Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » O »

optical disk

A storage medium from which data is read and to which it is written by lasers. Optical disks can store much more data -- up to 6 gigabytes (6 billion bytes) -- than most portable magnetic media, such as floppies. There are three basic types of optical disks:

  • CD-ROM :Like audio CDs, CD-ROMs come with data already encoded onto them. The data is permanent and can be read any number of times, but CD-ROMs cannot be modified.
  • WORM : Stands for write-once, read -many. With a WORM disk drive, you can writedata onto a WORM disk, but only once. After that, the WORM disk behaves just like a CD-ROM.
  • erasable: Optical disks that can be erased and loaded with new data, just like magnetic disks. These are often referred to as EO (erasable optical) disks.
  • These three technologies are not compatible with one another; each requires a different type of disk drive and disk. Even within one category, there are many competing formats, although CD-ROMs are relatively standardized.







    TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
    DID YOU KNOW?
    13 Best Free Android Apps

    From secure messaging to document editing, our top free must-have apps have been rated, reviewed and named the best free Android apps of 2015. Read More »

    The Five Generations of Computers

    Learn about each of the five generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the current devices that we use today. Read More »

    Cloud Computing Market Leaders, 2015

    If not for AWS, Microsoft would dominate the cloud. The race to capture market share will grow ever more fierce in the years ahead. Here's a look... Read More »

    QUICK REFERENCE
    29 Free Android Apps for Cash-Strapped Students

    From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student's life and budget. Read More »

    Network Fundamentals Study Guide

    A network is a group of two or more computer systems or devices, linked together to share resources, exchange files and electronic communications.... Read More »

    Computer Architecture Study Guide

    This Webopedia  study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »