Read only memory (ROM) drives have become a standard addition to home and office computers. These drives make it possible for users to save information and backup important documents. They have some advantages over a typical hard drive, but they also have some disadvantages such as the inability to erase and change the saved information.
Any computer user who has suffered from a crashed hard drive knows the importance of backups. A DVD provides a large storage format where users can back up important documents and store the disc in a safe place. The DVD storage ROM provides a way for users to back up documents and applications. Users can also save an entire image using software such as Norton's Ghost to back up the entire hard drive. Although the DVD-ROM cannot be overwritten with new data, a backup is normally good for several weeks before a new one needs to be created.
There are several ways to share files with someone who is not on the local network. A DVD-ROM can be used to copy and transfer files to a friend or family member's computer. For instance, some people share music or files, but these files are too large to email. A user can copy a file to a DVD and share it with a friend, provided the friend has a DVD reader installed on the computer. DVDs provide more space than a CD-ROM disc, so users can share more data.
The disadvantage of a ROM diskette is that it cannot be used similar to a hard drive. A hard drive can be used to save data, delete it, and then the space is used for new information. A read-only diskette can only be read after the data is written to it. Re-writable DVD and CD drives exist, but they can be more expensive than some ROM drives. For this reason, a simple ROM drive and disc has a disadvantage than other storage devices.