How to Format a DVD Disc With Windows XP

by Chris Moore

You need to format a new DVD disk before you can begin burning information onto it. If you have a DVD-RW disk, you can reformat it to erase all the data on it and use it again. Formatting a disk in Windows XP is very much like formatting a disk in Vista. Your XP system, however, may not recognize a DVD-RW if you haven't updated all of its drivers, particularly the Universal Disk Format driver.

Format

Insert the DVD of your choice into the DVD burner and wait for a dialog box to appear.

Click on the "Burn files to disk" button in the dialog box.

Input a name for the disk in the next "Burn a disk" dialog box and then click on the "Show formatting options" command.

Select either "Live File System" or "Mastered" as your formatting option, then click the "Next" button to format the disk.

Reformatting

Download and install Windows XP Service Pack 3 if your system doesn't have it; your system needs this to read the DVD. If you don't already have Service Pack 2 or 1a, install those first, then install Service Pack 3.

Load a DVD-RW into your DVD drive. Check the label on the disk to make sure it is labeled "DVD-RW" before loading it.

Go to the Start menu in XP and select "My Computer." A "My Computer" icon may also be on the desktop.

Select and right-click on the DVD drive icon that's in the "My Computer" window; it will be listed under "Devices with Removable Storage." From the list that appears, select the "Erase this Disk" command.

Click the "Next" button in the following window and wait for the computer to reformat and erase all the information on the disk.

About the Author

Chris Moore has been contributing to eHow since 2007 and is a member of the DFW Writers' Workshop. He received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Texas-Arlington.

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