This document pertains to HP and Compaq PC with a LightScribe-enabled DVD drive.
LightScribe is a direct disc-labeling technology that provides a simple way to create precise silkscreen-quality labels for discs. All you have to do is burn, flip the disc, and then burn again.
NOTE: If you are experiencing media or software detection problems with a LightScribe drive in your notebook PC, go to http://www.lightscribe.com (in English) and download updated LightScribe software.If you are experiencing media or software detection problems with a LightScribe drive in your HP Pavilion, Presario, or Media Center desktop PC download the latest LightScribe System Software Update (in English).
Creating a label uses the LightScribe-enabled DVD drive on your computer with enhanced disc-labeling software, and specially coated CD or DVD discs (sold separately).
A LightScribe-enabled DVD drive uses an optical laser to burn an image into the thin dye coating on the label side of a LightScribe disc. The LightScribe labeling system has no ink to smear, no paper to curl, and no sticky adhesive to cause problems.
LightScribe discs are identified by the LightScribe logo on the retail packaging and on the inner area of the disc itself.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my PC has a LightScribe drive?
If the drive door has the LightScribe name or logo on it, your drive is LightScribe-capable. If the logo or name is missing, your drive is not LightScribe-capable.
Some LightScribe-enabled slimline drives do not have enough space for a LightScribe logo or name on the drive tray cover, but a LightScribe logo sticker (see above) should be affixed to all LightScribe-enabled PCs. In addition, the presence of the disc encoder sensor indicates that a slimline drive is LightScribe-enabled.
Can I upgrade my current non-LightScribe DVD drive to work with LightScribe media?
You cannot upgrade your current optical drive to be LightScribe capable.
What do I need to make a label with LightScribe?
Creating a LightScribe label requires the following four things:
- A LightScribe-enabled drive.
- LightScribe system software. This is pre-installed on your LightScribe-enabled desktop or notebook PC.
- Labeling software - this is software to create your label content and to send the label image to the LightScribe drive for burning. Examples include Sonic Express, Intervideo DiscLabel, or DVD Suite are shipped with some systems.
- LightScribe media - CDs and DVDs with a coating designed to respond to the laser from LightScribe-enabled drives.
Will my disc burning program work with LightScribe?
Yes. Lightscribe optical disc drives are compatible with most optical disc creation programs. The programs for burning files onto a CD/DVD disc use whatever type of physical disc is available. In addition to organizing the files for burning, most of the programs also have function for creating paper labels that are run through your printer and applied to the disc.
If a computer is equipped with a Lightscribe optical drive it can also burn a label onto the back of the physical disc. LightScribe compatible discs have a coating on both sides of the disc. Labels cannot be printed on standard optical discs.
Where do I find the LightScribe program?
Depending on the computer model, the shortcuts used to launch the Lightscribe disc burning hardware and the label creation program are available in the same folder from the Start menu. On other computers, depending on how the program was installed, the burning hardware and creative programs are in different folders.
For convenience, simply open the folder for the CD/DVD disc creation suite and let the burning program manage the optical disc drivers.
How do I get LightScribe to appear in the Disc Label menu?
If LightScribe is not an option in Disc Label menu of Sonic Express Labeler or DVD Suite or iTunes, the LightScribe software is not properly installed.
For notebook PCs, go to http://www.lightscribe.com (in English) and download updated LightScribe software.
For Pavilion, Presario, and Media Center desktop PCs, download the latest LightScribe System Software Update (in English). To look for updated driver software, go to the HP Drivers & Driver Downloads page and search for software for the specific model.
How long does it take to burn a LightScribe label?
The time required varies according to the image mode (Draft, Normal, and Best) and the surface area setting (narrow band with curved text, medium band with curved text, or the full disc surface). Using Draft or Normal imaging modes provides a shorter burn time, but also results in a lighter label. In most cases, the less area you use, the less time it takes to finish burning the label.
When beginning the burning of the label, the LightScribe software provides the estimated amount of time it will take to complete the label. A progress bar shows the remaining time during the burning process.
Where are LightScribe discs sold?
Lightscribe media can be purchased from many online shopping sites and from local computer and office supplies stores. To purchase Lightscribe Media from HP, please click the How to buy link on this page.
Are LightScribe compatible Dual layer high capacity DVDs available?
Although most LightScribe-enabled drives can read and write data to dual layer (DL) DVDs, there are no LightScribe-enabled DL DVDs available at the time of this writing.
Can LightScribe burn a color label?
Currently, LightScribe technology creates a monochrome image, similar to a black-and-white photograph.
Can I use my PC for other things while I am burning a LightScribe label?
Yes. LightScribe does not require your attention during the label burning process. You can continue using your computer for other tasks while the label is being burned.
