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- Write protected DVD-RAM
- Walter Wall
June 16, 2008, 8:27 am
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The laptop (HP DV6000) is equipped with an optical drive that is supposed to
read and write DVD-RAM discs. I have a few of these so I decided to use
one to store my digital photos on. However when I try, I get an error
message that the disc is write protected. If I try to reformat the disc, I
get a similar message telling me the disc is write protected.
What gives? How do I remove the write protection from the disc?
Re: Write protected DVD-RAM
The one thing you haven't mentioned is the operating system, and your cross
posting to the windows XP hardware group has probably thrown a few people.
You are using Windows Vista.
Welcome to the world of Digital Rights Management (DRM) described as a 'best
selling product that nobody wants'.
The disc you are trying to write to was most probably formatted to FAT32 on
a PC other than the one you are trying to use it on, and not running Vista.
Most current DVD-RAM discs have provision for the CPRM (Copy Protection for
Recordable Media) DRM built in. Windows Vista has taken advantage of this
and supports it. Since your disc was formatted on another system, Vista
enforces DRM by disallowing the writing of any files which are recognised
media files (though the error message does not exactly give this away). If
you experiment, you will find that you can create folders and you can write
files such as .DOC, .XLS or any other non media files. But you can't write,
.WAV, .MP3, .JPG or any other recognised media file. I don't know what
happens if you change the extension, write the file and then change it
back - though this is hardly convenient if you are writing (say) 500 files.
As you have discovered, Vista won't allow a reformat of the disc in FAT32.
The workaround here is to reformat the disc in something like UDF 2.01,
which is the Vista default (If you insert a blank disk, Vista will helpfully
auto format it in UDF 2.01). If you really want FAT32, you should then be
able to reformat it back to FAT32. But be aware, this particular FAT32 is
not quite the same as the FAT32 from previous Windows versions as it
embraces the CPRM technology on the disc. You will now be able to write
your media files to the disc (unless they are tagged with CPRM data that
prohibits this). You can read the disc on previous systems, but writing
media files will be painfully slow and may well cause the disc to refuse to
accept media files under Vista again. Of course UDF 2.01 is not compatible
with any previous Windows incarnation.
You should be aware that Vista is a bit finicky with DVD-RAM formats, and it
can often happen that it refuses to reformat a FAT32 disc into any format
(the error messages are either that the disc is write protected, or that the
disc is in use or just a an error that the format failed to complete).
Basically, Microsoft have implimented DRM and totally inconvenienced those
that wish to use the optical drive for what it was intended.
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