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Copy data off a damaged DVD

A friend in the UK sent me a home recording of a TV show. Despite being packed in a burly AOL type contaier, the bugger got crunched. The outer edge has a small 1/2" tear in the upper surface and a rainbow arc about an inch across on the back surface. My computer DVD can play the first 14 minutes without much problem then it bogs down.

Looking at the DVD in WinEx I can see a large array of orderly data files. I tried copying them to my HD, using WinEx, then DOS. Some files copy over, but others give me a Data Error Cyclic Redundancy Check.

Now I know those Cute Guys in the CSI shows could pull off the data, but is there any way I can, not having any good fiction to aid me?

I'm on XP, 2gPIII, 135 mb free on my HD.

Thanks
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Decksawash
Asked:
Decksawash
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2 Solutions
 
WatzmanCommented:

If the scratch is on the side that is read by the laser (the side other than the label side), you may be able to "polish out" the scratches.  This can be done with very fine polishing compound (or rubbing compound followed by polishing compound)(some people have used toothpaste for the rubbing compound, but you will have to polish it with something finer after that).  There are mechanical motorized CD and DVD "polishers" sold to do this, I think that one goes by "CD Doctor" for about $30.  The other thing is just to try it in as many different drives as possible, some may be able to read things unreadable by the others.  That's about the limits of what you can do without resorting to horribly expensive forensic services.

[If this was a data disc, I'd say try to force a lower read speed, as the out-of-balance caused by this is probably introducing some vibration into the rotation of the disc.  However, video DVDs, at least when being watched, are always played back at 1x anyway]
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DecksawashAuthor Commented:
There is no scratch. More like a delamination zone between the "top of the bottom layer" that the laser reads and the more rigid plastic above it. I'm not sure there is any actually damage to the "bottom of the bottom" of the disk. But there is likely a micro wobble going on in the area of the de-lam.

I already tried it in both my laptop and main box. The DVD player connected to the teevee doesn't recognize this format (maybe region one, maybe a variant) at all and gives me a freaked out blue screen.
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kode99Commented:
From the description it sounds like the film and not just the plasitic is damaged.  If that is the case polishing will only partially fix it.  Most used cd/dvd shops have commercial grade equipment that can fix the surface while you wait and for only a few bucks per disk.

As for your tear on the upper surface,  you will need a program that can read the data directly off the disk and get as much of the files and portions of as possible.  Basically it will 'ignore' the bad sectors and copy the file anyway.  What cannot be read is just gone.

This would do the job,
  http://diskinternals.com/cd-dvd-recovery/

Now you will have copies of corrupted files - or files with missing parts.  So after pulling the data off you would likely have to run the data through a 'repair' program to try to fix or stitch together the data that was found so you can play it.

Video Fixer works for many formats,
  http://www.video-fixer.com/
There are a lot of program for the various file formats - depends on exactly what you need.

I have another link to a freeware program that does a brute force rip of a disk just cannot find it atm.  I will post it when I do.

Obviously for a tv show it might be easier to just resend it - unless it is (was) the only copy.
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WatzmanCommented:

If it's delaminatiing, I doubt that anything will fix it.  The dyes used in writeable DVDs is ruined simply by exposure to oxygen (air), and the data itself is probalby damaged beyond recovery.  Certainly try anything that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, but my guess is that it's lost.
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DecksawashAuthor Commented:
Yup, it's the only copy, and I feel real special that she sent it to me. Dang.

Diskinternals seem to want $30 for the program. The free demo worked on the little files, (60kb max) but I'm not wanting to shell out quite that much 'til I look around a bit more.
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DecksawashAuthor Commented:
Looks like a delam. Have to think on this...
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Purple_TidderCommented:
I've had a lot of success with ISO Buster. http://www.cd-dvd-recovery.net/isobuster/

The cool thing about it is it doesn't really time-out when trying to read data. Windows does, and this is where the cyclic redundancy check comes from, it's basically timing out.

