How to Format a Blank DVD-R

Updated February 21, 2017

A DVD-R is a DVD disc that allows you to write data onto it once. Many people use DVDs as storage devices because they don't have any moving parts, and therefore are less prone to failure than external hard drives. They also can hold more data than a CD. If you are using your DVD-R with a Windows computer, you must first format the DVD-R before you can write any data onto the DVD-R.

Turn your computer on and insert the DVD-R into the DVD-ROM drive of your computer.

Click the "Burn files to disc" option when presented with a dialogue box. This dialogue box should automatically pop up after you insert the DVD. If it does not, click "Start," "Computer" and then double-click the "Disc Burner."

Enter a name for the disc in the "Burn a disc" dialogue box. This is not required, but it may help you identify DVDs at a later date.

Click "Show formatting options" to view and select the format you want to use on the DVD. You can choose "Live file system" or "Mastered." Choose "Live file system" if you are planning to use the DVD to back up your files and are using the DVD only with Windows XP or later. Choose "Mastered" if you are creating a media DVD and want to use it with other computers besides Windows.

Click "Next" and the disc is formatted using the file system you selected. You are now ready to burn files to your DVD.

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About the Author

Art Corvelay is a freelance writer for demand studios who has been writing and editing for five years. He holds a Ph.D. in technical communication and teaches courses in writing and editing at the university level.