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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
Compact Disc Rewritable
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storage (CD-RW) A rewritable version of CD-ROM. A CD-RW
drive can write about 650 megabytes of data to CD-RW media
an unlimited number of times. Most CD-RW drives can also
write once to CD-R media.
CD-RW media cannot be read by CD-ROM drives built prior to
1997 due to the reduced reflectivity (15% compared to 70%) of
CD-RW media.
CD-RW drives and media are currently (1999) more expensive
than CD-R drives and media. CD-R is sometimes considered a
better technology for archival purposes as the data cannot be
accidentally modified or tampered with, and encourages better
archival practices.
Standard prerecorded CDs have their information permanently
stamped into an aluminium reflecting layer. CD-WR discs have
a phase-change recording layer and an additional silver
(aluminium) reflecting layer.