It's good software.  I use it all the time.
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rindiCommented:
Just a note on watzman's scratch-polishing method. That would probably only work with retail, pressed media and not on self-burned media. A big differance between these media is that thee retail versions have the data inside the media itself, the data is covered with plastic and if that plastic is scratched, the data itself is still there beneath the scratch. If the scratch is polished away, the data should be accessible again.
On self burnable media, the data layer is usually just a laquer layer on top of the media, so if this gets scratched, the data itself is touched and gets bad. Here the polishing method will probably just do the opposite of what was intended, by polishing, you'd be removing more data from the surface.
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kode99Commented:
Try this one its free for personal use,

  http://www.softwarepatch.com/software/cd-recovery.html

It's not the one I was looking for originally but it may work.  I think I have the link at work.
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WatzmanCommented:
Rindi,

First, DVD-R (and +R) is not made like CD-R.  CD's have the data on the label side of the media and just as you state, there is only a lacquer coating over the media.  However, writeable DVDs are a "sandwich" and the data is "inside" of a multilayer laminated stack of polycarbonate layers.  The physical construction of writeable DVDs is very different from CDs.

Second, the polishing method works even for CD-R.  You are not polishing the side with the data under a lacquer surface (if you do that, you will remove and destroy the dye layer containing the data), you are polishing the other side (the non-label side), which the laser beam has to pass through to read the data.  Scratches on the label side (which is where the data on a CD-R actually resides) cannot be fixed, because if such scratches penetrated to the dye layer, then tney actually removed and destroyed the data, and if they didn't, then they won't impact readability and don't matter anyway.  BUT, scratches on the other side (the non-label side) can prevent the laser from reading the data, but can also be repaired by polishing if they are not extremely severe.
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Purple_TidderCommented:
just a comment on rindi's post.  This is probably true of CD meda, but most all recordable DVD media I've used has the data sandwiched between two plastics, not on top.  But I do always buy the better media.  Is this only the cheap stuff Rindi?
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Purple_TidderCommented:
Watz, me an you buddy, same time sucka...
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DecksawashAuthor Commented:
I am trying this one recommended by Kode99
http://www.softwarepatch.com/software/cd-recovery.html

It's been crunching away on the last of the massive files for over an hour now. Huge numbers of errors but presumably the last file listed is the one most effected because it's on the outer edge?

Interesting stuff.
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rindiCommented:
I was talking more about CD media, true.
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DecksawashAuthor Commented:
In two and a half hours the program has pulled almost 4,000 kb of data off the 636,656kb file. It is one of 6 files comprising the disk, so it may be a few days before I know if it works. I think the computer will be working nights.

The further along in the read, the worse the sectors have become, which makes sense. I'll jump to the second file next to see if it has fewer error readings. First file was tiny and undamaged and I transfered it with WinEx.
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WatzmanCommented:

Hopefully, you don't have to pay overtime.

:-)
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DecksawashAuthor Commented:
I dunno about no overtime. If the box comes staggering into my room again, whining about how it wants a new motherboard and processor I might just give in and buy 'em. And that means I gotta upgrade the Spousal Unit's box with my old board, and that means all new ram for him and a new vid card because my castoff board will not grok his old VooDoo.

You see where things like this can lead???

Jeez.

And all because I like British dramas and hate having to wait two years for them to cross the pond.
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WatzmanCommented:
Re: "that means I gotta upgrade the Spousal Unit's box with my old board, and that means all new ram for ***HIM*** "

The "spousal unit" to whom your motherboard will be handed down is a HIM?

Either it's one of those "new fangled" marriages, or the computer expert in the family is pulling a change of gender roles.
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DecksawashAuthor Commented:
(smile)

Not very new fangled. Machinery-- particularly electronics-- loves me. Hates him. I was taking vacumn tube TVs apart by the time I was 8. He, on the other hand, was the anti-rabbit ears. Walks into the room, all electronc devices shut down. I only have to lay my hands on them,  mutter "Ohm" and they spring to life.

When the children were small the house frequently rang with the phrase, "Moooommmmy! Daddy's yelling at the computer again."

Almost 6,000 kb saved. Almost four hours of crunching. Almost 1% of the first file done.

=whoa=

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WatzmanCommented:

My kind of gal.  (I was doing vacuum tubes in the early 1960's (ham radio license at age 13)).

I hate to say this, but I think your chances of recovering that british drama are essentially Zip.  Maybe you could download the file using bit torrent.  I get "24" that way every week, on Tuesday morning after having watched it on Monday evening.  I hear that "24" is the #1 download in the UK.  Dennis Haysbert is coming back next Monday as David Palmer.


