VOGONS


First post, by debs3759

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I'm doing a major reorganisation, ready to set up a load of retro systems. As part of my preparation, I'm going through CD-R and CD-RW discs, salvaging any data I can from discs up to 25 years old. Some are fine, and I'm copying the to HDD ready for archival storage (M-Disc DVD+R and BD-R HTL). Some don't read at first, but after inserting several times, they can be read slowly. I've just come across the first disc in my library that seems totally unreadable. I've tried reading it with CDRoller, IsoBuster, Recovery Toolbox For CD Free, Roadkill's Unstoppable Copier and Puran File Recovery. They all rely on Windows being able to see the disc, so can't do a sector by sector recovery.

Does anyone know of any software that will be able to salvage data off discs that are degraded that badly? This disc was full of tools I used on NT4 back in the day (most can probably be found online, but not everything can be found, including old reg codes, and I still have about 100 more discs to try salvaging). It's expected that some data will never be recovered, but as I can recover data from HDDs on a sector by sector basis, I'm hoping it's also possible on optical discs. I don't mind if the only free software is a 7 day trial, I can put everything else on hold for a few days while I back up my library. If the only option is to buy an app, that's fine as well, as I have general and dev apps for every version of Windows that I will be trying to salvage. I just don't want to spend big money on an app that can't bypass normal read failures.

See my graphics card database at www.gpuzoo.com
Constantly being worked on. Feel free to message me with any corrections or details of cards you would like me to research and add.

Reply 1 of 7, by mr.cat

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I've used GNU ddrescue (aka gddrescue). That was on Linux though...it works pretty well, but it's super slow.
You can pause and continue the reading as you wish, and even continue reading with a different drive.
If you want to test it, make sure you have the right one, as there are two software packages with almost the same name and doing the same thing, but with different implementation.

EDIT: Also I must add, I'm not so sure if the discs would get detected or read any better on a different software, or indeed a different OS such as Linux.
After all it's the drive's own firmware that does the actual reading, and the OS just talks to the drive. There may be *some* benefit to different reading patterns that are utilized by different softwares.

Last edited by mr.cat on 2021-01-19, 00:05. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 2 of 7, by darry

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debs3759 wrote on 2021-01-18, 23:28:

I'm doing a major reorganisation, ready to set up a load of retro systems. As part of my preparation, I'm going through CD-R and CD-RW discs, salvaging any data I can from discs up to 25 years old. Some are fine, and I'm copying the to HDD ready for archival storage (M-Disc DVD+R and BD-R HTL). Some don't read at first, but after inserting several times, they can be read slowly. I've just come across the first disc in my library that seems totally unreadable. I've tried reading it with CDRoller, IsoBuster, Recovery Toolbox For CD Free, Roadkill's Unstoppable Copier and Puran File Recovery. They all rely on Windows being able to see the disc, so can't do a sector by sector recovery.

Does anyone know of any software that will be able to salvage data off discs that are degraded that badly? This disc was full of tools I used on NT4 back in the day (most can probably be found online, but not everything can be found, including old reg codes, and I still have about 100 more discs to try salvaging). It's expected that some data will never be recovered, but as I can recover data from HDDs on a sector by sector basis, I'm hoping it's also possible on optical discs. I don't mind if the only free software is a 7 day trial, I can put everything else on hold for a few days while I back up my library. If the only option is to buy an app, that's fine as well, as I have general and dev apps for every version of Windows that I will be trying to salvage. I just don't want to spend big money on an app that can't bypass normal read failures.

Optical drives are not all equal in their ability to read marginal discs . Before trying software workarounds, I suggest that you try any bad or marginal in a few more optical drives . My experience is mainly with ripping pressed audio CDs, but I have found that, for example, drive x might handle marginal disc a better (more checksum accurate tracks ripped), but drive y would be better at handling marginal disc b .

EDIT : Oups, I didn't see mr.cat's post . Trying under Linux is a good idea, but I still suggest you try in more than one drive first . If you are lucky, you might find that one drive reads the disc perfectly.

Last edited by darry on 2021-01-19, 00:10. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 3 of 7, by mr.cat

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darry wrote on 2021-01-19, 00:04:

Optical drives are not all equal in their ability to read marginal discs . Before trying software workarounds, I suggest that you try any bad or marginal in a few more optical drives . My experience is mainly with ripping pressed audio CDs, but I have found that, for example, drive x might handle marginal disc a better (more checksum accurate tracks ripped), but drive y would be better at handling marginal disc b .

Yes, I can second that. Updating the firmware can also sometimes help.

Reply 4 of 7, by debs3759

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I googled ddrescue to see if it would lead me to any other Windows tools, but no joy there.

Then read to try another drive. Turned on a different PC, inserted the disc, and it was instantly recognised! Thanks for the suggestion, I would have been scratching my head for days 😀 All files are now saved.

See my graphics card database at www.gpuzoo.com
Constantly being worked on. Feel free to message me with any corrections or details of cards you would like me to research and add.

Reply 7 of 7, by Caluser2000

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I had that issue with a cd-r a few days ago. The DVD=RWs on the Windows and Linux systems just wouldn't read it. File Manager in win3.1 on the 8x BackPack drive connected to the parallel port of my6 286 picked up the cd-r directory structure but that was it. I spen about 15 minutes giving the errant cr-r\ a very good clean.

After that the cd-r was piucked up and read by the file manager on my main linuxs external usb dvd-rw. Some couldn't be accessed but the majority of them could be accessed and be retrieved

There's a glitch in the matrix.