CDR versus CD-RW
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Thread: CDR versus CD-RW

  1. #1
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    CDR versus CD-RW

    I would like to hear some of definitive differences between the usefulness of CDR and CD-RW's. Some folks tell me that once you write to a CDR it can never be written to again.

    The thing is that I am able to write excel and word files to a cheap CDR disk. I can then go back to my hard drive, change an excel file and replace the same named file on the CDR. How can this be possible.

    If someone can give a very understandable way of describing not only what the two media’s are used for, but also how they work, it would be very interesting and useful.

  2. #2
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    Re: CDR versus CD-RW

    Originally posted by threeforks1
    The thing is that I am able to write excel and word files to a cheap CDR disk. I can then go back to my hard drive, change an excel file and replace the same named file on the CDR. How can this be possible.
    you're not actually replacing the file on the cd-r. you're in fact adding a new file to the cd while the older file just doesn't show up. however, that older file is still taking up space. eg, if you have a 700mb cd-r and you put a 100mb file on it, you'll have 600mb free space. if you then change something and save it again (maintaining the same file size), you'll then have only 500mb free space.

    on a cd-rw, you can delete the file and free up space.
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  3. #3
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    The reason you can do that with the cdr is because you haven't closed the session on the blank yet. So you can keep going over files til you've naturally filled up the blank forcing you to close it if you want. In ezcd creator its called directcd which is what I always use, blanks only come out to fifthy cents in a bundle. Believe thats cheaper than the cdrw's though I don't keep track of it anymore.

    Nevertheless as a backup its one form and using a hdd for storage as well is just good common sense backup to have a few just in case.

  4. #4
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    I use both CDR and CDRW media. I write both as standad multi-session disks in either Nero or EasyCD_Creator, I never use either InCD or DirectCD (packet writing).

    Yes you can "overwrite" files in a standard CD-R but like ohyeahar says it still takes more space as the file is actually just totally written a second time and the directory structure altered to reflect the new position of the file in the new session. One advantage of this is that the older file is still there (though not immediately apparent) and you can actually retrive it if you really need to (using some of the multsession import options in nero for example).

    Actually I use CD-R's and CD-RW's in exactly the same way. Only difference is that when data on a CDRW is no longer required I can bulk erase the whole disk and re-use it. If you use packet writing software like InCD or DirectCD then you can erase CDRW's on a file by file basis. I know this would be convenient but I perfer the simplisity and reliabilty and compatiblity of burning a standard multisession iso format for both media types.

    So basically my choice of media just depends on what I'm writing, but my writing method remains the same in every case.

    Here's some examples of what media I'd choose.

    CDA Music: - Use CD-R because RW's aren't always readable in home players.

    Program (install) CD archiving: Use CD-R

    Temporary data transfer: Use CD-RW (say you want to transfer 10MB of files from your computer to a friends computer).

    mp3 compilations for my home stereo CDRW. When I get sick of a compilation I erase it and burn a new one.

    Rotating backups: CDRW

    General Archiving: CDR
    Last edited by uart; April 22nd, 2004 at 02:26 AM.

  5. #5
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    i wanna get one of them usb drive thingys and chunk my 2-4x cdrws into the dumpster. but keep the 12x rws for backups and imaging...
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  6. #6
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    Data once written on CD-R disks can not be erased. Until the disk is finalized (CDR or CDRW), you can write files on them. But there is a wastage of disk's space when multi-sessioning. I have burned few CDs using multi-session and even though the disk is full (0MB left and Nero asked to finalize), the accumulation of files'/folders' sizes gives around 625MB (depending on the # of sessions). And the bad thing is the disk shows the size of files burned in the last session as the disk's size. Still, the data is available. Good way to fool people who don't know about it! LOL

    If files on CDRW disks could be deleted, it would be an ease. At present, you have to format the disk to retrieve used space.

    For me, CDRW disks have been a life saver! I only own 2 actually. One of them came with the CDRW drive (16X) and the other I got free packed with an Imation CD-R bundle (4X though). I have written around 50-75 times on the 16X one and it's still working. Only thing is that some scratch marks are appearing.

  7. #7
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    i think the worst part of cdrw's is that it can take 2 min to erase. Any kind of erasing that takes any time at all is a pain. Hell, i think writing cd's period is a pain. Have you thought of picking up an external harddrive? theyre priceless...

  8. #8
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    I did buy one of the USB drives and it is a pretty slick little drive. Just plug into the USB port and away you go. The one I got is about half the size of a disposable lighter, cost $30 after rebate, and holds 128 MB. There is no software to install and it shows up in windows explorer as "removable disk". Writing, witting over, and deleting data from it is faster than a floppy disk.

    Does anyone know how reliable this type of media is for permanent storage?

  9. #9
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    i think the worst part of cdrw's is that it can take 2 min to erase.
    It takes me about 60 seconds to erase a CDRW. Not really a problem the way I use them. I use multsession and only erase them when their data is no longer needed and they are ready to be recycled.

    I agree that 4x CDRW's are a pain in the ***, way to slow. Higher speed media is ok though. There is still a relatively big time delay in closing sessions etc, especially if you are only writing very small sessions. If you mostly write larger sessions however (50MB +) then the efficiency of using CDRW's is not really too bad.


    Remember that with something like "rotating backups" it is inevitable that the data will eventually become redundant. Additionally that data may well contain confidential info. So what's the biggest hassle now, is it properly destroying and deposing of the obsolete CD-R or just waiting 60 seconds to erase the old backup? I think you'll find it's the latter.

    Actually I've just switched to DVD+RW's and they're great for backup. Much faster than CDRW's and much cheaper per MB.
    Last edited by uart; April 23rd, 2004 at 01:41 AM.

  10. #10
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    The reusability factor of CD-RW's is great, but I wouldn't trust important data to them after a problem last year.

    I burned some important data (well ok, mp3's ) to an Imation CD-RW which Nero reported as burned successfully. Went to retrieve the data off it a day later and the sodding thing was unreadable.

    I know it wasn't a problem with my Liteon burner as I never had a problem with it before or since (in 2 years), it was just a crap disc
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  11. #11
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    I burned some important data (well ok, mp3's ) to an Imation CD-RW which Nero reported as burned successfully.
    That "burned successfully" message has nothing to do with data verification. You need to do a data verification pass if you want to be sure the media is readible.

  12. #12
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    That "burned successfully" message has nothing to do with data verification. You need to do a data verification pass if you want to be sure the media is readible.
    thanks uart, I will bear that in mind next time I use a CD-RW, it could save a lot of "grown-up" language next time
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  13. #13
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    ive had nothing but horrible blank cdrs imation....

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