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Unerase files on a  CD-RW ?

Posted on 2000-04-17
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Last Modified: 2012-05-04
Is it possible to recover a deleted file from a CD-RW? Everyone I s/w says, "Wow, I never thought of that!" but no one can help. Norton and others can recover file on magnetic medium but Unerase programs don't recognize a CD drive. I even tried booting in DOS mode (I was told that although Norton Unerase apears to run in WINxx, it REALLY is doing its thing in DOS). Recovery of files on a CD-RW, if even possible, will be something more and more people are going to need! Who's going to write the application to do it? :-)
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Question by:Sunnyfield
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by:pjknibbs
ID: 2725652
I don't think it's possible, to be honest. In order to delete a file the CD-RW would have to make some fairly major changes to the TOC of the disc--I don't think it can simply replace the first character of the name with garbage, like FAT file systems do.
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by:Sunnyfield
ID: 2731699
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avtronics earned 100 total points
ID: 2731793
Well this may be the answer you're looking for. There is a program called CD-Diagnostics available at http://www.cdrsoft.net/cdrtools.html It allows you to read each sector of the disk (similar to Tiramsu) and save the data as an ISO on the hard drive. The recovery may or may not work, but it's worth a shot. If you need it that badly there are places that you can send it to and they will recover the data for you for a large sum.
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Expert Comment

by:rem16
ID: 2734066
My understanding from what I've read is that erasing files on a CD-RW is pretty much like erasing files on an audio tape.  When you erase, say 15 minutes, from a tape you need to find the blank section to put something new there.  On a CD-RW the computer finds the empty space for you, but it's still empty space.  Call a local computer repair shop or a place that builds computers - I think they'll tell you the same thing.

If the files you erased were not personal documents or photos, perhaps someone at this site can tell you how to find replacements for what you erased?
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Author Comment

by:Sunnyfield
ID: 2743815
Avtronics hit the nail on the head with the reference to CDRSOFT web site! I had 5 CD-RW and was able to find and restore files on one of them. Unfortunately this disk was not the one I REALLY wanted and I can't explain why that one worked while the others didn't (I'm still working on that). However, it proved to me that you CAN restore deleted files from a CD-RW and I thank you Avtronics for your invaluable help!
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Author Comment

by:Sunnyfield
ID: 2743823
It worked! I was able to restore deleted files from one CD-RW. I have 5 CD-RW with erased data and all data was originally written using Adaptec CD so I can't figure out why I was able to find deleted file on one CD-Rw but not the other 4. Perhaps I reformatted the other 4? In any case, I now have the ability to recover deleted files! Thanks Avtronics!
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