Why can my laptop not format DVDs and CDs?

Robert June 30, 2011
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How do I know which DVD to buy to suit my computer? I have an Aspire 5738 laptop. When I try to format DVDs and CDs, I get the message that the format cannot be completed.

  1. Davis Aji
    April 19, 2012 at 1:23 am

    ya, saya juga. laptop saya thosiba L745, laptop saya mendadak tidak bisa memformat DVD-R maupun CD-R , dan saya mencoba menginstal Windows XP SP3 di laptop dan tiba tiba gagal menginstal tetapi CD Master Windows XP itu bisa di pakai di komputer, mungkin kerusakannya ada di dalam laptop itu sendiri,

  2. Davis Aji
    April 19, 2012 at 1:22 am

    ya, saya juga. laptop saya thosiba L745, laptop saya mendadak tidak bisa memformat DVD-R maupun CD-R , dan saya mencoba menginstal Windows XP SP3 di laptop dan tiba tiba gagal menginstal tetapi CD Master Windows XP itu bisa di pakai di komputer, mungkin kerusakannya ada di dalam laptop itu sendiri,

  3. FIDELIS
    July 1, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Hello, quick question, what kind of media have you tried?  If you use DVD+R the drive is going to ask you to format it.  If your laptop has a multiformat recorder it will probably burn any kind of disk whether they are DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD+RW, DVD-RW, DVD-DLDVD-RAM...the same applies for CDs.   Just keep in mind that some drives are picky with media.  The reason I say this, is because not all media are manufactured the same way.  Usually if you research your drive, it is going to tell you what media/manufacturer is compatible with it.  My advice would be, to use DVD-R media.

    According to the specifications for you laptop, it comes with a Super Multi drive.  Here is more info about super multi drives: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Multi.   

  4. Anonymous
    July 1, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    I would suggest you to run the fix it tool to resolve issue with DVD/CD
    http://support.microsoft.com/mats/cd_dvd_drive_problems/en-us

  5. Gustavo Ibarguengoytia
    July 1, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    @Robert does it say why the formatting can't be completed?

    • Robert Lamberton
      July 1, 2011 at 2:47 pm

      Hi Gustavo.

      No it does not say what the problem is. It's been this way since I bought the lap top 2 years ago.

      • James Bruce
        July 1, 2011 at 9:10 pm

        Maybe you should read the other answers. CDs and DVDs cannot be formatted. 

  6. Anonymous
    July 1, 2011 at 11:40 am

    if there is a problem with the Cd/DVD then windows will ask to treat it as a USB drive or CD/DVD drive and accordingly will format, but for sure a cd is a cd and not usb.

  7. James Bruce
    July 1, 2011 at 10:07 am

    DVD-R and CD-R are write once, and cannot be formatted. That means put them in, burn data to them, and finish. They cannot be re-written again, they're stuck that way forever. 

    Special varieties of CDs and DVDs exist and have RW (read/write), DVD-RW, CD-RW, DVD-DL-RW - those *can* be formatted and rewritten too, but they're much more expensive than regular DVD-Rs, and incompatible with a large number of dvd drives, and virtually all dvd video players. Generally, it's not worht using a dvd-rw becuase of the hassle involved, as opposed to storing the same amount of data quickly and easily on a $10 USB memory stick. In fact, I don't know if they even still sell DVD-RW - i guess they do for those ancient DVD-recorders that some people use to record tv shows. 

    So basically - you cant format DVD/CDs. Hope that clears things up.

    • Bruce Epper
      July 2, 2011 at 1:04 am

      If you want to be entirely correct about this, CDs and DVDs are formatted during the burn process itself where all disc format information and metadata is written to the disc along with the user data.  There just isn't a separate procedure to format them before use.

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