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?
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...
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.
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.