»  » Apply Compatibility Bitsettings using a DVD+R/+RW PC Drive
Refer to the article on Compatibility Bitsettings / Book Type Field for general information.

To change the compatibility bitsettings using a DVD+RW PC drive, you need a dedicated utility. Currently, there are several of these tools available. Of the DVD+RW drive manufacturers, Hewlett-Packard has publicly released a tool to change bitsettings on a DVD+RW disc (which can only be used with the HP DVD100/DVD200 drive), and Ricoh made a tool to change bitsettings for DVD+R discs (for usage with its MP5125 drive). The programs on this site are developed by users and can be used with all drives. We suggest you to use one of these (even if you own a HP or Ricoh DVD writer), because of their unmatched functionality. It is strongly advised not to install the HP utility on your system if you plan to use any of these, since it will most likely interfere with these tools and cause unexpected behaviour.

The tools are designed for drives based on the Ricoh design, bot first generation (DVD+RW only) and second generation (DVD+R/+RW) drives (see models overviews on this site). Sony DRU110 and 120 are known to be an exception, their firmware does not work with the tools. For the tools to work, a first generation drive (DVD+RW only) must be equipped with at least version 1.37 of the firmware. If it's not, you must first download and install the new firmware version, for example from this firmware page. For second generation drives (DVD+R/DVD+RW), a firmware upgrade is not needed since the tools work with all versions of the firmware.

PLEASE NOTE: For now, the tools will not work with some drives, particularly if they are not based on a Ricoh engine, such as the drives build by NEC and Sony, as these manufacturers have not (yet) unvieled the methods to change the bitsettings using their drives. All so-called "first" and "second generation" drives are build by Ricoh. Refer to the PC drive model overviews on this site to determine the OEM manufacturer of your drive. If things won't work with your drive, we urge you to contact the manufacturers directly in order to convince them into publishing these details to the programmers of the bitset utilities.

Nero Burning ROM

Nero allows you to change the Book Type Field on DVD+RW discs from version onwards. Make sure to install the latest version of Nero, available from www.nero.com. The program is reported to work with Ricoh based DVD+R/+RW drives. Refer to the PC drive model overviews on this site to determine the OEM manufacturer of your drive.

To change the bitsettings on a DVD+RW disc, first load the disc in the drive, then select the Medium Info... option from the Recorder menu. If necessary, select your DVD+R/+RW drive in this dialog window. The window will also display the current Book Type setting for the loaded disc. A Change Book Type... button will be displayed at the bottom of this window. When you press this button, a new window will come up which allows you to change between DVD-ROM and DVD+RW settings. Select the desired setting, and press the Set button.

DVD Bitsetter

DVD Bitsetter was developed by Maurice Zuiderwijk, based on the public domain command-line utility, discussed below. The tool can be used in any Windows version (both 9x/Me-based, as well as NT/2000/XP-based). It is available as a free download from this site (version 2.1.13 - January 14, 2003 - 1,005 KB).

First, make sure you selected your DVD+R/+RW drive from the drop-down menu. When you press the Check settings button, the program will show you the physical kind of disc that is currently loaded, its current identification settings, and the settings the drive will use when it writes on its next unfinalized DVD+R or unformatted DVD+RW disc. Italicalized indications mean that the unit settings weren't read from the drive (because this was not possible, or the check wasn't performed yet), but generally show a good gues based on previous settings made with this tool. Select the Check settings button to read the actual values from the drive. Note that first generation drives (DVD+RW only) can not read these settings from the drive.

When you want to change the bitsettings of the currently loaded DVD+RW disc, select the appropriate radio button under New Settings (choose from 'DVD+RW specification' and 'DVD-ROM specificaton') and press the Set for current disc button. Of course you cannot change the bitsettings on an already finalized DVD+R disc (as it is write once).

To change the default identification bitsetting that should be written to future DVD+RW and DVD+R discs (or DVD+R discs that still need to be "finalized" or DVD+RW media that is going to be re-formatted), select the desired setting from the New settings list and press the Set drive for DVD+R discs or Set drive for DVD+RW discs button. You can change bitsettings for a DVD+R disc to 'DVD-ROM specification' and 'DVD+R' specification, for a DVD+RW disc you can change between 'DVD-ROM specification' and 'DVD+RW specification'. When you change the drive settings for DVD+RW discs, the changes will only apply to new, unused (unformatted) discs. When a disc was already used in a recorder before, use the Set for current disc option to change its value.

Unit settings are not always remembered by the drive when you reboot your system. This behaviour varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, based on the firmware implementation. To be sure that the unit settings are restored when Windows restarts (independent of hardware/firmware implementation of storing settings), use the 'Apply settings when Windows starts' function of this program.

DVD+R/+RW Command-line Bitset Utility

This public domain command-line utility is provided mostly as reference implementation for technically minded users. It can only be used in Windows NT, 2000 or XP, but not in Windows 95, 98 or Me. For more information on this command-line utility, including downloads and source code, refer to Compatibility Bitsettings - Command-line Utility.

DVD+R/+RW Bitset Utilities for Apple Macintosh OS X, Linux and OpenBSD

Refer to the overview of Web Links for an overview of web pages with Mac OS X, Linux and OpenBSD builds of the bitset utility.