How to overwrite a CD R.

Write data to CD / DVD-R - and delete it too?

Tips & Tricks February 5th, 2019, 7:00 a.m.
You want to burn photos to a CD or DVD-R. Even if it is not an "RW" (rewritable) disc, you can often erase it again. Here are the tips for Windows 10.
Burning data on blank DVDs or even CDs has now gone out of fashion. There are a few good reasons for this, which we would like to send you first before we move on to the practical tips.

Why are CD / DVD burners «out»?

First of all, there is only little space on this so-called “optical data carrier”: DVDs offer 4.7 gigabytes as standard, CDs usually only around 700 megabytes, some even around 800 megabytes. This is very little when you consider that hard drives with 1 to 2 terabytes or more are now normal. Even the handy little USB sticks offer more. USB sticks with 16 gigabytes of space are available for a five-liter.
Fewer and fewer devices even have an optical drive in the form of a CD / DVD burner. They can still be found occasionally in desktop PCs, but in many notebooks you will often look for them in vain.
USB sticks and USB hard drives are much easier to use multiple times. With the current fast USB ports, copying onto a USB stick is usually faster than burning onto a disc. In addition, with rewritable CD or DVD formats (CDRW, DVD-RW or + RW), fun is over after a few hundred overwrites. The defective disks end up in the trash.
Then there would be storage. With individual devices or blanks there can always be outliers downwards or upwards. But today it is assumed that the data on the individual data carriers can realistically be preserved as follows, provided that the conditions are good:
  • Blank CD: five to ten years
  • Blank DVD: ten to thirty years
  • Hard disk in the PC: up to ten years
  • External hard drive: up to thirty years
  • USB sticks: ten to thirty years
Only purchased music CDs and movie DVDs usually last a few decades longer if handled carefully. This is because these are not fired, but pressed. The coating over the sensitive data layer is thicker and more robust.
Nowadays there are almost no applications in which it is absolutely necessary to burn data to DVDs. Boot CDs and DVDs used to be popular. But nowadays PCs and notebooks can start up from USB sticks if you want to install a new operating system or use a rescue data carrier. Large amounts of data can be conveniently transmitted via fast internet connections and stored in cloud storage. And if the Internet access was too poor anywhere, the variant with a USB stick or a USB hard drive would come into question again. Many DVD or BluRay players can also play data from USB sticks or from shared drives in the network, for example from a NAS (network storage device). It is therefore often no longer necessary for these devices to transfer the data to a blank disc.
If you want to use DVDs (rather no longer: CDs) as archives, remember that you have to copy the data onto new blanks about every ten years. However, if an archive period of a good ten years is sufficient for you, you can use the DVD. This is where the next question arises: will you even have a DVD drive in ten years' time that you can put the discs with the treasures you have burned?

Burn a DVD anyway? That's how it's done.

A data backup on blank DVDs is still a thousand times better than none at all. In this respect, it can make sense to use up the blanks that may still be lying around at home.
Blank DVDs come in two standards that can only be written to once: DVD-R (“minus”) and DVD + R (“plus”). The same is also available in a rewritable version: DVD-RW and DVD + RW. Today's drives cope equally well with the plus and minus versions.
Burning data is very easy. No additional software is required under Windows 10. Insert the blank DVD and a small popup will appear that you can click on.
Windows has detected an inserted blank disc
In the next popup, go to Burn files to disk
Select Burn files to disk
Incidentally, the popup disappears after a few seconds if you don't react quickly enough. But that's not a problem. If you missed the popup, just open the fileExplorer, go to This pc and double click on your DVD drive. In all cases, the question of how to use the data carrier appears with new blanks. Enter a data carrier title or accept the suggested one with the current date.
This decision is important: At Like a USB memory stick you can copy data to the blank disc in several so-called sessions. For example, a few photos today, more photos next week, and a few more documents the next day. This is what is known as a multi-session DVD. You can virtually "delete" data on this. This is the best choice for data. The DVD can be read out on all common PCs with a DVD drive.
Windows asks an important question here
The choice of With a CD / DVD player you should, however, rather hit it if the data carrier is to be played in a hi-fi system. Only this one session is then possible - and no deletion.
So choose e.g. Like a USB memory stick and click on Further. Windows creates a kind of basic system on the blank. From now on you can send data as normal via Copy paste Place it on the blank as if it were a USB stick or a floppy disk. Alternatively, right-click on a folder or a file and select via in the context menu Send to the entry of your DVD drive. The data will be burned.
After the burn process, you should make sure that Windows is really done with it. In the FileExplorer under This pc right up DVD drive and choose Eject.
The next day or the next week, insert the blank disk again and simply copy further data onto it in the manner mentioned.
Important: With multisession DVDs, each session takes up at least 25 megabytes of space, even if you only copy a small Word file of 10 kilobytes onto it. If the best possible use of space is important to you, keep the number of sessions to a minimum.

Erase data from DVD +/- R - yes, that works!

Although DVD-R or DVD + R (in contrast to the RW blanks) is a «non-rewritable» format, you can «erase» data from these blanks. The prerequisite is that you have resorted to the multisession variant, i.e. the option Like a USB memory stick.
How is something like this possible? The system is actually cheating here. You can right click on a multisession burned file or folder, Clear Select and answer the question «Are you sure you want to delete this file irrevocably?» With Yes nod off. You will see that the file or folder actually disappears.
Data can also be "erased" from blanks that can only be written once
But nothing is really "deleted" here. The data belonging to the deleted file are still on the blank. And that's where they stay. You will notice this by the fact that you still did not get free space on the blank afterwards. When files are deleted from a multisession DVD, a kind of new table of contents is created in which the deleted file is no longer listed. There is software that can make such data visible again; and every data recovery laboratory would only have a weary smile for data that has been “deleted” in this way.