Pin Me

Burn a Data DVD in Vista – And Understand Disc Types

written by: Joli Ballew•edited by: Ronda Bowen•updated: 6/28/2011

In Windows Vista, you can burn a data DVD from almost any open window using the Burn button on the toolbar. But what format should you choose when you burn a DVD and what kind of disc should you use?

  • slide 1 of 3

    Do You Need to Copy Data from Computer to DVD?

    picture If you want to copy data from your computer to a DVD, you can do so in nearly any window that contains data. Burning data to a DVD disc is a great way to back up your home office data. Here is a Documents folder, and you can see the Burn icon on the toolba To burn a DVD, simply select the data you want to copy and click this icon. When prompted (and the DVD door will open automatically), insert a blank DVD, type a title for it, and click Next. If anything else is required, you’ll be prompted. While this seems simple enough, and it is, there’s more to it than that. There are different types of DVD disks and you have to decide on a format type.

  • slide 2 of 3

    Choosing the Right DVD Disk to Burn On

    To write data to a DVD you’ll need to choose from one of two DVD discs – DVD RW and DVD R. DVD RW stands for DVD Rewritable. A DVD RW can be written to, erased, and rewritten to again and again. DVD R stands for DVD Recordable. A DVD R can be written to only once and cannot be erased or written over.

    You may have noticed that there were no + or – signs in the above paragraph. That’s because there is difference between DVD-R, DVD-RW, and DVD+R, and DVD+RW. The DVD minus format was developed by the DVD Forum. The DVD plus format was developed by the DVD+RW Alliance. While there are differences, DVD minus and DVD plus both store 4.7GB of data.

    There one more disc type to mention though - DVD DL, or DVD double (or dual) layer. DVD DL can store twice as much data as a normal DVD ROM, DVD R, or DVD RW disc. There are plus and minus versions of DVD DL, just like with DVD R and DVD RW. A DVD DL disc stores 8.5GB of data. DVD DL can apply to DVD R and DVD RW discs – that means that there can be DVD R DL and DVD RW DL discs.

    So, when choosing a disc, make sure you have one that is compatible with your DVD drive!

  • slide 3 of 3

    To Burn Your DVD

    1. Click Start.

    2. Open a folder that contains data to burn to a disc.

    3. Select the data to burn to the DVD. To select contiguous files or folders, hold down the Shift key while selecting. To select non-contiguous files or folders, hold down the Ctrl key while selecting.

    4. Click Burn.

    5. Insert a writeable disc into your DVD drive.

    6. Click the arrow next to Show formatting options.

    7. Depending on the type of DVD burner you have and the type of DVD disc you inserted, you may be prompted to select a file system type, as shown here. You’ll have to decide what kind of DVD you want to burn. I prefer the default, Live File System for backing up data if it’s offered, because I can add data on the fly to the same disk later. I use Mastered for creating DVDs I’ll play using CD and DVD players.

    8. Click Next.

    9. Wait for the process to complete.