Burn a DVD

Table of contents:

Burn a DVD
Burn a DVD

You will at some point want or need to burn a DVD, whether it's data, a video file, or a copy of your favorite movie. There are many different types of software that you can use to do this, and this article will cover burning a DVD regardless of the type of software you are using.


Method 1 of 3: Preparing your computer

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Step 1. Defragment your computer regularly

When your computer writes information to the hard drive, it doesn't always end up in the same place, but spreads out over the storage medium. This slows down programs because your computer has to spend time retrieving these file clusters from the entire hard drive. Defragmenting will sort all your files (as well as free space) in an orderly manner. If you often burn DVDs, this can help speed up the process and reduce errors.

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Step 2. Make sure you have a hard drive with enough space

If you record images with a camcorder and transfer them to the computer for editing, or want to burn movies to DVDs, it is recommended to keep 120GB or 160GB free for video files only; a 90-minute video can take up 3GB or more on the hard drive, and if you plan to keep recordings, you can quickly run out of space.

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Step 3. Check for hardware updates

Check the manufacturer's website to see if updates are available for your DVD burner. If you are using Windows, Windows/Microsoft Update can be used to check for any hardware updates, to see if any hardware drivers have been released.

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Step 4. Configure your DVD burner to make it the main device

This will allow the burner to function better. To check the driver configuration, open the BIOS Setup program (press DELETE or any function key during boot) and look in the drivers section. According to Smart Computing, "If your DVD burner is not a master device on both IDE channels, open your PC and switch the connector on the cable between the burner and the other device connected to that channel. may be necessary to switch jumpers (for instructions see the manuals for both devices), but sometimes switching the cable connection can solve the problem (as long as the motherboard supports Cable Select, which most do)."

Method 2 of 3: Gathering the right material

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Step 1. Buy the right kind of DVDs

When you want to use recordable DVDs, you will be surprised at the amount of options. If it ends with an "r", it means that the DVD can only be burned once. If it ends in "rw" then the disk is overwritable. If there is a dash (-), it means that the DVD is supported by the DVD forum. The plus (+) formats are not authorized or supported by the DVD forum, but do not need to be finalized before they can be used on other DVD players.

  • DVD-R is most sure to work in existing DVD players. The best thing to do is to test the DVD player in question to find out which formats it accepts before purchasing DVDs.
  • Check your burner to see what formats it supports. Know the model of the burner you have and ask the store or the manufacturer which sizes are suitable for your burner.
  • When you're just starting out, invest in a few DVD-RWs so you can test one. If all goes well, repeat the burning process on a DVD +/-r. It may cost a little more to buy DVD-RWs, but if you're not sure about usability, you'll end up with a pile of unusable DVDs.
  • See what the DVD burning speed is - is it higher or lower than the maximum speed of your burner? If this is lower, you may need to run the burner at a lower speed, which isn't a big deal at all, if you want to reduce errors (explained in more detail later), but can be very inconvenient if you have the time falls short.
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Step 2. Use software that suits your purposes

If you want to burn a data DVD, you don't need more than general DVD burning software (you don't need any special decryption or region-specific software). If you want to burn a video file to a DVD, find a program that can encode it to MPEG-2 format. And if you want to burn a movie, which requires a DVD-9 disc, and therefore can hold more data than a standard DVD-R disc, then you need to compress the file and decrypt the digital rights management before converting the file. can be converted to MPEG-2. See warnings below.

Before you start using the software, check whether any updates have been published online

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Step 3. Clean the DVD player

Dust and dirt can interfere with the burning process, so make sure to keep the lens of the DVD player clean. Recommended every 6 months.

Method 3 of 3: The burning process

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Step 1. Put the DVD into the burner

If you put a label on it, make sure it's a label that completely covers the DVD; lack of symmetry or imbalance can cause the DVD to be misaligned during the burning process, especially at higher speeds. If you're writing directly on the DVD, use a water-based pen; the alcohol in other types of pens can damage the drive and your data.

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Step 2. Specify the target size

Most programs assume you're burning to a standard DVD, which has 4.3GB of storage (although they advertise 4.7G-but that's on the decimal system and your computer uses the binary system). However, if you are using a Dual Layer DVD, Mini DVD or CD-R, you will need to change this setting.

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Step 3. Choose the video file format

NTSC is used in the US while PAL is most commonly used in Europe and Asia.

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Step 4. Burn less quickly

Recording at the fastest possible speed can lead to more errors. Reducing to 4x can result in more consistent burn sessions.

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Step 5. Select the recording quality

The higher the quality, the longer it takes to encode the file, and the more space it takes up on the DVD.

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Step 6. Set up a menu if possible and if desired

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Step 7. Save the converted files to a specific location

After the burn process is complete, you can optionally delete the files you've already burned.

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Step 8. Be patient

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Step 9. Take good care of your burned DVD

Store them in cases designed specifically for DVDs -- since DVDs are actually two discs chemically joined together, they don't handle the same amount of pressure as CDs, so DVD cases are specially designed to minimize disc bending.


  • If the burning process stops because there is not enough space, you may need to free up space on the hard drive. Find out which folder your program uses for temporary files and delete unnecessary files from that folder. Optionally, you can move the temporary file location to another drive with more space.
  • To keep your computer from doing too many other tasks, you can shut down the Internet, turn off the firewall, and disable antivirus, anti-spyware, and other security software during the burning process.
  • While editing, keep the end goal in mind. You probably won't be able to fit more than 90 minutes of good quality video on a single DVD, and certain conditions, such as fast motion, nice transitions, and title effects, in addition to video with poor lighting, can take up a disproportionate amount of space.

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