In Windows 7, DVD+RW/DVD-RAM disk capacity shows as "free" even when data is present on it

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Article ID: 2021502 - View products that this article applies to.
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Consider the following scenario:

  1. Boot a system with Windows 7
  2. Insert a DVD+RW (or DVD-RAM) disk that has some amount of data recorded on it
  3. Check the capacity of the disk in "My Computer" (Windows Explorer)
  4. Result:  Windows will report the entire capacity of the disk (e.g., 4.37GB) as "free" even though there's data on the disk

NOTE:  The disk is fully functional (users can open files off the disk, run executables, etc.) and still has the data on it despite Windows 7 showing all of the disk space as "free".

NOTE:  This condition occurs even when data is recorded to the disk in "Mastering mode".


This is a known problem in Windows 7 that is under investigation for future Windows releases.


To find out the capacity of space left on DVD+RW (or DVD-RAM) disk, place the disc into a Windows Vista DVD+RW drive and look in "My Computer".
Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use for other considerations.


Article ID: 2021502 - Last Review: March 17, 2010 - Revision: 1.0
  • Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Windows 7 Home Basic
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows 7 Starter
  • Windows 7 Ultimate

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