Can you burn a CD on a DVD disc?

Just got a disc in the mail from Son #2, allegedly with tons of pictures of his recent trip to Japan. I put it in the D drive (CD player) on the computer, and there was no way I could get it to load up. Tried the two main ways that I know. Nada. Then, I noticed that the disc was actually a DVD. So, I put it in the DVD player upstairs. “Disc error.” Nada. I believe he used an external CD burner. Would it not work if he used a DVD disc? Could that be the problem? I don’t know if he previewed it before sending it. It was in a jewel box inside a bubble wrap envelope. Is there anything in the mail service that is capable of rendering a disc unplayable? I can’t imagine that. Any ideas, dopers?

A DVD can contain computer files (such as pictures), and be readable on a DVD drive attached to a computer, but not on a DVD player which only plays movies, etc., on DVDs. It sounds as if you need a DVD drive attached to your computer.


I think the question is whether you can use blank DVD media and record it as a CD with a CD burning drive, then read it with a CD drive. I’m kind of curious about that myself. My guess would be probably not, but then again, I would also expect that if it wasn’t possible, it would have failed when the person tried to do the writing, not when you tried to read it later.

ETA: Maybe that’s not the question. :slight_smile: But I’m still curious about that question if anyone knows.

There is also a way to put pictures on a DVD that will play on a standard DVD player, allowing you to peruse the files on your TV. But this has to be done in a specific way by your son. So yeah, you’ll need a DVD player for your PC in roder to open a standard data DVD containing Jpg’s. Or you can have him put it on a USB stick drive or on a couple of CD’s. Of course you can always buy an internal DVD rom and replace your old CD drive. You can find new OEM drives for as low as $5, or new retail boxed ones for $15-$20.

No. The laser is different and so is the density of the disc. So your CD burner will simply not recognize the DVD when you put it in.

OEM - is that a brand name or an abbreviation? (It doesn’t help that I’m a pinhead when it comes to this device at which I sit for hours every day) And could I install it myself?

Original Equipment Manufacturer

Basically the stuff that comes with your 'puter when you buy it.

Now would be a good time just to go to your local Place To Buy Electronics (Fry’s, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, whatever) and purchase a CD/DVD drive for your computer. You need at least a DVD ROM (reads dvds) if not a DVD writer (reads and writes DVDs). I don’t think any drive that you’ll find at one of those stores will NOT read or write a CD, so don’t worry about that aspect.

Those sorts of things are relatively cheap and VERY easy to install and come wit a big poster with pictures and step-by-step instructions. You won’t have to pay someone else to install it for you.

You’ll run into this problem more than once - be it for pictures from someone, new software or video games - and you’ll be very happy that you have a DVD drive in your computer.

Right, OEM are new parts meant for system builders. They usually have no retail packaging (saving some trees right there) and are cheaper. I usually go down to my local Microcenter and buy them there for around $5. Newegg has some for $16 Of course you could instead pick up a DVD burner (which will burn DVD’s CD’s and read both) for like $21. It might be worth the extra $5.

Installation is simple as can be. You simply open the case, unscrew the old CD from the cage and unplug it from the PATA cable (flat grey cable) and from the power supply (mole power connector). Remove it. Put the new drive in, connect it to the PATA cable and the power supply. Done.

You might have to set the jumper on the DVD burner to either master or slave. The PATA cable has three connections. One is hooked up to the moptherboard, and the other two can be attached to devices. If you are attaching it on the top most connection set the DVD to master, and if it’s in the middle set it to slave. Alterntively, you cna look at the back of your old CD rom and see what it was set to.

Shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes tops.

The other option of course is to get an external DVD drive that would connect via USB. Installing an internal DVD drive is very simple, but there are those who don’t want to attempt such tasks nonetheless. And external drive will be more expensive, but has the advantage that you can plug it into anything with a USB port.

Good advice; but if you don’t want to do this, another option is to ask your son to re-burn the pictures onto a CD this time to send to you. This would be something he could do, although it might take several CDs to hold the same data that’s on the one DVD. Then you’d be able to see the pictures on your computer, and maybe on your DVD player as well.

I have certainly burned a CD on a DVD disk by mistake, but it wouldn’t play in my car’s CD player.

Well, I guess you could create a movie slideshow of the pictures burnt as DVD video to a DVD disk that would be playable on a DVD player, provided you have software to do this. Otherwise it’s down to what formats your standalone DVD player supports - many standalones support viewing bog standard jpegs from CD/DVD - it’s all down to the specs.


Are computer DvD burners in Japan using the same format as the ones you may find in the U.S.?

there’s another way too. You can create essentially menu pages, each one with the picture as the background. You can then go back and forth between the pictures. You cna also put in buttons to skip to the next picture group, etc. I think this works well, but I belive there is a limit to how many title menus DVD’s support. I think it’s over a 100 though.

I believe the standards are the same, yes.

This is very helpful to me as well. Thank you (and to others). In checking on-line, I see that most new DVD burners use SATA cables. My computer is old enough that it is likely PATA. (I’ll check later.) Is it easy to convert? Are converters necessary? It looks as if converters cost more than the drives.

Any additional information would also be appreciated.

It’s been my experience that you can usually find at least one PATA (or rather, IDE) burner at any “big box” store. If you want to buy one online you most certainly can find one for about the same price.

I needed one in a hurry the other day and was able to find 2 or 3 at Best Buy. I did have to ask a salesperson to confirm for me that it was indeed IDE because it didn’t say so on the box. I had read beforehand on the Best Buy website that it was, tho.

Yeah it’s not really necessary. The newer connection boasts higher bandwidth and other goodies that are really only important when dealing with hard drives, or with hard drives in a business/server environment. About the only plus you would get is the skinnier cable which promotes better air flow inside the case (and is less of a hassle to deal with). And in order to get the full advantages of SATA you’d really need an internal card, or to replace your motherboard entirely. Not really worth it for a DVD-ROM upgrade. Just keep it in mind next time you upgrade your computer/buy a new one.

Also, Newegg, and most PC parts wholesalers have IDE (PATA) burners and drives. So there shouldn’t be a problem in finding one.