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Choosing Compatible Media for Your Optical Drive

This document applies to all HP and Compaq computers with optical drives.
Several types of optical drives are available on HP computers. This document provides compatibility information about how the various types of optical media can be used, including helpful information for using or purchasing media.
Choose media to match your optical drive type
Depending on the type of optical drive available on your computer, different media options are available for data storage. Choose the media type to match your optical drive type and storage needs according to the following compatibility chart.
  • In general, less expensive media purchased in bulk will have a higher failure rate when burning than higher quality media.
  • Poor handling of discs will affect the success rate of burning discs. Hold discs by their edges, never slide the disc across any surface, and never leave them out in the open, especially in direct sunlight.
  • For recordable discs, the media type you purchase should match the drive type. That is, you should only purchase DVD+R discs for a DVD+R drive. You can purchase DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD+RW and any in dual layer formats if your PC has a DVD +/- RW DL drive.
  • Multiple layer discs generally store about the same amount of data per extra layer. For example a dual-layer (DL) DVD format can store up to 8.5GB* of data on double-layer DVD+R media, about twice that of single-layer DVD+R media. Only a DL drive is capable of writing to DL discs.
  • To burn LightScribe labels onto discs, the drive has to be LightScribe compatible, the discs must be LightScribe discs, and the label making software must be LightScribe enabled.
  • For better compatibility across devices, do not use RW media for burning. RW media type is designed to be written to many times and many devices will not be able to read the data. RW is very useful for backing up data that is to be used only by one PC.
  • In general, an MP3 disc is the same as a data disc and should be burned using CD-R or similar media.
Disc compatibility
Disc
Disc Type
Approximate Maximum Storage Size
Can be recorded onto
Plays in PC
Plays in home or car stereo
Plays in home DVD player
BD-ROM:
Blu-ray Disc - Read-Only Memory
Read-only
25 GB single-layer
50 GB dual-layer
No
Yes.
To play movies requires a Blu-ray Disc drive, high-definition display and Blu-ray Disc supported software.
To read data requires a Blu-ray Disc drive.
No
Yes, but only in a Blu-ray Disc player.
BD-R:
Blu-ray Disc - Recordable
Write-once
25 GB single-layer
50 GB dual-layer
Yes, requires a Blu-ray Disc drive.
Yes.
To view recorded video requires a Blu-ray Disc drive and supported software.
To read data requires a Blu-ray Disc drive.
No
Yes, but only in a Blu-ray Disc player.
BD-RE:
Blu-ray Disc - Rewritable
Rewritable
25 GB single-layer
50 GB dual-layer
Yes, requires a Blu-ray Disc drive.
Yes.
To view recorded video requires a Blu-ray Disc drive and supported software.
To read data requires a Blu-ray Disc drive.
No
Yes, but only in a Blu-ray Disc player.
CD-ROM
Compact Disc - Read-Only Memory
Read-only
700 MB
No
Yes.
Yes.
Varies by model.
CD-R
Compact Disc - Recordable
Write-once
700 MB
Yes
Yes
Yes
Varies by model.
CD-RW
Compact Disc - Rewritable
Rewritable
700 MB
Yes
Yes
No*
No*
DVD-ROM
Digital Video Disc - Read-Only Memory
Read-only
4.7 GB single-layer
8.5 GB dual-layer
No
Yes.
To view recorded video or movies requires DVD codec and player software.
No*
Yes.
DVD-R
Digital Video Disc - Recordable
Write-once
4.7 GB single-layer
8.5 GB dual-layer
Yes. Requires a DVD-R capable drive.
Yes
No
Varies by model.
DVD+R
Digital Video Disc + Recordable
Write-once
4.7 GB single-layer
8.5 GB dual-layer
Yes. Requires a DVD+R capable drive.
Yes
No
Varies by model.
DVD+RW
Digital Video Disc + Rewritable
Rewritable
4.7 GB single-layer
8.5 GB dual-layer
Yes. Requires a DVD+RW capable drive.
Yes, compatibility may be less in drives that are not DVD+RW.
No
Varies by model.
DVD-RW
Digital Video Disc - Rewritable
Rewritable
4.7 GB single-layer
8.5 GB dual-layer
Yes. Requires a DVD-RW capable drive.
Yes, compatibility may be less in drives that are not DVD-RW.
No
Varies by model.
HD DVD
High-Definition Digital Video Disc
Data
15 GB single-layer
30 GB dual-layer
Yes, requires an HD-DVD capable drive.
Yes, requires an HD-DVD drive.
To view movies and recorded video requires HD-DVD compliant software and HDCP compliant devices for HD.
No
Yes, requires an HD DVD player.
VCD
Video Compact Disc
VCD movie
700 MB
No
Yes, with the proper player and codec installed.
No
Probably - varies by model.
* Most disc playing devices, CD music players, and DVD movie players cannot "play" most PC data file types (exe, doc, txt, etc.). However, most can now read and play data discs containing compatible multimedia files, such as MP3, WMA, and OGG music files.
 note:
1 MB = 1 million bytes when referring to storage capacity. Actual formatted capacity is less.
1 GB = 1 billion bytes when referring to storage capacity. Actual formatted capacity is less.

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