How to Format a CD-RW

By Athena Hessong

Before using a CD-RW, you must erase all the information on it and format it for your operating system. Once formated, you can save files onto the disc. CD-RW is short for rewritable compact disc, meaning that you can erase the data on it and use it again.

In Windows Vista

Insert the disc into the computer's CD-ROM drive.

Double-click on the "My Computer" icon, if available. Double-click on the CD drive---the one with the picture of a CD next to the name---to open the menu for that drive. If your computer does not have a My Computer icon on the desktop, open the Start menu, click on the Computer tab and select the CD-ROM drive in the computer, identified by a picture of a CD next to the drive name.

Select the File menu at the top left side of the screen and choose "Format" from the drop-down options. Check the options desired and click "Start" to begin the format.

Wait for the disc to eject or for a window to pop up saying the formatting is complete.

On a Mac

Go to the hard-drive icon on the desktop and select "Applications."

Open the Utilities folder in the Applications folder. Select "Disk Utility" from the options in the menu.

Insert the CD-RW into the disc drive after the Disk Utility opens.

Click on the CD icon and choose the "Erase" tab at the top of the window. Click "Erase" in the box that appears and wait for the program to format the disc.

Eject the disc or begin copying files onto it. (See reference 3)