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Erasing DVD-R: it can be done, with limitations

by Jay M / January 19, 2006 10:27 PM PST

I have been using DVD-r for 3 years now and have always understood that this medium is for one-only recording.
However, just to experiment, I tried erasing a DVD-r with about 20 minutes worth of material recorded on it. The disc came up completely blank, with a full 2hrs of time in SP mode. I have done this many times since, and discover I can erase up to around 30 minutes and salvage the entire disc. I use stand-alone Panasonic DMR E-30 for recording. This will not work with a computer DVD writer.

Just wanted to share that with others who have been frustrated by botched recording and have thrown away discs that may have been re-usable. Has anybody else run across this?

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(NT) (NT) Very interesting!!! John
by jcrobso / January 20, 2006 12:36 AM PST
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It sounds like you are using the multisession capability.
by Kiddpeat / January 20, 2006 7:30 AM PST

Multisession allows you to add material to a CD or DVD in a second or subsequent recording session. That also means that you can 'erase' or overwrite files from a previous session. It's simply an updated directory that being written to the disk. You don't have to erase previous material to use this capability, and you never recover space that's already been written to. That's where the 'record once' limitation enters the picture.

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I don't think so
by Jay M / January 21, 2006 8:40 PM PST

Well, I get a readout of a completely empty disc when I do this. And I am able to use that disc in the computer DVD writer it I want. It reverts to the condition of a brand-new disc.
With a session recorded, or used up, the available time on the disc would be reduced and the disc would be unusable in the DVD writer. I know this because I have done it and seen it happen many times. I have recorded, say, 1 hour of material, erased it and found the disc's available recording time greatly reduced. So, at least with my equipment, erasing 30 min or less is what makes the difference.

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So, you are erasing and recovering the full 4.7 gig capacity
by Kiddpeat / January 22, 2006 1:04 AM PST
In reply to: I don't think so

of the DVD-R? That's what you seem to be saying. If so, that's a new one. However, if the capacity is used up, you're merely using the multi-session function.

You're saying that a DVD-R is functioning as a DVD-RW. That I don't believe.

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PS: This might work if you are erasing the disk contents
by Kiddpeat / January 22, 2006 1:12 AM PST

before anything is actually written to the DVD. That would mean that you are not removing the DVD from the recorder after 'writing' the first 20 minutes. In that case, the DVD image is being built internally on something like a hard drive. The actual write process to the DVD has not yet begun.

Computers do this also, but do not usually stop to provide you with the opportunity to abort the process. They build the image on the hard drive before actually burning the DVD. If you abort the burn process before DVD writing starts, you will get the same result.

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The writing starts, but gets erased
by Jay M / January 22, 2006 9:18 PM PST

After recording for 20 min or so, I press STOP. Then I get a message 'please wait while information is being written to disc'. At this point I could continue to record another session, or entire a title for the one just recorded. Instead, I then press ERASE. The available time now left on the disc is 2hr in SP mode. I would call that completely erased.

Maybe my Panasonic recorder is giving me false info, but, as you may know, you can look a the back of a DVD-r with a session recorded on it and you can see the shaded section that was recorded. Many times, I have removed a disc that I erased and used it again to full capacity.

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If you can't see where the writing has occurred, there has
by Kiddpeat / January 23, 2006 12:38 AM PST

been no writing. If you can, the disk has more than a two hour capacity when used in your recorder. In other words, your recorder is compressing the data more than is usually the case.

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But I 'can' see it
by Jay M / January 23, 2006 5:35 AM PST

When I stop recording I can play the disc immediately after writing finishes. In other words, the normal situation.
I discovered this whole thing when I had started to record something by mistake. I stopped recording after 20 minutes or so, and let the machine complete writing. Then, instead of discarding this 'useless' DVD-r, I told the machine to erase the program. It erased and came up completely empty. I was then able to re-use the disc to full capacity.
I suggest you try this yourself. Record something for less than 30 minutes, stop, write, play (to be sure it's written to the disc), erase. See what happens. I'd be interested in your comments.

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by yasheenthiran / June 12, 2011 1:01 AM PDT

how did you do it
because when burn something and i make mistake and i can't erase please help me

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Old Subject
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / June 12, 2011 8:54 AM PDT
In reply to: thanks

Reply from the Forum Moderator:

The post you responded to was written in the year of 2006.

It is unlikely that anyone will respond to your post.

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Sorry, after double checking the information in this post...
by Itanaman / June 23, 2011 9:27 AM PDT
In reply to: thanks

What the person was actually doing was writing in a Multi-Session
Recorder, and in Multisession mode, which is what I figured out from the

" <b>After
recording for 20 min or so, I press STOP. Then I get a message 'please
wait while information is being written to disc'. At this point I could
continue to record another session, or entire a title for the one just
recorded. Instead, I then press ERASE.</b> "

This meant, the
recorder, which is not a computer DVD-writer, but a TV DVD-Writer
(Panasonic DMR E-30), was utilizing the multi-session mode which can be
done with DVD's even on a computer, or was actually writing it to a built in Hard Drive, and be able to erase them later (The latter portion happens to be the case, per his statement. I
also checked the owner's manual of the Recorder to make sure my hunch
was correct, which can be found on Panasonic's Website, under support.

Sorry, but I had my hopes up to, before going through this and realizing, alot of people must not have payed close enough attention to what he was using.


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by Vrienda / September 19, 2011 12:25 AM PDT

Could you tell me which software did you use to erase the contents in a dvd-r? I really need to know because i just dont want to throw that disk worth money, into the dustbin just because of my own stupidity. Please let me know

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You are not stupid.
by ahtoi / September 19, 2011 1:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Hi

What you gain will not be worth the time involved.

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