How to Format a DVD R Disk

By Alexis Lawrence

DVD-R disks, also referred to as DVD-ROMS, have the ability to store video files, audio files, menus and information files that aid in disk operation. To burn new data to a DVD-R, the disk must first be formatted to accept the files. Formatting a DVD-R disk is a basic process that requires little work on your end. DVD-burning programs format the disks and prepare them for burning automatically as soon as the DVD-R is recognized by the system.

Things You'll Need

  • DVD-R

Step 1

Insert the DVD-R disk that you want to format into the DVD drive of your computer. To insert a disk into a DVD drive on a Windows computer, press the button beside the drive to eject the tray, place the disk in the slot provided and press the button again to return the drive to the computer. To insert a disk into a Mac DVD drive, push the disk into the slot on the side of the computer until you feel the drive tugging at the disk, and then let go and allow the drive to pull the disk in.

Step 2

Launch any DVD-burning program on your computer. The preinstalled DVD-burning program in most Windows systems is Windows DVD Maker, and in most Macs is iDVD. You can access Windows DVD Maker by clicking "Start," "All Programs" and then "Windows DVD Maker," or iDVD by clicking the iDVD icon in the Mac docking bar.

Step 3

Wait for the DVD-burning application to recognize the DVD-R in the computer's drive. This can take several seconds, and the computer drive generally continues to make a loud whirring noise as the disk is read. Once the disk is recognized, the DVD-burning program automatically formats the DVD-R for burning.