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How to create a DVD on DVD-R that I can continually write to

Hi,

Is there a way using Alcohol 120% (which I have a license for) or free software that I can create a DVD that I can write to frequently.  I.e. One day burn off a couple of files, another day come back and add to it.  I can only seem to burn ISO files and they seem to "lock" the DVD to any future additions in some way.

Sorry I am a DVD nube!

Cheers,
Steve.
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steve_bagnall
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steve_bagnall
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2 Solutions
 
WatzmanCommented:

What you want is formally known as multi-session DVD.  This ability is dependent on both the drive and the software.  What I've found in my experiments is that most RECENT drives, used with recent full-featured software can do it.  To be very specific, I can tell you that a Pioneer "08" or later series drive, used with Roxio version 6 or 7 (fully updated in either case), can do it.  HOWEVER, the resulting DVD cannot necessarily be read on all drives.  I did a series of experiments a few months back with a large number of drives and various software.  Roxio version 5 could not create such disc, neither could a Pioneer "04" series drive.  But with the 08 drive and Roxio version 6, I was able to create a multi-session dvd-r and read it on a number of drives, including the DVD drives installed in SOME of my laptops (for example, it could be read in a Toshiba 1415, from December 2003).  But it could not be read in other, mostly older DVD drives, including the one in My Toshiba 2805-S202 laptop (a Pentium III 750MHz purchased in April of 2002).

So it's very hardware dependent, and also sofware dependent.  With the right combination, it can be done, but by no means will any burner and software combination work, and even when you successfully write the DVD, not every DVD reader will be able to read it.

PS - this is for data only, this does not work for "video" DVDs.

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rindiCommented:
If you really wanted to, you could use the incd function you get with nero or the directcd you get with roxio products to "format" the dvd and then you can write to it like to a HD. This uses packet writing and the disk won't be readable any many drives, particularly if that mode isn't supported there. I don't advice anyone do that but it could be a possibility. The simplest way is just to use your normal dvd burning software and finish the session when you are through. Before making the next copy, copy your data off the DVD, erase it and copy that data plus the new data back on it. I also suggest that you test some of those copied files after you have burnt the DVD. I've often had problems with data not being readable anymore. Also don't burn at full speed.
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steve_bagnallAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys,

Anyway to do this with DVD-R?

Cheers,
Steve
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rindiCommented:
No, there you would have to make multisession DVDs as Watzman has already explained, or then depend on incd or directcd which I mentioned above, but which I don't advise anyone to do. If you don't want to waste a DVD because there isn't enough data, why don't you just use a CD-R for those cases?  I don't know of any DVD writer which can't also write to CDs...
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WatzmanCommented:

I believe that it works the same with + and -, to the extent that, with your drive and software, it will work.  What you need to do is run some tests (which means wasting media, but you shouldn't be paying more than about 50 cents for DVD blank media).

I strongly recommend that you do not use any UDF (packet writing) methods.  First, they produce a non-standard (non-ISO) CD.  The resulting CD is often unreadable on other computers.  Second, it means using rewriteable meda (RW media), which is unstable for long-term use.  The data has a tendency to "fade" and become unreadable.

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steve_bagnallAuthor Commented:
Hi,

I have managed to do it using UDF on Nero doing the multisession thing.  I'll just have to keep multiple copies just in case they fade.

Thanks alot.

Steve
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rindiCommented:
thanks, too.
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