Burn DVDs from the Windows command line

This content is 18 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

Sony DWG120A DVD recorder
A few weeks back, I bought myself a Sony DWG120A DVD±RW dual layer recorder. Although I picked mine up as a £29.99 brown box deal in PC World, it is available for less on the ‘net (but that would have involved shipping costs and delays).

It was a two-minute installation (open case, swap out old CD drive, insert and connect new DVD drive, close case) but I soon found out that Windows XP’s support for DVD writing is not very good – it can write CDs natively but even with a DVD burner that interface is restricted to CDs – one feature that I’d expect Microsoft to have fixed by now. I didn’t have much luck with Windows Vista beta 2 and the NEC DVD burner in my notebook PC either and my copy of Nero was no use, as I found that it is an OEM version and so is tied to that OEM’s devices – all I could do with my Sony drive was write to a generic image recorder device (which would at least allow me to create ISO images).

A couple of years back, I wrote about a utility for burning CDs from the command line and so I started googling for a DVD equivalent. A Windows FAQ article by John Savill, entitled How can I burn a DVD image from the command line? pointed me in the direction of a Microsoft resource kit tool called dvdburn.exe and that did the trick. It’s a really simple utility, that does exactly what it says – it burns DVDs (using the syntax dvdburn dvddrive filename). The result:

Media type: DVD+R
Preparing media…
– 100.0% done
Finished Writing
Waiting for drive to finalize disc (this may take up to 4 minutes)……………………
Success: Finalizing media took 22 seconds
Burn successful!

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