Jump to content
We’re excited to announce the forum is under new management! Details to follow.

What type of DVD?

Recommended Posts

I need to buy a DVD for making a reboot disc. I don't know the type number of the DVD reader/writer in my PC so how can I decide which type of discs to buy? There are several types on the market:- DVD+R, DVD-R and DVD. I'm told these discs can hold about 4.7GB and that's adequate for holding my OEM Windows 7 reboot data. But what do their hieroglyphics stand for?

I also have a so called BluRay disc read/writer for the same HP desktop and I'm told the discs that suit it can hold some 50GB and two of them are big enough to hold my entire hard drive's worth of data as it stands at present (80GB). Should I install the Blu Ray unit and put all my hard drive data on it or should I use the other read/write unit and only put the reboot windows 7 on it and get an external hard drive for everything else? What type of disc do I need for the BluRay unit? I've seen double layer types on offer. Do I need these?

Edited by woolyhead

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's two different types of single-write writable DVDs, DVD+R was originally intended for video and set-top box type of DVD recording and was originally more expensive than DVD-R discs which were primarily for Computers/Data. On top of that you've then got multiple-write DVD in the form of DVD+RW and DVD-RW, and lastly DVD-Ram. This last one was again more expensive than DVD-RW or DVD+RW and limited adoption with hardware manufacturers so wasn't widely deployed. Originally, the +/-/RAM were all competing standards and different manufacturers lined up behind the different standards until they started bringing out 'hybrid' drives that would write to +/- disks, some would write to all 3 standards, even though DVD-RAM disks originally had caddies.

 

DVD+R and DVD-R single-layer discs are approximately 4.7GB in capacity, where as dual layer are approximately 8.5GB

 

Blank Blu-Ray disks are I believe approximately 25GB for single-layer discs and 50GB for dual-layer discs. They're known as BD-R's. You can also get 'Rewritable' Blu-rays which are BD-RW's which are the 'older/original' style Blu-ray rewritables, or BD-RE which are the newer standard. If you have a Blu-ray rewriter that is BD-RE compatible, it should be able to write to all Blu-ray rewritable discs but if you've got a BD-RW writer then it'll probably only write to BD-RW rewritable discs and not BD-RE as the 'newer standard'

 

Some of the main difference between Blu-Ray and DVD is because the laser light-length has a different numerical aperture which allows the light to refract at multiple different angles off the Blu-ray discs and allows the greater capacity. In writable media, this may actually be seen as a disadvantage, as if you get any portion of the disc that becomes unreadable due to getting scratched (Though Blu-Rays are supposed to have better coatings than DVDs to try to negate some of the effects of disc scratches) you're liable to lose a much greater portion of data due to the massively multiplied density.

 

Prices of USB flash media have plummeted in recent years, and have proven to be a magnitude more durable than optical discs for backup purposes. USB3 backup and restore should prove to be a lot faster than optical disc backup/restore and if you have this option, is probably the safer way forward. Separately, all writable optical media over time is more liable to become unreadable. There are many different reasons for this, including disc rot and laser rot. The better the disc is manufactured, the less likely you are to suffer from this, but nothing is 100% certain. I've experienced certain (5+ years) writable discs fall apart where others that are older have held up okay. There are no guarantees. Hard drives and solid-state media (USB flash etc.) are probably a safer bet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks ShefStealth. Regarding the use of an external hard drive as backup medium I'm told that older PCs cannot boot from USB connected devices. My PC is 7 years old. Also When I do a dummy run to see how to make a backup my files my PC reminds me I haven't yet made a backup disc. So where does that leave me? It looks as if I'm being pushed towards using a disc for the reboot data, doesn't it. And how does 7 years age sound in relation to using USB flash for reboot? I suppose my guidance software could be older than my PC and virtually outdated by a younger PC?

Another question ref types of DVD I meant to ask is...what does the 16X or 8X refer to on the sellers' adverts?

Edited by woolyhead

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It all depends on the BIOS (Your machine will probably be prior to UEFI booting) - there will be a key that you can press straight after powering up but prior to booting that will allow you to access the machine's boot menu. From there, you can choose the relevant available booting option. USB may be available but you'll have to check this yourself. Google the model number of your machine with words 'boot menu' afterwards.

 

Don't confuse this boot menu with the Microsoft Windows ( F8 ) boot menu which allows certain admin/repair options for windows - I'm talking about your actual PC's boot menu option.

 

There's also the option of checking the BIOS yourself for relevant settings (You can change the boot order yourself from within the BIOS) but with no disrespect intended, it mightn't be wise for you to be poking around with the settings in your BIOS, as if you change any settings that you don't understand then you may render your machine unbootable until you're able to make the relevant reversions.

Edited by ShefStealth
.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't worry Shef, I won't. I'd rather waste a few quid in buying the wrong type of disc and finding out by trial and error. Anyway thank you for your help. By the way what does the 16X mean please?

Edited by woolyhead

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

16x refers to the speed at which the disc burns, 16x being faster than 8x.

 

You could burn a recovery disc to DVD, create and .iso from this and copy this to a USB.

 

It's highly likely that you can boot from USB. If I were in your shoes I would just make a recovery disc onto a DVD and then worry about making a USB copy later should you need to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great stuff. I'm printing a copy of everything I fine useful for the future, in case I can't later find it on this forum. Thanks everyone for your help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

good stuff, melthebell. Thank you. Incidentally, Macrium Reflect (free) asked me to use a DVD R-W for making my backup disc but I used a DVD-R because that's all I had. It seemed to work ok but how can I test it to see what's on the disc? I don't want to disturb the Windows 7 that's in my PC of course.

Edited by woolyhead

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If your question is about checking your install disc without actually installing from it, you can either simply insert the disc into your dvd-drive and see if it prompts you to install Windows again - at this point, you select NO and you are fine.

 

The other way is for you to keep the SHIFT key pressed when you insert the DVD into the DVD drive. This prevents the disc from auto-playing and therefore you won't be prompted to install Windows. After the humming of the disc in the drive has stopped, you can use Windows Explorer to check the contents of your DVD.

 

Hope that helps!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Firstly, never use a RW disk for long-term backups, they are much more prone to going bad. I don't think a single one of my DVD+RW or DVD-RW disks that I bought 10 years ago still work.

 

As for checking the disk, just checking it detects it is not close to good enough. If you have software like Nero Burning ROM you should be able to choose to copy the disk to an image instead of a physical disk. That way you at least know it reads back correctly. Also just doing a normal disk to disk copy but abort when it asks you to put the destination disk would achieve the same thing.

 

However, good backup software should verify the integrity of the backup you just made anyway.

 

The trouble is, you can't guarantee how long a burnt DVD will last. I had some that failed to read back after a couple of years, others are fine. So ideally keep an ISO image of the DVD on a HDD somewhere as well, so you can always burn off another copy.

 

As with any backup, the rule of thumb is keep as many copies in different places as possible so you can be sure at least one of them will be good.

Edited by AlexAtkin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If your question is about checking your install disc without actually installing from it, you can either simply insert the disc into your dvd-drive and see if it prompts you to install Windows again - at this point, you select NO and you are fine.

 

The other way is for you to keep the SHIFT key pressed when you insert the DVD into the DVD drive. This prevents the disc from auto-playing and therefore you won't be prompted to install Windows. After the humming of the disc in the drive has stopped, you can use Windows Explorer to check the contents of your DVD.

 

Hope that helps!

yeah i do this too, also burning progs like nero have an option to tick which will verify the data after its burnt it, so you know its good, i still double check the discs run after tho, always

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.