read only???!?!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ring, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. ring macrumors regular

    Nov 17, 2011
    I am having trouble with CDs on my Mac. I have recently backed up sensitive data to a CD. Now, when I put that CD into my Mac to update the backup, it says the CD is read only. I tried changing permissions from the "get info" section. I tried erasing and repairing the disk with disk utility....


    I don't know what to do and this is extremely frustrating. I just want to be able to update my backups on the /writable/ CD..

    Thanks for any help/suggestions offered.
  2. bungiefan89 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2011
    No such thing.

    I hate to break it to you but... you can't "update" a CD. It's not like a hard drive where you can erase and re-write information at will. With a CD, once you put the information on it, you can't take it off, let alone edit it.

    CDs, DVD, and most manner of portable data disks as we use them are, by their nature, "read only" devices. Sorry.

    Perhaps you could try backing things up on an external hard drive, or a USB flash drive?:)
  3. Smacky macrumors 6502

    Jul 23, 2008
    CD-RW and DVD-RW?
  4. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    If this is truly for backup purposes... then a CD/DVD is probably the worse possible choice for a backup medium. They have a very poor shelf life.

    I would recommend that you get a portable hard drive, and/or back up to the cloud.

  5. ring thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 17, 2011
    I do have backups on other places(USB, Dropbox, Google docs,, iCloudMail) - I just figured I would put the 700MB disks to use that have been sitting in my parents' storage room since I was in 4th grade

    So there is /no/ way for me to reuse the CDs?
  6. CrickettGrrrl macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2012
    B'more or Less
    Back with my G5 iMac, I could write back onto a writable CD, but it wouldn't add to what was on there already, it cleared it and then wrote to it. That was with Panther and/or Tiger, so I don't know if it'll even do that much with Snow Leopard or whatever. Yes, frustrating compared to a Windows laptop at the time, which could add and not overwrite, but really, what's the point with reusing CD's now anyway?
  7. ring thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 17, 2011
    The point is I have a stack of them sitting on an old bookshelf, wasting space and money.
  8. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    There are things like rewriteable CDs and DVDs (RW-), but you can't "update" them the same way as you do with hard disks. You have to burn them completely anew. There is a possibility to add data after such a CD has been burned, but its rather complicated.

    Anyway, as already mentioned, don't use CDs/DVDs as backup. Get an external HDD (or two).


    If its not a CD-RW, your best option is to recycle them (like throw them into a garbage bin).
  9. CrickettGrrrl macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2012
    B'more or Less
    You can use them for one-time use as you need it. Then you are still getting good use out of them, just don't expect to reuse them.

    I wish I could shingle my garage roof with all the old or bad CDs I have left over. :eek:

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