Formattin DVD's and CD's

  Nenad 11:45 24 Jun 2009

Please could someone advise if I need to format CD's, DVD's and DVDRW's before using as back-ups.
Is it necessary for all or could they work without formatting?
Also does it depend on the manufacturer as I have found great variance between some. My Liteon digital recorder is extremely fussy and can't read the bulk of DVD's and now I find that old back-up DVD's from a previous computer can't be opened on my new Dell computer. So I am firstly sorting out the need to format before trying out various makes to use as back-ups.
Thanks for any advice

  mooly 11:58 24 Jun 2009

I know this isn't answering your question but to be honest I wouldn't use optical media at all for backups. To prone to problems.
For personal stuff such as documents, pictures etc use a USB Flash drive or SD card.
For image backups get a separate USB HDD

  Grey Goo 12:26 24 Jun 2009

You may need to format Rewritable media but not the Write once stuff.

  Covergirl 12:42 24 Jun 2009

As Mooly says, optical media can be problematic.

I dumped a load of MP3s onto a DVD (legally) for a girl at work and the DVD only worked on 2 out of 4 computers.

I just bought a CD of a group (at the gig) and it doesn't work on my main CD player or works PC but does play on home PC.

As for the question as to whether they need to be formatted or not, if you're on Vista it will automatically do it for you if needed, either when you attempt to burn or when you insert the DVD.

If you have a burning program (like Nero) this will more'n likely do it automatically for you.

Interestingly, DVD+Rs are formatted on insertion on our Panasonic Freeview DVD/HDD recorder but DVD-Rs are not . . . !

  Stuartli 15:05 24 Jun 2009

You don't need to format optical disks for backup purposes, but I would echo mooly's observation regarding using them for this purpose (at least in the case of RW disks).

It's best to use an external hard drive for the purpose but, if you do opt for disks, use -R disks (CD or DVD) in multisession form.

You can then keep adding a file or files until the disk is full, but make sure that each time you add to the disk the folder named for the purpose is Saved each time (Nero will ask if you wish to Save it).

You can use such multisession disks in between adding files as required and Finalisation is onluy required before the last burning session.

How to use multisession mode:

click here

click here

Roxio also has a multisession mode IIRC.

  Stuartli 15:06 24 Jun 2009

Always make at least two copies of each multisession sequence.

  Jim_F 16:00 24 Jun 2009

I prefer to avoid multisession if at all possible as it can introduce compatibility problems - between competing programs - Nero Incd and Roxio Easy CD/Easy Media, even different versions of the same program, different CD/DVD drives and different operating systems. See click here for more information.

Each session needs to import previous session and if this fails (or you forget) then getting data back can be tricky.

For backups to optical disc I use a single session ISO image and verify the disk after burning - AFAIK this is the most compatible format for your data.

If any of your older disks used the above then you may need to track down the correct software to read it.

  Jim_F 16:02 24 Jun 2009

Forgot to mention in para 3 - also finalize the disk.

  Jim_F 16:12 24 Jun 2009

Oops - I forgot the original question :) When burning a single session disk the formatting is done as part of the burn - no seperate action needed.

  woodchip 16:27 24 Jun 2009

You have to use packet writing software as InCD or Direct CD one is NERO other Roxio but you get them with the Programs above. These do not load by default, you will need to load from the CD

  woodchip 16:29 24 Jun 2009

when formated using a CDRW disc you can use just like a big floppy, but as above do not rely on them for long term backups

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