The disc is a Memorex DVD+R. It came half used and I would like it to be erased. It can be a physical procedure, if necessary. Maybe there is a way to take up all space and then virtually use it as empty?

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    If it’s not RW (DVD+/-RW) then that disc is done. – Giacomo1968 Jun 9 '19 at 4:34
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    scratch it up with sandpaper and shatter it into as many peices as possible. then bury them at the 5 corners of the world, preferably guarded by Hydra's and Minotaurs and the like. – Frank Thomas Jun 9 '19 at 6:32

If you have recorded the disk, and if you have not finalized it, it is possible to add more data, but not to erase it, AFAIK. However, if you received the disk from someone else and are able to read the data, then it has been finalized.

Finalization* puts support data, such as a permanent table of contents on the disk, rather than relying on a temporary one stored on the machine writing data to the disk.

* Apparently, DVD+VR does not require finalization.

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    Hmm, in CD-R, iirc the ToC was always written to disc, but you could keep appending a new ToC that supersedes the old one (and "delete" files that way) unless the disc was finalized. – user1686 Jun 9 '19 at 7:27

In all seriousness, the best solution for most peoples needs is shredding. You can get a shredder pretty cheap at most any office supply store (most standard home/office shredders will do CD/DVDs). That would be an easy, reliable solution with reasonable security.

Secondly, if you are not too environmentally conscious, applying heat to the disk will corrupt and destroy the data. It's a pain to do, and is woefully irresponsible, but it provides a high degree of certainty that the data on a melted disk is unrecoverable against even the most powerful adversaries.

Scratching it up and breaking it is sufficient for most use-cases. It's not as convenient as a shredder, but its cheap and easy enough.


Some DVD+R can be erased. The way to know if yours is one of them is:

  • Open Windows Explorer
  • Go to This PC
  • Right-click the drive
  • Check if you see the option of "Erase this disc".

If the option exists, then you may use it to erase the existing data. Otherwise, it is not possible.

  • I thought they had to be DVD-RW/ DVD+RW? – Moab Jun 9 '19 at 16:46
  • @Moab: For RW I think this option is almost always available. – harrymc Jun 9 '19 at 17:55

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