(CD-RW) drives—collectively called CD writers or
CD burners—are CD-ROM
drives with a difference: they have a more powerful laser that, in
addition to reading discs, can
to special CD media. CD writers can be used for many purposes,
including duplicating commercial data and music CDs, transferring
large amounts of data to anyone who has a CD-ROM drive, and archiving
or backing up data. The flexibility and low cost of CD writers, along
with the low cost, reliability, and universal readability of the
discs they produce, has made them one of the most popular PC
peripherals. Any computer except perhaps an entry-level system should
have a CD writer.
CD writers can use one or both of these media types:
CD-R discs record data permanently. Data written to a CD-R disc cannot subsequently be deleted, which may be an advantage or a drawback, depending on how you use the drive. If you partially fill a CD-R disc, you can add more data to it during a later session, but once that disc is full, no more data can be written to it. CD-R discs are cheap—half a dollar each in bulk—and are a cost-effective means to archive data or to transfer large amounts of data to someone else. CD-R discs can be read in all but the oldest CD-ROM drives, and in most consumer CD players made in the last two or three years. CD-R discs may be written to in audio or various ...