I recommend that you use CD-R disks (read-only); I believe they are more reliable than rewritable disks. But whether you use R (read-only) or RW (read-write), you should finalize the disk when you have finished copying everything to it, so that it will be readable on other computers.

    Put the CD in the drive, open File Manager, right click on the symbol for the drive, then choose Format.
    Now copy all items to the drive.
    Now right-click on the symbol for the drive, and choose "Finalize".

    I usually do audio disks; the process is different for them. But I sometimes do data disks; and I believe the above is how you do it for data disks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    I recommend that you use CD-R disks (read-only); I believe they are more reliable than rewritable disks. But whether you use R (read-only) or RW (read-write), you should finalize the disk when you have finished copying everything to it, so that it will be readable on other computers.

    Put the CD in the drive, open File Manager, right click on the symbol for the drive, then choose Format.
    Now copy all items to the drive.
    Now right-click on the symbol for the drive, and choose "Finalize".

    I usually do audio disks; the process is different for them. But I sometimes do data disks; and I believe the above is how you do it for data disks.
    Thanks. I didn't realize there were two types of "formatting" depending on the disks use.

    Ron M

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Corbett View Post
    How to Format a CD

    (I had forgotten about single-session and multi-session burning... )

    Hope this helps...
    Not sure what you mean or what this is all about.

    Ron M

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    It depends on how you intend to use the CDs. You don't "format" a CD-R/RW unless you intend to treat it like a floppy or flash drive and add more files to it later. However, IME such un-finalized discs only work reliably on the system on which they were created, so for maximum compatibility you need to finalize them, as Jim mentioned.

    But if you're going to just make a finalized disc anyway, then you may as well do a DAO ("Disk-At-Once") burn, which obviates the need to go through the preparatory "format" step. DAO writes the lead-in, content, lead-out, and finalizes the disc in one shot. The disc must be blank, and you do not format it ahead of time.

    That's the way all the major CD/DVD burning apps (Nero, Roxio, Sonic RecordNow, et al) work. My favorite for many years now has been the freebie, ImgBurn:

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    Administrator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron M View Post
    Not sure what you mean or what this is all about.
    Single-session is when you burn the files you want all at the same time and finalize the disk. Multi-session is when the disk is treated much like a floppy disk, i.e. you can add additional sessions, i.e. write more files later, then finalize the disk.

    It sounds like you are going to be writing the required files in a single session, which is less complicated and less prone to problems when the disk is used with a different device.

    Hope this helps...

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    +1 for ImgBurn!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Corbett View Post
    Single-session is when you burn the files you want all at the same time and finalize the disk. Multi-session is when the disk is treated much like a floppy disk, i.e. you can add additional sessions, i.e. write more files later, then finalize the disk.

    It sounds like you are going to be writing the required files in a single session, which is less complicated and less prone to problems when the disk is used with a different device.

    Hope this helps...
    Actually, I am probably going to be writing the files in multiple sessions as they will come from multiple sources. Others may be writing files to the CD, or sending me files to put on the CD.

    Ron M

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    Quote Originally Posted by dg1261 View Post
    My favorite for many years now has been the freebie, ImgBurn:
    I really like imgburn as well; but for the past several years, my A/V program (Trend Micro) has been deleting it off of my computer whenever I install it.

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    If one intends to use explorer.exe to copy, to copy more later, to copy more still later, I believe one has to allow explorer.exe to format said CD or DVD, regardless of such being RW or not. What I do not remember about nonRWs: if the 2nd explorer.exe copy sessions "hides" the directory of the 1st explorer.exe copy session. TEST before comitting to any short or long term plan.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
    If one intends to use explorer.exe to copy, to copy more later, to copy more still later, I believe one has to allow explorer.exe to format said CD or DVD, regardless of such being RW or not. What I do not remember about nonRWs: if the 2nd explorer.exe copy sessions "hides" the directory of the 1st explorer.exe copy session. TEST before comitting to any short or long term plan.
    Thanks for the insight and advice.

    Ron M

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    Quote Originally Posted by dg1261 View Post
    It depends on how you intend to use the CDs. You don't "format" a CD-R/RW unless you intend to treat it like a floppy or flash drive and add more files to it later. However, IME such un-finalized discs only work reliably on the system on which they were created, so for maximum compatibility you need to finalize them, as Jim mentioned.

    But if you're going to just make a finalized disc anyway, then you may as well do a DAO ("Disk-At-Once") burn, which obviates the need to go through the preparatory "format" step. DAO writes the lead-in, content, lead-out, and finalizes the disc in one shot. The disc must be blank, and you do not format it ahead of time.

    That's the way all the major CD/DVD burning apps (Nero, Roxio, Sonic RecordNow, et al) work. My favorite for many years now has been the freebie, ImgBurn:
    Thanks for the insight.

    Ron M

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