How do I delete a file on a finalized DVD-RW?


New Member
I have Eraser 6.0.8 running under 64-bit Win 7.

I have a DVD with single, large file on it that I wish to erase. The disk has been finalised.

I first tried the Context menu and obtained the immediate error message that the file had been erased with errors; the file was still there. I then tried deleting the file from the main Eraser page and obtained the same result. Is this because the disk was finalized?

As there was only one file I then tried erasing the DVD and attempted to use Eraser to erase the whole of the DVD as unused disk space. However I could not do this as the drive containing the DVD (D Drive) did not appear in the dropdown list of drives. Eraser recognises that it is there as selecting File and Browse shows up the D Drive. I then tried formatting the DVD in the drive but again got the same failure to see the D Drive. I might add that my external USB-connected HD and a USB flash drive were recognised by "Unused disk space" in Eraser; it was just the optical DVD rewriter drive that was not recognised.
You can't use Eraser to remove files from optical media.

The only way I know to remove files from DVD or CD-RW is to copy the files if necessary to the hard drive, erase the disc and then copy the adjusted file set back to the disc. Or you could just burn another disc and destroy the first one ... :)

Thanks for the reply. As it is a rewritable disk I assumed that Eraser would be able to overwrite the file on it. Ah well, win some, lose some. :)

In the end I used a very clumsy work around. I created a small text file filled with 0's then copied it onto itself to produce a file the same size as the DVD. I then burnt this file onto the DVD to overwrite the file I wanted erased and then erased the disk to produce a blank disk.
I think that optical media do not suffer from the same problems as magnetic media do regarding data residues. By the very method optical media work, "reprogramming" them with the laser should cause the previously held data to be reasonably irrecoverable. Having said that, if you did format your DVDRW as UDF and you have a packet-writing driver installed (I think Win 7 has one built in, if you format the CD as "live" instead of "mastered") you should be able to use Eraser on it (though I think it may complain about UDF being unsupported, let me know.)
It is perhaps worth mentioning that my answer related specifically to RW media, as did Joel's. Write once media (CD-R etc.) present different problems. With them, multi-session recording preserves the old session (even though it may appear to have been overwritten), and the data from previous sessions is definitely recoverable using utilities designed for that purpose. As such data cannot be erased/overwritten, the only safe way to 'erase' a write-once disk is to physically destroy it.