Similar to the CD-ROM drive, but with the added function of being able to record (write) information on a blank 'recordable' compact disc (CD-R), for storing, archiving, or backing up information. Can also be used to record over (over-write) data on an existing CD, if using a 'rewritable' CD (CD-RW).
Compact Disk-ReWritable (CD-RW) drives allow you to read CD discs like CD-ROM drives and also allow you to write data and music files to CD-R discs. CD-RW discs can be erased and written over unlike CD-R discs. CD-RW drives can also record on standard CD-R discs.
A CD-RW drive allows you read CD's like a CD-ROM drive and record multiple times on CD-RW discs. A CD can hold up to 700MB or more of data making it an inexpensive choice for saving files. A CD-R drive can only write to a disc one time, while a CD-RW allows a disc to be written to numerous times.