When is a rewritable cd not a rewritable cd?

Adam Addis

When I put a CD-RW in the drive of my eMac Combo (G4, OS X 10.3.5), the computer treats it as an ordinary CD-R. If I burn anything on it, the resulting disk is not rewritable.

Anyone know how to persuade the computer to treat a CD-RW as a CD-RW?


Staff member
You mean Disk Utility can't delete it afterwards?


U.S.D.A. Prime
Pardon me if I'm assuming wrong, but I think you're getting at the fact that you can't burn some stuff to the CD-RW and then burn some more stuff later to the same disk, right?

If so, that's not how a CD-RW works -- it burns your data to the disk, and then must be erased completely before writing new data to it.

If that's not what you're talking about, Disk Utility in OS X 10.4 gives you the ability to leave the CD open for further writes, if I'm not mistaken...


Registered Bot
People familiar with Windows' (DirectCD-whoever it belongs to) ability to packet-write to a CD-RW disc are confused and disappointed when they can't do the same on a Mac. I was. Until I realized I didn't miss it.

I don't think it's a huge limitation since CD-R (and RW) media are very inexpensive. Of course, as fryke mentioned, you can use Disk Utility to erase a CD-RW.



What do you mean by "not rewriteable?"

If you mean you can't add files, I suspect one of two things:
A. You're using a "Finder Burn" which is nice for creating hybrid
... Mac/PC discs, but doesn't offer "session" writing.
B. You're using Disk Utility but didn't invoke the "make
... appendable" option before burning. DU's "burn" dialog
... box has a little triangle. Click it to get options.

If you mean you can't erase and re-use the CD-RW, I'd
guess you're telling DU to erase the wrong thing. The
left DU pane has three entries related to your CD that
look something like this:
... 684.1 PIONEER DVD the device name
... ... Session 1 the session identifier
... ... ... 1997 Pics from Old CD what you called the disc or session
Highlight the "device name" to erase the disc.

Hope this helps.


Registered Bot
I think some people are really confused (or maybe it's me!) about what Adam wants to do.

He wants _random access reads and writes_ to his CD-RW disc (_not_ CD-R).

Adam, OS X can't do it. Sorry. As has been mentioned, you _can_ erase a CD-RW in Disk Utility.



just use the CDR only
it is advisable to make things easier to you.

Nowadays the CDR is cheap and cheaper eveyday.