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difference between DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW

8 replies [Last post]
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Joined: 2006-06-19

Can someone explains the difference between DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, & DVD+RW?
I need to buy DVD backup disc (because my DVD burner going bad and can't
read/write CDs). All I need to do are once-time simple backups - nothing fancy.
[It seems that DVD-R would be the most economical buy for me, but I want to
be sure before I buy.]

Thank in advance for any explanation.

Sheng-Chieh

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
I don't even own a DVD

I don't even own a DVD burner yet, but my guess would be that DVD-R would be a DVD which can only be burned once and then no more while "RW" types are those you can write on multiple times, just like with CDs.

However I've no idea what would "+" mean or does it even make any difference. It might just be a way some people write DVD-R or DVD-RW. But someone please say if that's not so and if "+" really does make a difference.

free-zombie's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-08
+ and - are two

+ and - are two incompatible technologies. I believe DVD+R is slightly more featureful. Check your writer's manual to see which DVD type it supports...

a thing's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
long or short term?

If this is for long term, any optical media is a bad idea. It can get scratched, which will corrupt it, very easily, especially if you happen to move before you restore from that backup. For short term, DVD will be okay.

+ and - are incompatible technologies. Look around the manufacturer of your DVD drive's website to find what your drive is compatible with. If you use DVD Rs, use + because of its more robust error management. If you use RW DVDs (which wouldn't be a good idea for backups), use DVD-RAM if you can, DVD+RW if you can't, and DVD-RW if neither of the above two work with your drive. DVD-RAM and DVD+RW can be rewritten in parts like a harddrive or flash, but DVD-RAM has built-in error control and defect management. DVD-RW can only be rewritten by erasing the whole disk and starting over.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
If you have an old hard

If you have an old hard disk you could use that for backup. If it works, doesn't show any defects it is likely to be a quite reliable option.

Offline
Joined: 2006-06-19
DVD-RAM?

Thank for the explanations.

One question: what is DVD-RAM, i.e., what does RAM stands for?

Sheng-Chieh

a thing's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
Random-Access Memory

RAM stands for Random-Access Memory. "RAM" by itself refers to the memory one step above the CPU cache (which is one step above CPU registers). Today, RAM is usually .5GB–2GB.

DVD-RAM is a technology similar to DVD±RW but is more reliable, can be written to more, and is less popular.

I'm not sure why DVD-RAM has its name.

Wikipedia is awsome. Laughing out loud

Offline
Joined: 2006-03-28
A couple of years ago, when

A couple of years ago, when DVD-recorders started to get into publicly interesting price-ranges, I've read a couple of things about the different DVD-types.
I hope I remember everything correctly, but I don't give any warranty for the following information:

DVD-R is like a CD, data are sequentially stored in a spool. This makes DVD-R the favorite DVD-type for movies. Since there the laser just follows the yellow brick road (meaning the track).

DVD+R is more like a hard-disc. Data is allocated via sectors. This type should be better for backups since there it is more likely the laser will not just follow the track but also jump to different parts of the DVD.

Both types are written with normal recording-programs and have to be fully erased (in case of RW) to replace data.
On a DVD-RAM it is possible to work like working on a hard-drive. You can just copy a file to or delete from the disc. As far as I know this is not done with a normal recording-tool but with a driver that enables the system to write directly to the disc.

I hope I remembered everything correctly and that my information is useful for you.

a thing's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
rewriting
reptilier wrote:

have to be fully erased (in case of RW) to replace data.

That's just for DVD-RW. DVD+RW (and DVD-RAM) doesn't need that.

Drivers probably won't be an issue unless your own Windows <Vista; they should come with the distro.

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