Please advise on CDR/CDRW.

  martjc 10:02 07 Jun 2003

I am finally going to upgrade my old pc (Celeron 333; HDD [C:]; HDD [D:]; CDROM [E:]; one free ide connection attached to E:) by adding either cdr or cdrw.

Now, I know what the initials stand for, but which is best? I intend to use mainly for backup purposes, but will occasionally share stuff with other people by giving them the disk with software/data on it.

a) What are the issues involved.

b) can these two types read and write to each others' disks?

c) Are there any data loss issues and any way of preventing them?

Any good advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks folks. What would a girl do without you people?

  GANDALF <|:-)> 10:12 07 Jun 2003

CDR...blank disk that can be written on once and cannot be over written. CDRW....blank disk onto which information can be written and deleted and re-written (like a floppy but 450x more capacity.) To write them you need a CDRW unit (I use LiteOn) which will cost around £35 for an internal and £70ish for an external usb one. The unit will come with Nero or easy CD software which will make writing the disks easy (drag n'drop).

The disks will hold around 700Mb of info and should last about 20+ years. 100 CDR (write once) disks can be bought for around 20 squid if you trawl the usual suspects on the net. CDRW (write and over-write) disks are more expensive...around 10 for a fiver.

CDR and CDRW disks should be able to be read by any computer or modernish music system.


  MartinT-B 10:16 07 Jun 2003

I would get the best CDR-R/W you can afford.

I have a Plextor, but there are others equally as good on the market. Good ones are about £35.00+VAT, but you may well be able to get cheaper if you shop around.

If you have a credit card, buying on the Internet is a money saver.

Use Kelkoo click here and dealtime click here to compare prices once you have an idea of what you'd like. There are other comparison sites.

Data loss can occur if you Burn (copy to disk) too fast. Slow the write speed down. Mine could burn at 48x, but I have it set to 16x.

Your CDR-R/W should be able to read from either of your hdds or your CD-ROM and write to itself. Your CD-ROM should be able to read from your CDR-R/W.

Later on, when you have a bit more cash, you may want to replace your CD-ROM with a DVD or perhaps a DVD R/W, but atm there are a few different types of DVD writing software. I am waiting to see which one will be come standard before investing.

because your system is fairly old and slow you will have to slow down the burning speed as martinT-B says though even further than the 16x he uses . because of that you might find that you can get older cdrw drive out there going very cheap which would suit your system though buying the best you can afford is a good idea as you can always slow it down, when burning cd's make sure your computer is doing absolutely nothing else, its a fairly intense process and you wont have much processor power to spare

  Ironman556 10:31 07 Jun 2003

First any cd-writer drive you buy now will be a CD-R/RW. It will do both CD-R's and CD-RW's.


When buying a drive you should look for some kind of buffer underrun protection, usually called BURN-PROOF or Just-Link. There are other names but it varies with manufacturer, and is almost standard now. The latset 48x drives will write a full CD in about 2 or 3 mins. If you don't need the fastest drive around and are happy to wait around 6 mins for a CD to be fully written then you can save yourself a bit of money and get a drive that writes a bit slower e.g. 24x. I would recoment that you look for a drive that supports High-Speed rewritables though.


You can assume that all CD-R/RW drives will be able to read CD-R/RW discs. Most CD-ROM's will read them too, but some older ones won't read CD-RW's. If you're after a good drive but don't want to pay too much for the brand name, then have a look at the Lite-On drives, they usually have very good mechanisms used in drives such as Plextors, but have the Lit-On brand stuck on the front.


CDRW's cannot be relied upon to store important data for long periods of time. Some people refuse to use them at all to back up data to because they can be so unreliable.

CDR's are more stable and are better for putting important data on.

I use CD-RW's when transferring files to friends which they can then copy to hard drive.

The only way to reduce errors is to look for CD's that are blue, gold or pure silver underneath. I find Sony's CD-R's and TDK's CD-R's are the best, but the higher quality results in higher prices. If you're looking to store important data for long periods though, you *must* use good quality discs.

If you see discs that are a green/silver colour underneath they they're probably cheaper discs. They'd be ok to store data on for short periods of time, but they do tend to become corrupt quickly so you can't access them.

  martjc 10:40 07 Jun 2003

...for some VERY quick responses. Think i have all I need now. I'll close this thread.

  MartinT-B 10:45 07 Jun 2003

Hopefully this comparison link will work correctly! click here

That is a US site. If you liek the look of one, check on dealtime and kelkoo (linked above) for a UK price and outlet.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

WPA2 Hack Latest News: How Secure is your Wi-Fi?

Photoshop CC 2018 released with new Curvature Pen and better brush tools

Best kids apps for iPhone & iPad

Comment utiliser Twitter ?