CD-ROM and DVD Devices
Windows XP supports a variety of optical drives and disk formats, including CD read-only memory (CD-ROM), CD recordable (CD-R), CD rewritable (CD-RW), DVD read-only memory (DVD-ROM), DVD recordable (DVD-R), DVD rewritable (DVD-RW) and DVD random access memory (DVD-RAM). You can check the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL), or ask the hardware manufacturer to see if a particular CD or DVD device will work with Windows XP.
If the CD or DVD device is Plug-and-Play (PnP) compliant, Windows XP should be able to detect the device automatically, install the appropriate drivers and allocate the required system resources. If the device is not is not PnP compliant, you can use the Add Hardware applet in the Control Panel to install the drivers and assign resources.
The Windows XP Compact Disc File System (CDFS) reads CDs that are formatted
in accordance with the ISO 9660 standard. Windows XP also supports the Joliet standard, an extension to the ISO 9660 standard which supports Unicode characters and a folder hierarchy deeper than eight levels of subfolders.
CDFS uses the Universal Disk Format (UDF), based on the ISO 13346 standard for reading removable media such as DVDs, CD-ROMs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs, write once, read many (WORM) discs and magneto-optical (MO) discs. Windows XP supports UDF versions 1.02, 1.50, 2.0, and 2.01 through the udfs.sys driver.
Windows XP offers integrated support for writing data directly onto CD-R and CD-RW media without requiring third-party CD-burning software such as Roxio CD Creator or Nero Burning ROM. However, these products offer many additional features which are not provided by the operating system.
A DVD drive needs a hardware or software decoder to play video files, even when using Windows Media Player as the preferred playback device. The computer also requires a Windows XP-compatible sound card and video display card with their respective drivers to play multimedia DVD. No decoder is required for reading data DVDs.
You can format DVD-RAM discs with the FAT32 file system under Windows XP, but you cannot format DVD-RAM discs using NTFS, or write directly to UDF volumes (including DVD-RAM discs) without using a third-party application.
Next: Removable Media