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I know this is a stupider question, but in the past i've read you can. I read that if you change the codec or something of the disc it can burn. Is this true? I don't have a built in DVD+RW drive and I want to put Windows on a disc (RW, so I can reburn later)

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    A DVD-Rom drive can only read DVDs. A DVD+/-RW drive can read and write DVDs. What you are attempting to do will utterly never be possible. ROM = Read Only Memory. No write. – JakeGould Feb 15 at 1:39
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because there's no good category for "requests the impossible". – Debra Feb 15 at 19:09
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    If considering closing the Q just because you think it's a "Stupid question", they've already been discussed on meta and the answer seems to be they deserve to remain open and answered - basically "What is "obvious" or "stupid" is really dependent on the reader. What might be obvious (and thus a stupid question) to you, might not be for me." - @Debra There's no good category to close it because it shouldn't be closed, unless there's a better reason. – Xen2050 Feb 15 at 20:25
  • @Xen2050 Please note that I did not use either of the derogatory terms you used, and I don't see a reason to use those terms. Both the first comment and your patient answer explain why a read-only device doesn't write; I just doubt that the explanation listed isn't commonly available, and the question says "In the past I've read ..." without citing a single link, so one wonders about the source of the idea. IMO it's like asking "How can I get my eyeglasses to write what I see?" except less technically provocative. And it's not a good SU question because it lacks any sign of "doing the work". – Debra Feb 16 at 22:02
  • I've still been looking around to find the link. This case isn't just dropping... I said I'd try, and a person is no better than their word. – Grizzly Feb 16 at 22:57
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You're talking about a read-only DVD drive, the name even stands for read-only:

DVD-ROM - Digital Versatile Disk - Read Only Memory
DVD-ROM - Digital Video Disk - Read Only Memory (less common)

I can see where there would be confusion, all the drives have lasers, some lasers write to some disks, why couldn't this drive's laser write to a different type of disk? But even if you could change the disk image, or software, or the drive's firmware itself, the hardware on a read-only drive wouldn't physically be able to write to a disk, here's a brief quote from wikipedia:

The reading laser is usually not stronger than 5 mW, while the writing laser is considerably more powerful. The faster the writing speed is rated, the stronger the laser. DVD burner lasers often peak at about 100-400 mW in continuous wave (some are pulsed).

So the answer is no, you can't write / burn a disk with it. You'll need a dvd writing drive.


Alternatively, consider using a USB flash drive to make a bootable USB instead. These Q's look helpful

  • Thanks! I just saw in the DVD community somewhere about 4 years ago if you change something about the DVD you could. – Grizzly Feb 15 at 2:52
  • Welcome :) If you could find the link where you read that, it would be interesting. There's several different disk formats, and drives that support only some, I'm guessing it was about using one format's disk (like DVD-R) on another drive that doesn't specifically support it...? Almost all the drives sold now support virtually every format AFAIK – Xen2050 Feb 15 at 3:08
  • I'll try, but it's been years and I have gotten a different PC since then... – Grizzly Feb 15 at 3:23
  • @Grizzly You almost certainly are misremembering or misunderstanding whatever it was that you read 4 years ago. – jamesdlin Feb 15 at 5:39

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