ritable) A 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, the media must be formatted before use, and files can be added and deleted. 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
and optical disc