What kind of blank disks are these?

I have some unused blank disks – generic, so no label or printing on them. How can I tell if they are CDs or DVDs, and what type (R, R/W, etc.)? Is there any human-readable data in that spot near the hub that I could read with a magnifying glass? (I don’t have any samples where I am posting from right this minute.)

I’d say the easiest way would be to put them into a DVD-burner (or reader/burner) connected to a PC with a burning program, like Nero. The burning program should show you what it is, how much free space, etc.

If you’re lucky they may turn out to be Taiyo Yudens. Which are the best DVDs made, but which are also completely void of information.

it’s not foolproof, but in general (and in my experience) CD-Rs generally have a very light green or dark greenish-blue recording dye. DVD-R and DVD+R generally have a dark purplish dye. -RW discs of both CD and DVD tend to be dark gray.

Wow it’s very strange not to have any kind of label at all. Otherwise, how can you tell which side is up? Sometimes the label text is the same color as the back ground and you have to hold it at a certain angle to the light to tell the difference. And yes, usually there some tiny lettering printed on the clear circle around the hole.

I buy super high quality blanks from discmakers.com, and all of them have a blank label area. This allows total use of the surface for custom labeling by whatever process you prefer.

It’s not that hard to tell the up from the down side. The top surface is typically prepared for inkjet, laserscribe, or thermal printing and impossible to confuse with the data writing side, which is protected by a clear layer.

None of mine seem to match that description, although I have seen some dye variants in the past.

I have Windows 7. I just put a blank DVD-R in my burner and went to Start > Computer and it says that I have a DVD-R in Drive E. IIRC, prior Windows releases do the same thing.

I have some silver inkjet printable CDs and they don’t have printing on them at all. The white ones don’t either, but it obvious they are supposed to be printable.

Apparently not. I just tried XP SP2. Putting a known blank DVD in the drive and waiting for 30 seconds gets me a popup window that says, “Blank CD,” so that doesn’t work. XP was written when all optical drives were CDs, so that appears to be hard-coded in the dialog.

Nero (don’t know what version) doesn’t recognize the difference between a CD and a DVD, at least at first. When it starts up, since the drive is a DVD burner, it allows me to select 4.7GB of data to record and continues thru the process until the last minute, when it doesn’t burn, of course.

I don’t have a Win7 system with an installed optical disk drive handy at the moment.

Did you try going to Start > My Computer and looking at the optical disk drive? I just tried it on another HD that I have XP SP3 on and it’s showing me that I have a DVD-R in my drive.

You asked in the OP if there is something that could be read with a magnifying glass near the hub. I just checked one of my Taiyo Yuden DVDs and around the hub in a mirror image it says GG000284. By Googling it i can verify that it is a DVD-R.

I just checked my Taiyo Yuden, Verbatim, Titan and Magnavox CDRs and DVD-Rs and the above was the case.

If you have a burner (drive) that supports at least the types of media you think you have (for example, a DVD drive won’t make sense of a Blu-ray blank), you could use the free DVD Identifier program to tell you what type they are, along with the manufacturer and other info.

I’ve seen gold (no green at all) Kodak CD-R media and deep blue Verbatim CD-R media. There is also a black media from Memorex, but that is a coloring in the plastic and not an actual CD-R dye.

However, manufacturing of the actual media (which probably isn’t the brand on the package) has consolidated to the point where there arent’t that many dye types in use.

Yep. With a blank DVD in the drive, (it’s a DVD burner), Properties says "File system: RAW, Used space: 0, Free space: 0, Capacity: 0, and it identifies the disk as a CD, probably because to XP, all optical drives are CDs by default.

I’ll have to break out a magnifying glass to see the fine print next.

That looks like just the ticket, but when I installed it, it says I have no drives in my system that it recognizes (“No supported drives found”), so it won’t identify anything. My drive is a fairly new LG-brand IDE unit off the shelf; not all that obscure, so that’s strange. I haven’t yet tried the program in another machine.

How about looking at your burning software? I put a blank DVD-R in my drive and opened CDBurnerXP (it’s free), and in the lower left hand corner it tells me I have in a DVD-R (Empty).