(CD-ReWritable) The rewritable CD technology. CD-RW discs look like other CD media, but with close inspection, they have a more polished surface with a very dark blue-gray cast. Similar to a hard disk, files can be added and deleted, and the media must be formatted before use. However, unlike a hard disk platter, which can be rewritten millions of times, CD-RWs have a maximum limit of 1,000 rewrites.|
In practice, the term "CD" refers to all CD formats. The phrase "rewrite the data on the CD" really means "rewrite the data on the CD-RW."
CD-RW Drives Support All CD Formats
The CD-RW drive is the most versatile CD drive, and most new CD drives are CD-RWs. Not only can a CD-RW drive read all CD formats and write CD-RWs, it can be used to burn "write once" CD-R media. CD-RW uses phase change technology to alter the reflectivity of the disc surface, but this reflectivity is lower than other CD formats, and old CD-ROM drives that lack MultiRead capability cannot read them. For detailed speed ratings of CD-RW drives, see CD-ROM drives. See Mount Rainier, phase change disc, UDF, DVD and optical disc.