CD and DVD media

By StuCazz ยท 13 replies
Sep 6, 2008
  1. I'm not sure about something, doing back-ups onto a CD or DVD +-R.

    If a disk is not finalized and it's been written to before, is that original back-up overwritten? My understanding is that it is stored in a different sector of the CD/DVD. Is that correct and if so how does one access the different sectors or back-ups. I hope I don't have to resort to re-writable media, as that would be to time consuming.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. NetCablesPlus

    NetCablesPlus TS Maniac Posts: 228

    My CD/DVD burning software offers the option to continue burning a CD or DVD that it had already placed some data on. I have never used it because I just burn another disc when new things need to be copied, but it seems like it is set up to continue using new sectors of the disc while leaving the original data alone. You should be sure that you have software that offers that functionality.
  3. StuCazz

    StuCazz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    I don't believe I have the necessary software. I assume it would be software that would show what's already burned on the disk. Could I ask what package you are using, and how resouce intensive is it?

    I have a core duo with 2 GB RAM, so I'd hope that would be sufficient.

    thanks for your reply
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Yes it is written to new sectors on the CD/DVD Disc
    Unless ofcourse it is a re-writable disc (one that you can format too)

    Programs such as BadCopy Pro can show you if data is present in earlier writes to disc. (I believe trial just allows viewing of the files only)
  5. NetCablesPlus

    NetCablesPlus TS Maniac Posts: 228

    For years, I used a software program called Ahead Nero and it offered the 'continue burning a disk with data already on it' feature. My new Acer laptop with CD/DVD RW came with Acer software that seems to offer the same capability, though I have not actually tried it. If you have a CD and/or DVD RW, it should have come with software either on a disc or already installed on the hard drive, if it is internal.
  6. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 923   +11

    If u are using Windows XP, it should be able to do what u are asking with the burning software that it installs when u load the OS.
  7. StuCazz

    StuCazz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    Thank you all for replying. Now that I know it writes it to a different sector, I'd like to know, like NetCablesPlus mentioned, can that backup be continued? Whether on a new sector or a different one.

    NetCablesPlus: I had that exact version of Nero also, I don't think it's any longer able to do it.

  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    What I've found is if you use the same program (say Nero) to burn data, and then leave the disc open. If you re-use the same program (say Nero again) then you can continue the new (adding to disc) burn.

    But if you use two different programs during this process, sometimes the new burn cannot see (or later show) the original burn to disc.
    Actually not sure why this is exactly. If the disc is open, it should be open for all programs. I think it's the way it burns, "disc at once" or tacks.

    Anyway, use the same program!
  9. StuCazz

    StuCazz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    That does make sense, I'm not sure my program shows what's there. I'll have to check

    thank you
  10. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    I'm stating to use the same burning program which is generally advised
    This goes along with your original question. Not a specific fault you want fixed

    You are asking about your specific burn, and if the data is still readable (note: I say yes, just check using BadCopyPro link above)
  11. StuCazz

    StuCazz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    I downloaded badcopy but haven't installed it yet. I may have asked my original question wrong. I have a DVD with a lot of mp3s on it and it has much more space. I have some others I'd like to back up, maybe 500mb. Instead of wasting the space I have on the written on DVD and using a new disk, I wanted to add to the DVD already written to. Since you've confirmed it records on another sector, I need to know if the different sectors can be accessed and how?

    Thanks so much for everyone's patience

  12. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Using the same program that you originally burnt the data to (the open DVD) you should be able to continue burning to it (without hiding the original data)

    It is always cleaner to do one burn only, and finalize the disc, (some recorders will work better on a finalized disc)
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,993   +2,528

    All your eggs in one basket.....

    I also use Nero (Ver. 6.6) and you must invoke the command check box, "allow files to be added to this disc later" on the final burn page. I never use it, but assuming you use the same program to add the new files, you should be gold. With Nero there is a "more button" which opens a flyout menu with a disc info checkbox. That will usually tell you what is already on the disc.
    DVDs are down to about 23 cents each, and whilst I appreciate the conundrum of leaving blank space on a disc, it's far from the end of the world. you might as well blow a quarter and finalize the damn thing so you can use it on any player. How long would it take you to fill a DVD completely with MP3s, and how would you remember what all's on it? If all your goodies are all on the same disc, losing it would be a disaster. I'm just sayin'.

    For clarities sake, I quoted you NetCables, but the text is obviously @ StuCazz
  14. StuCazz

    StuCazz TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 45

    kimsland I see your point and I'm sure your correct. Thank you for answering that for me.

    captaincranky I realize media in general is cheaper, and as kimsland said I'd get a clearner burn, doing one burn. Makes me wish 3.5 disks where back that help what DVDs do, for backing up stuff. No one said I had only 1 disks of the mp3s.

    Thanks everyone

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