Damaged Microsoft Office97 CD

My father has an Office97 CD that came with some computer he bought years ago.  Since he has a tendency to lose or separate CDs from their jewel cases and their corresponding license/registration numbers, he wrote the number on a piece of tape and stuck it on CD, where it has resided for years.  

Recently he pulled off the tape and at the same time pulled off some of the upper surface graphics, along with leaving a hideous "after-tape" residue on the disk.  When we tried to use the disk recently to reinstall Word and Excel, those two applications would not install - although some of the others programs on the disk still would (Publisher, etc.).

We carefully cleaned off the tape residue and carefully polished the disk, but without further success. The disk itself is not cracked or scratched and except for the graphics on the upper surface that got yanked off, appears undamaged.  My limited understanding of these CDs is that the data doesn't actually exist on the surface of the disk, but is actually sub-surface, and is read from the underside surface.

Can anyone suggest any other solutions beyond what we've already tried or even any speculation on what the problem is (even if you don't necessarily have a solution). I'm baffled.


North Augusta, SC
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ITsheresomewhereConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Well there is always something you never thought about before.

I suppose you could go with the idea that the laser beam is somehow not getting the proper reflection back due to the exposed area and therefore misreads it.  I don't think that holds up to challenge.  But if it is true then covering the exposed area back again might restore ability to read.  So that would be either sharpie or non hideous residue leaving tape.  (ps  but duct tape fixes everthing).

Now the chance that both programs needing information from that one area, assuming it is rather small, seems unlikely but maybe.

You might try doing a copy of all the contents of the disk to the harddrive and see if any read errors or messages occur during the process.  This would give you at least a basic idea of the validity of the disk.

Once copied try to run the install programs from there.  If it works from there then maybe the CDR needs cleaning.

Not sure what else to tell ya.
The data does exist sub-surface, but this is typically protected by the upper surface (ie Label) If this upper layer gets damaged, can effect the data layer beneath.

Dont think there is any solution for this short of a replacement CD..
magarityConnect With a Mentor Commented:
What fit of insanity prompted removal of the tape?  In any case, next time use a fine point Sharpie to write the serial number directly on the disk.
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Also what were the error messages during the installs?

If you have taken the graphics off then you have taken the data off.

That's where the data lies, right there.  

It's replacement CD time.
Dbrunton is correct that in all likelyhood its time for a replacement.  My hope was to get lucky and maybe get all the data off the CD.

Just to refresh myself I reviewed the CD creation process and yep the Graphics provide the protective layer to the data.  Once this is removed the data is subject to degradation to the point it does not work, or even depending on the "bonding" that took place during the manufacture you can rip out the data carrier element.  Alas, not good.

One sudden thought, don't throw the CD out just yet.
The install, uninstall process of Office for any of the parts really wants that CD and till you have everything back in order best to keep it in the CASE.

Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
You should be able to call Microsoft and have them issue a new CD (though you might have to pay shipping...)  The label does need to be there, as suggested above it provides the reflective material that the laser bounces off of.

CDobynsAuthor Commented:
Wow, really a wide range of comments and suggestions generated by this question. Unfortunately, the really are pretty wide ranging in their scope of suggested fixes. I particularly liked the question about what prompted us to remove the tape. Can only assume that's more in the category of a "rhetorical" question at this stage of the game.

It may take some time to wade through trying the various proposed solutions, but did want to provide some feedback to the inquiry from ITsheresomewhere about error messages.  During the attempted install, the CD-ROM just runs endlessly until aborted using the Close Program.  At which time you get a message:

The file system mounted on the volume had data that needed to be flushed. Some data on the volume was lost.  Next time please check first to see if the volume can really be removed.

I can read the words, but the underlying meaning is lost on me without referencing a Rosetta stone or similar decrypting keysheet.

Thanks and further suggestions welcome.
Here are other people who have had the message


However they got no satisfactory answers either.

My interpretation is that the OS was expecting there to be more data available for it from the CDROM.  It was assuming that the CDROM was media that had been removed while it was in the midst of reading the disk and hence the error message.

While there has been much offered here there is one generally agreed upon condition.  You have at the very least exposed the data layer, and more likely, have damaged/removed the data layer.  

In the outside event that you just exposed the layer do NOT use the sharpie as I suggested, it will not work.  It was/is a bad suggestion.

The longshot was, if the data layer is intact but exposed, you might, and I emphasize might, be able to cover it in such a way as to restore enough reflectivity as to enable the data to be gotten off one last time.  The is a real techie head challenge kind of thing and not something a normal rational person would want to undertake.

I really think the best bet is start shopping for a replacement. Either from Microsoft, which is doubtful at best, even though they have the masters of everything they have ever made they are hard to get motivated to assist.  Weaping sometimes works, or trying the "elderly father whose only joy is writting his memoirs with Word" might work. Otherwise E-Bay or net closeout shops time.

The error information says that it was trying to, really trying to, piece all the information together, but this could have gone on and on and finally would have just said, can't do it.

No furhter thoughts at this point.

Can you get a copy of the disc from someone else? you still have the licence, so it will be legal.

The data has not been removed!! It is physically impossible to remove the data from the DYE side of the CDR by damaging the "Label" unless you have phsically made a hole in the CD!!

As a temporary measure!! grab hold of a "SILVER" Pressit label - Available nearly EVERYWHERE!!! and put the label over the Microsoft cover. This will then stop the laser from "Going straight thru" the cd. and the reflection should then be ok.

If this works, you may then be able to "Backup" the cd to another cd using a CDRW.

Again - ROFL at some of the comments
Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
Looks like magarity has the best solution (at least the info "straight from the horse's mouth", though I mentioned it previously).  I was pretty sure MS would replace damaged media without much hassle.


ROFL right there with you at my own comment thank you for pointing it out I am thinking one thing and writting another.  Of course its not gone geesh how dumb.  now going off to the corner and getting out that big dunce cap to wear the rest of this week.  ROFL  

No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is:
Split between c661jmb and ITsheresomewhere
Please leave any comments here within the next seven days.


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