DVD-R data disc won't copy properly or at all to hard drive

Posted on 2005-04-12
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
Hi, I'm having problems with my DVD data back-up discs. I burned three discs on my brand new DVD burner and they won't copy files properly off the disk back on my hard drive. It will copy some, then stall and the disc whirrs away. It will eventually come up with a crc error (cyclic redundancy check). Image files seem to be affected the most, most won't copy but some will open up from the disc (in corel photo paint in this case). I have been able to resave them and recover some files that way but others won't open or only 50% of the image will show up. This is not consistent though. An image that opens or copies one time, may not open or copy another time.
I recently reformatted my hard drive and only then noticed that the copy function doesn't work properly, so unfortunately I can't say that it was properly working before the reformat. All three discs have the same problem on another DVD-ROM drive.
I tried looking for a driver on the Lite-on website but it just says that it uses a default windows driver. I also re-installed some software that came with the burner.
I updated the firmware for the burner and also got the latest chipset/IDE drivers.
I have all the latest windows updates.
I also burned some CD data discs on the same burner which worked fine.
The DVDs are clean and free from any scratches, etc.
Can i still recover this data?

Windows 2000 Professional SP4
Liteon DVDRW SOHW-812S, I used Fujifilm DVD-R 4.7 GB discs (all from the same box). Burned at 4x using Sonic MyDVD software for two discs and Swiftdisc for another.
AMD Athlon 1800+, Gigabyte GA-7VRX motherboard, 512MB Ram, Nvidia 64MB
graphics card.

Thanks for your help.
Question by:trade
LVL 13

Accepted Solution

Watzman earned 1000 total points
ID: 13768220

You sound like you know what you are doing, so these are just some comments from someone who has had a lot of experience with optical drives (I used to be on the Adaptec beta test team for 4 years, for what became the Roxio products):

-It could be the media, although I have to say I don't think that it is.  My favorite DVD-R media, believe it or not, is a relatively inexpensive house brand, "K-Hypermedia", sold mostly by OfficeMax.  When it's on sale, it's $10 for a 25-pack.  Again, although the media is always suspect in optical drive problems, in this case, I don't think that's really the problem.

-I don't like the Sonic products for data work (although I do sometimes use them for video recording).  I really prefer both Roxio version 7 and Nero version 6.  Both need to be fully updated.  These will coexist (I use them both) but I recommend that the UDF (packet writing) software components of these and other packages not be used or even installed (that is "Direct CD", "Drag-to-Disc", "InCD", etc.).

-I really think that you have a bad drive.  There's no good way to prove that, but from everything that you said, that would be my guess.  If you replace the drive, I ***HIGHLY*** recommend the Pioneer DVD burners, they are the best drives currently being made, nothing else is even close.  And they are only $63 at Newegg.

As to recovery, the only thing I can suggest is trying to read the media on as many different drives and computers as possible.  If this was a "weak burn" (laser not really strong enough to fully burn and transition the dye layer), the image is "fading" and will probably continue to do so.  What you are dealing with is a low-contrast image (and possibly one that will continue to get lower still over time), but you might just find a drive somewhere, in a computer somewhere, that can read it.  All that I can recommend is trying as many different drives as possible.

Expert Comment

ID: 13769270
Are these discs RW?  Cyclic redundancy errors are common using RW discs with a program such as DirecCD or InCD.  I quit doing it this way because it was unreliable.  There are several updates to these programs but they admit to having conflicts with other running processes.

Author Comment

ID: 13769597
Thanks Watzman. You were right. I've now tried to burn three more DVDs (one Fujifilm DVD-R, one Taiyo Yuden DVD+R which came with the drive, and one Maxell DVD-R) All those failed too so it's safe to say that the burner is a dud. Must have been made on a monday morning after spring break; the burner actually got a good review when I bought it a year ago.
I think I will buy the Pioneer DVR-109, that was the one on sale at Newegg for $63. I looked it up on CDRinfo.com. The review made my head spin, all i want to do is back up my hard drive once a while, so it should be fine.

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