DVD+R DL on Windows

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by 2ms, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. 2ms macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    #1
    Maybe I am completely mistaken about how to use record able optical drives, or maybe the drive in my new 20" iMac only reads DVD DL rather than being able to write it too, but when I popped a blank DVD+R DL disc into my iMac it shows the disc as having 0 bytes occupied and 0 bytes free.

    What am I doing wrong? I tried to drag and drop a file to the disc but it said there was some kind of error. Do I need to format the disc first or something. Yes, I know that little about recording to optical drives, sorry.
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #2
    Pick up a CD/DVD burning application like Nero http://www.nero.com or something from Sonic/Roxio http://www.sonic.com. The built in disc burning capabilities of XP are downright pathetic.

    If you don't have to do it often, you can get by with using the free trial periods for Nero.

    B
     
  3. 2ms thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    #3
    I was hoping to use the DL DVD as the place I backup all my files to automatically (ie scheduled task using the backup utility XP comes with). Why exactly is a 3rd party software required? I mean what do they do that the OS itself is not able to do. I do not understand why a recordable DVD doesn't look the same as any other disk/drive/storage to the OS.

    Please explain why I am able to write files to something like a thumb drive as soon as it plugged into system, whereas I am not able to write anything to a recordable DVD when I put it into drive.
     
  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #4
    Because it's not the same kind of media. Hard drives, floppies and USB memory keys are true random access read/write media. CDs and DVDs were originally created as read only media with writing and rewriting as a bit of an afterthought. Even today write once -R and +R media remains much cheaper (and faster to write to) than -/+RW media.

    So, writing to optical media has typically been a two step process.
    1. "Master" the data to be burned in the appropriate format
    2. Burn the mastered session to the disc in one go
    OS X's disk utility does both of these in a very spartan way, Windows XP only offers the most rudimentary CD/DVD burning support out of the box. Specialized apps for both OSes provide many more bells and whistles and are typically more robust.

    Unfortunately things get really complicated with what is known as "packet writing" which is how CDs and DVDs can be used a more Random Access way (like a floppy or USB key). Over the years many mutually incompatible schemes were adopted and (IMHO) none of them really work.

    Fortunately Windows Vista will introduce support for CD-MRW
    a.k.a Mt. Rainier which is a standard which relies more on the drive than the software used to access it. (Hopefully similar support will also be in Leopard, though I have not heard wind of it.)

    FWIW XP doesn't install Backup by default, so could it be that you're looking at some other backup tool (e.g one that came with your Anti-Virus package.... e.g. Windows OneCare Live comes with one.)

    B
     
  5. 2ms thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    #5
    Thanks for the explanation. I am using Backup Utility (it did come with this XP Pro SP2) -- it is presently scheduled to backup my files every night to a 1GB thumbdrive I have plugged in.

    The problem is I don't like leaving the thumbdrive it in there 24/7 - it gets quite warm, and also it is almost out of capacity. I also dont want to buy an external hd or anything like that, one of the things i like most about my iMac is how clean an elegant my workspace is now + this is a temporary project I dont want to drop cash on hardware Im never going to use again.

    Is there any way to get Backup Utility to work together with a DVD burning app? Alternatively, is there any freeware backup utility that would do this?

    p.s. - hasn't Mt Ranier been around for years? I remember reading about it like back in the 1900s (1999 maybe)
     
  6. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #6
    Yeah I think that may be it XP Pro may still install Backup by default, but for Home it's strictly an optional install. It's a very scaled back version of Veritas which has not been updated much if at all since 2001 and is really designed for tape backups.

    Yup, CD-MRW has been a long time coming, but it still isn't native in any of the major OSes. :( Probably give some indication as to how hard this seems to be. Plus the fact that the floppy ended up being replaced with the USB key and not some optical disc.

    The Nero Suite I mentioned earlier has a decent backup tool called "Nero Back It Up" which can write to anything Nero can, including disc images on the HDD which can later be burned. The nice thing about the Nero tool is that it can be configured to burn the files as perfectly readable individual files, something you would not get from the built-in Microsoft Backup. For short term, the trial period should do you and you won't need the software to access the backups.

    B
     

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