I have a DVD that I want to burn, but it's one of those huge dual layer ones. I'm wondering, before I attempt the burn process, if I need a special DVD burner in my PC to make this work properly.
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You can install the freely available "VSO Inspector" software to determine whether your burner is capable of burning Dual-Layer DVDs from this link.
In order to burn a Dual-Layer DVD, your burner has to be able to adjust the optical laser used to write data to the disk in a way that allows it to bypass the first writeable layer and write data to the second layer. Dual-Layer DVD's have two writeable layers, and on any dual-layer capable drive I have ever seen, it's labeled as capable of writing Dual-Layer discs.
Look for something like this on your drive:
DVD+/-RW DL DVD-R/RW DL DVD+R/RW DL DVD+RW DL DVD-RW DL
Although most newer drives are 'multi' drives capable of writing both plus (+) and minus (-) DVDR/RW's, older drives may only be able to read/write one format, either plus or minus. Also, notice the
DL on my list above. This stands for Dual-Layer.
If your drive has this
DL label, it is dual-layer capable. Make sure you buy the right type of disc if your drive can only read one type and not the other, this is a common mistake since CD-R's only have one format (any CD-R/RW works in a CD-R/RW drive, but DVD's have two (DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW).