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Bought a new cd-rw, what disks do I need?

By identityless ยท 12 replies
Nov 3, 2003
  1. I just bought a cd-rw drive. it's a btc 52x32x52 cd-rw. Now, i have the softwares to burn, but what kind of disks to I buy? I want to copy some data files (.exe, .txt, etc) from my hard drive on to a CD and transfer those files onto another computer (the other computer has a slower CD-R speed though).

    So, do I need to buy some blank CD-R disks? I also saw some CD-RW blank disks? Do I need to buy that? What's the difference? Plus, I also saw something like "48x CD-R blank disks" what does that mean? Does the speed of the blank CD-R or CD-RW matters?
  2. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    :wave: Hello and Welcome to TechSpot :wave

    A typical blank cd will be quite ok to use for what you're describing...
    A CD-RW disk is a disk which you burn something to, delete it, and write as new... They cost more, but are quite ok if you're going to copy a lot of files from one computer to another quite often... They cost more, but saves you from having to buy new disks all the time...

    Over to the speed...

    A cd labeled "48x CD-R blank disk" means that you can write it up to 48x faster than the original CD speed... This means that copying 650mb+ won't take more than a couple of minutes, compared to 30min on a 2x writer...

    You can use disks which supports lower speeds than your cd-writer as long as you don't try to write to them faster than they are specified for... As if you do, you'll most likely end up with a coaster (unusable cd)...

    It doesn't matter how fast the other CD-R is, as it won't see/care how fast you wrote the cd... It only tells you how fast it'll be able to copy the information from a cd...

    Hope this helps :)
  3. identityless

    identityless TS Rookie Topic Starter


    So basically, CD-R blank discs are kind of like, burn once, and that's it? You can't delete the files unless you reformat the disc again?

    For CD-RW blank discs, I can use a single one over and over again, just copy files on a blank disc and delete them when I want right?

    I also want to copy data files (.exe, .txt) and music files (.cda) on one single CD disc. Would I need two different dics?
  4. identityless

    identityless TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Oh and, do you know of a good place, either in stores or online, where I can find cheap and good quality CD-RW packs? At my school campus, they have a 25 pack CD-RW blank discs for $24.99, which I thought is pretty expensive? I also recalled seeing a deal 50 pack CD-RW for like $4.99 somewhere?
  5. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    With CD-R's you can only burn the files once. Once you burn something to it, it cannot be re-used. With the CD-RW disks, you can choose to format, or erase, it and re-write more stuff to it.

    You can put any kind of files on the same disk if you want. It would just need to be a data disk. With this you can put anything on your PC on it.

    YOu probably saw a 50 pack of CD-R's for $5, RW's are typically more expensive. Just take a look around and possibly CompUSA or Staples or Office Max/Depot have sales every once in a while on those. usually get them for free after rebate.

    I hope this helps.
  6. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    The guys covered it well.Just an extra tip.
    Check the recommended disk brand your manufacter lists in the owners manual or check their site online.Some disks especially cheap generic type may not perform well or at all in your writer.
    I buy one of two or three brands and test their performance before buying mass quantities.
  7. identityless

    identityless TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the tips Liquid. I have another question. Below is from the Staples site. Which disks last longer in terms of data storage? CD-R or CD-RW disks? I was going to buy some CD-RW disks but then I read it may not work on some CD-ROMs drive. I'm pretty sure CD-R can be read on most CD drives right? Right now, I'm thinking of buying several CD-R disks if it lasts longer and can work on other CD drives, but then again, I would like to buy some CD-RW disk since it can be re-written, only drawback is, it might not work on another CD-ROM drive on my other computer.

  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    Basically you'll probably want to buy CD-R disks in bulk, by that I mean 50 or more at a time. CD-R will work in virtually every device that takes regular CDs whether they are data CDs or audio CDs.
    I think you will want more CD-Rs just for their diversity and how cheap they are. Liquid is right on being careful about the quality, my burner will write to any cdr there is but sometimes that data isn't real reliable, for example when I burn an SVCD I sometimes have problems with playback on cheap CDRs.
    In my opinion you are really wasting your money if you buy more than 5 or 10 CDRWs, they are really pretty useless. They have compatability problems with older computer cd drives, they don't play as audio cds on many home systems, although many new car audio cd players will play them. And really for their price you can buy 2 or more CDRs.
  9. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    I don't mean to nitpick, but Iwant to make sure I am understanding your question.The information that the guys have been givingyou has been bang on .If you are thinking that cd-r lasts longer in years of reliablely reproducing the information that is on them. Then that is determined by the actual manufacturing process.You have to confirm this ,but I think I read that the CD-R and -RW's made with gold lasts longer in years than the one's made with silver .Something like that .Maybe someone else can give you definitive info on this
  10. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    I would say the cd-r's last longer, but that doesn't mean they do. And as SNGX said I wouldn't really worry about getting the CD-RW's because as cheap as you can get a lot of CD-R's it's not worth it to have RW's. You can just make a new CD instead of rewriting a RW. I have gotten all of my CD-R's at about 5 cents per cd, or less. So in my case it isn't worth it to get RW's
  11. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    Well from what I understand these 'studies' are not real reliable, the cdr and rw media hasn't been around long enough for real time studies, and they have instead been using simulated conditions to rack up the 'years' that the disk has been exposed to. I think what it really comes down to is that if you find a disk that will reproduce your files/media reliably initially (note: not all disks work equally well in all burners, see my SVCD example above) and if you take care of the disk, the disk will last as long as you deem that data relavent. I mean think about how many important documents you have that are over 5 years old that you havent' reopened or resaved in that time - I bet not many.
    Point being that if something is vital, you will continually save it and should have it other places as well (hd, other cds, ect.)

    I have CD-Rs that I burned back in 98 that are audio cds, burned on imation disks that still play fine in my cd players. So I think disks will last longer than you need if you take care of them.
  12. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Good point SNGX, simply putting them in cases and not throwing them around your desk will help prevent problems from occuring. Just take care of them and you shouldn't have to worry about it.
  13. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Hopefully my reply won't confuse things too much, but anyhow, you can delete files from CD-R discs too, if you use formats like Drag-to-Disc (formerly known as DirectCD). However, deleting files won't reclaim the space, the disc will just look empty.

    No, you can burn multisession discs where the first track would be data and the rest audio, for example.

    You can also burn multisession discs if you don't have enough data to fill a disc at once and you want to use its whole capacity. However, you can't read the disc until you've closed the session, ie. written the table of contents to the disc.

    By the way, don't try to copy audio files (that appear as *.cda in Explorer) just like that. You need to extract the tracks to hard disk as wav files first (although burning application might do this for you, too).
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