Will the LightScribe image fade or darken over time or with exposure to light?
LightScribe discs are optimized to ensure that the label surface lasts. Some minor fading may occur over time. To ensure the longest life for both the label and data, keep optical discs out of direct light.
Is the LightScribe surface/coating safe to handle?
Yes, LightScribe discs are safe to handle, like other optical discs.
Can I re-do a LightScribe label?
The LightScribe label is permanent and not erasable.
Why does my LightScribe drive not recognize the LightScribe discs I purchased?
If you are not using a LightScribe disc, the LightScribe disc is dirty, or if the LightScribe disc contains updated burning capabilities, you may receive an error when attempting to create a label:
This is not a LightScribe disc. .
Cannot create LightScribe label.
LightScribe Engine Error: A communication error has occurred with the LightScribe drive. Please restart your PC and try the label again.
Make sure that you are burning labels with gold discs containing the LightScribe logo.
The disc must have a clean surface and be free of smudges (especially around the center of the disc).
Sometimes, when new LightScribe discs are used, the firmware for your LightScribe drive needs to be updated. Updated firmware enables the LightScribe drive to read more types of blank discs.
What happens if I forget to flip the disc over before burning the label?
The LightScribe software notifies you that the disc is not recognized and prompts you to flip the disc over. The disc must be placed label side down in the optical disc tray.
Why am I prompted to update my LightScribe System Software?
LightScribe system software contains settings that help optimize the labeling speed and image quality for different drives and media. When new LightScribe media is not recognized, the labeling software prompts you to install a LightScribe system software update that contains optimized settings for new media. HP recommends updating the LightScribe System Software whenever prompted.
In Vista, to update the software, open Help & Support , select Troubleshooting Tools , and then run Health Check .
What is generic mode printing?
Generic printing is a labeling mode that you can use to create a label when new LightScribe media is being used without updating the LightScribe system software. The LightScribe system software can be updated at a later, more convenient time. When using generic mode printing, speed and image quality may not be optimal.
My DVD labels appear faded. Is there a way to increase the contrast?
There is an Extended Label Contrast Utility built into the Lightscribe software. If you have an older version of Lighscribe, you may download this utility separately from the LightScribe Website (in English). Using this utility can result in higher contrast, but with longer label burning times.
When attempting to download the LightScribe System Software update from the LightScribe website, nothing happened when I clicked "update" or "download". What do I do?
You must have administrator privileges before making system changes to your PC. If you do not have administrative privileges, log onto an account that does have these privileges, or contact someone with administrator privileges to your computer to help you.
In some cases, the settings in security software or the internet browser may interfere when downloading and installing the update. Temporarily disable anti-virus, spyware, and pop-up blocker programs. Make sure that you accept and proceed with any messages that may appear. Security software programs typically have small icons in the lower right corner of your desktop, next to the time. Temporarily disabling security software may help. Right-click the security icon for the firewall or antivirus software and select disabled. Remember to re-enable them after the update is complete. If the PC is behind a firewall, check your firewall security settings before attempting the download or contact the system administrator for help.
Tips & Tricks
Before you begin, take a moment to review these helpful suggestions.
Choose a design that fits your needs. The LightScribe software that came with your PC has a number of pre-designed templates for any occasion.
Use your own text, photos, or designs. Open your favorite graphic design application, create your artwork, and save it in .bmp, .tif, or .jpg format. From your LightScribe software, select the file as a background and complete your label by adding any desired text.
Make each CD/DVD a work in progress. You can add new text and pictures (for example, more song names or file names) to a previously burned label. Load the label design that you originally used to burn the label, clear the existing text and graphics to avoid duplicate information being burned, then add the new label information and burn again.
Preview your label. To make sure the label is exactly the way you want it, use the print preview function (if available) or print the label out on paper to view it before burning.
Cut down on your label burning time. Switch from Best to Normal mode: you’ll burn fewer tracks per inch, which requires less burn time, but creates a lighter image. Or use the Title or Content templates instead of Full Disc. Because LightScribe burns from the center of the disc to the outside edge in concentric rings, Title and Content templates save time by confining your label to a narrower band. For the same reason, using circular text instead of straight text can also speed up burn times.
Go for contrast. A high-contrast photo or graphic stands out better than a picture in mostly soft middle tones. Use your software’s preview feature to see how the graphics you use look on disc.
Keep using your PC. While the label is being created, you can continue to use your PC for other activities. The LightScribe software indicates the time remaining to burn the design.
Avoid sudden shock or vibration. While the disc is labeling, avoid any sudden shock or vibration to the PC.
If you are using a notebook PC, avoid sudden loss of power. While the disc is labeling, keep your notebook AC adapter and power cord plugged into a working electrical outlet.