What DVD blanks to buy?


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Hello, I wish to buy the right DVD blanks for my 1-1/2 yo computer but I don't know for sure which type. I'd like the ones to be able to re-write on, etc. Could someone let me know? Here are my computer data. (Please forgive if it's too much as I don't know exactly what you need to know to recommend the DVD blanks):

Dell Intel® Pentium® dual-core E5500(2.80GHz,2MB L2,800MHz).
Memory: 4GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1066MHz- 2 DIMMs.
Hard Drive: 750GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™.
Video Card: Integrated Intel® GMA X4500 Graphics.
Optical Drive: 16X DVD+/-RW Drive (Your computer will only play BluRay if it is specifically listed here).
Operating System: Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64Bit, English.
Office Software: Microsoft® Office Starter 2010.

Thanks ever so much for your recommendation. :eek:) Adela

P.S. How can I abbreviate my computer data next time I need to show it to get advice? Thanx.
 
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TrainableMan

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If you want rewritable then it should say DVD+RW or DVD+RW DL. The RWs hold about 4.5GB of data and the DL (dual layer) hold about 8.5GB.

I hardly ever burn DVDs any more and when I do I never use RWs, just the DVD+R, write once, kind. The truth is that flash drives are now so cheap that if you really need rewrite capabilities then you should pick up a few of those. We can get 8GB flash drives for US$8, 16GB for US$10, and 32GB for US$18.
 
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Thanks so much for your thorough info TrainableMan! I didn't know that one could use the flash drives instead. I have 2 of them: 8 and 4 GBs. Is it the same way to copy to them from the computer (to take it to another place)? or is it the same way for both DVDs and flash drives?

Burning a DVD or CD means creating something on it from scratch? Or copying something on it?

I'm sorry to be THIS ignorant but I've never thought of using it until I discovered the "Dell DataSafe Local Backup" where it asks to put a disc in, and so I thought I'd try it. Do you think this Dell backup is worth doing?

Again, thanks so much! :) Adela
 
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TrainableMan

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It is called "Burning" a DVD because every time you write information to the disk a hot laser physically alters the surface inside the DVD. When you buy rewritable DVDs what it does after the first burn is laser the disc down to level and then start burning again; because of this, rewritable DVDs can't be rewritten forever, eventually the surface is gone, after somewhere between 20 and 1000 writes. You are creating something new on the DVD itself (it was blank or is rewritten to be essentially blank before the data is written) but the data copied there is generally information that first existed on the hard drive or has been created and is being stored in memory.

A flash drive does not "burn" anything, there is no laser, it uses solid state memory. Flash drives also have a limit to how many times they can be rewritten before they go bad, but this limit should be in the millions.

In the case of the Dell datasafe backup, that software may or may not have the ability to write the output to a flash drive rather than a DVD. If your only option from the software is a DVD then you would need to use a DVD rather than a flash drive, however if it allows you to write the output to a file, then that file can easily be on a flash drive.

Backing up your data is always a good idea. for me every week or two is sufficient because I do not store that many new files (WORD documents, EXCEL spreadsheets, etc)

To use a flash drive then the other computer has to have a USB port, if you use a DVD then the other computer has to have a DVD-Rom. It's all just data. If special software is used to create the data then that software may also need to be on the other computer, it depends on how it was designed. For example back-ups are often stored in a compressed form, not just a simple one-to-one copy; because of this, the software is often needed to extract the information as well. If you simply drop a file on the DVD or flash drive then that is a simple copy and should be able to be read by any other computer.
 
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