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If you are using them as a rewritable  disk (giant floppy disk) where you can add and erase content; yes they need to be formatted with appropriate software.   This is UDF  or packet writing.  


Personally I do not recommend this with Vista or Windows 7.  It appears to be considered obsolete / abandoned technology and can cause conflicts (I have encountered several machines where someone tried to install a UDF / Packet  reader  / writer program on a Vista or Win 7 machine resulting in a non bootable machine that needed to have a system restore from command prompt to let it function).


This is similar to but more extreme than the problems caused when you installed certain of these softwares on Win XP  and there was a conflict between its internal cd burning software and the stand alone one.

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