If they say RW, then yes, you're supposed to be able to erase them.
How? I don't remember. It's been a good 10 years since I used a RW disc.
Check out this Apple support doc on erasing RW discs on OS X: Mac OS X: How to erase a CD-RW disc
Hi, just bought some Imation DVD-RWs. The label says 4x2hr (video photos data). I had assumed RW meant it was rewriteable.
So I filled one up with pics/music and then after finishing with it tried dumping all the stuff in the Trash (I wish it was Rubbish, sorry). The laptop just said 'sorry the operation could not be completed because an error occurred. disk error -61).
Am I missing something here? Are they single use etc etc.
(PS: it's an Intel MacBook so it's not some old PB100!)
cheers, and TIA,
Basically you write to it once, and then everything on the disc appears to be read-only. It's not like a USB key where you can trash/rename/resave files that are on it.
Once you blank out the whole disc using the Disk Utility method mentioned above, then it becomes a "blank DVD" again and you can burn it another time.
The lads are right, RW is an all-or-nothing affair -- you burn them like you would any other disc, and they'll appear to the reader as a normal burnt disc will, but to re-use them, they have to be erased completely before they can be re-used. You can't treat them like a normal hard drive or USB key.
There's some software that used to be bundled with Windows machines called Discribe that would let you treat a recordable disc somewhat like a floppy disk (which were still around then) or hard drive, in that you could change its contents, but it did so in a sneaky manner -- any extra files were stored in a new session and an entirely new directory was added, using up 8-12 MB a shot, resulting in a full disc before you knew it. Needless to say, it wasn't popular.
As per usual, brilliantly comprehensive info'.
Thanks guys. I'll try Disk Utility.
I wonder if there's ever been a DVD- or CD-RW in history that was ever used more than, say… twice.
Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.
- Cicero (106BC-43BC)
Years ago, I used to use a cd-rw to transfer stuff between PCs. Only one had a net connection, so the only way I had to get stuff onto the other was via CD (flash drives weren't an option and 3.5" floppies were too small).
Unfortunately, after about ten rewrites, the disc became unreadable. I've not used them since.
The Usual Suspect
But at $11 each last time I got one, not really appealing.
Current macs have DVD-RAM read capability in their drives, but sadly not write. So, the format is not much use for Mac users unless you get a write capable drive.
I use some DVD-RW disks, and they suffer on two counts.
First, supported write speed is slower than single write disks, and second, the time to fully erase for re use is annoying.
MBP15 i7 2.2 16G/1TB/120SSD, MB C2D2.4 Black, MB2.0 Black, PBG4/15/1.5, PMG4 MDD, iMacG3/333, Epson1410, HPLJ5200DN, HP ML115 Ubuntu Server, Airport Extreme+Express N. In the closet: HP DC7600 PC, PBG4/12/867, PBG3/333, PM6200, PB5300C, SE30, SE.
I used to use DVD-RAM discs in an external LaCie drive, thinking it would be good for incremental backup (full backup on one, then a triple set to rotate through for incrementals - you can see that my early days with backup involved tape <grin>).
However, the abysmally slow write speeds just made it a cumbersome process. Nowadays, I just do a full backup to DVD-R, incrementals to iDisk, then burn those to a DVD-R after a week, and do another full backup to DVD-R. I keep just the last eight weeks, trashing the older discs. DVD-R media is very cheap these days, it's not worth messing about with -RW stuff.