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DecksawashAuthor Commented:
You mean bit torent can be used to download something other than the Japanese animations my daughters/their respective boyfriends are always on about!! So how would I go about tying into the netherworld of bit torent English drama? ITV and the Beeb in particular??
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DecksawashAuthor Commented:
Wait. Found this:
http://engadget.com/entry/1234000167021291/

Is it a likely source of BTinfo?
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WatzmanCommented:
Yes, bit torrent can be used to download almost anything, including almost all US and common European TV shows (in fact, the british shows are probably the most available).  The problem is finding sites that have the "torrent" file availalbe (that's the tiny 8k file that is used to initiate a download).  I found a bunch of sites for "24" torrents using a google search.  Suggest you search for "bit torrent" or "torrent" or "bittorrent" or maybe "ITV" and the name of the show that you are looking for.  I'm no expert on it (that would be my teenage son, and in fact I think he uses it largely for "DBZ" (Japanese animations), but there is lots more stuff available.

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WatzmanCommented:
Yes, that's a good starting place.  The real issue is finding the "torrents" -- small 8k files -- to get you download access to the "peer to peer" system.  For "24" there are web sites devoted to that particular TV series that have the torrent files on them.
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DecksawashAuthor Commented:
Huh. Did not find what I was looking for, but did find "Foyle's War Series 3" which is not yet available in the States or on Region One format.

Wait. If the sucker sez "0 torrents" does that mean it's title has been noted, but there are no peers offering the bits?

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DecksawashAuthor Commented:
Is there a chance that the reason this pup is going soooo slowly is because http://www.softwarepatch.com/software/cd-recovery.html is geared toward CDs not DVDs? The page sez CD/DVD, but this is looking like an unlikely way to go. I will not be able to recover the data with even a week of crunching and I'm guessing if I get interrupted I would have to start the file over again.

Guess I'll let it go a bit further, then try isobuster as recommended by Purple T.

6 hours elapsed, not even 1.5% crunched on the first of six files. ooog.
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WatzmanCommented:

I think that the data that you are trying to recover no longer exists, and that no recovery tool will work, even given an infinite amount of time.  My understanding is that exposure to oxygen destroys the information, which is why DVDs fail from the outside in, and in the case of delamination, air has gotten to the dye later and the data is gone.

What is the TV show that you are trying to find?
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DecksawashAuthor Commented:
I'm thinking you're likely right about damaged-beyond-repair, but the isobuster is moving through the disk a lot faster than the other program. Already finished one file, working on the next.

The vid is:

Falling, 2005, Granada-Yorkshire, ITV
Michael Kitchen/Penelope Wilton star
Granada doesn't seem to have a homepage for it (shocking!)

Broadcast in the UK in Feb, I think.

Whatever else, it's an interesting exercise in andvance nerdery, and I need those.
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kode99Commented:
It takes so long because it will retry each sector a number of times before moving on.  Isobuster may not work as hard when in encounters a bad sector, might just skip ahead without trying to reconstruct anything.  It is a fairly intensive process.  This sort of recovery on a hard drive can take a couple of days - DVD is much slower media.  

It sounds like it was badly damaged.  What you recover may be fairly crappy.  There will be gaps - which could be placed at really annoying points within the show - or could be quite large.
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BILJAXCommented:
Try placing a piece of small metal foil (used in gift rapping) on the label side, slap a piece of scotch tape down and make sure it's abosolutely smooth (or use a DVD/CD label-Fellowes makes them).  Buff out any scratches (if possible) on the data (color) side of the disc.  If there are any big scratches, you could try a very VERY light coating of women's fingernail polish remover (just make sure it dries out before loading it in your system).  

Good luck!




AC
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DecksawashAuthor Commented:
An interesting exercise! After letting it crunch away all night I got a wonderous *30 seconds* more readable video. But I learned a couple new things, and that's always appreciated.

As to points, I expect that CDRecovery and ISObuster are probably on a par, but I like the ISObuster interface and ease of download better, so PT gets the bulk of my points.

And thanks to Bre'r Watzman for the info on bit torrents and the possibilities therein. I'll start poking around in that area of the web.

Thanks all,

The Deckwench
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DecksawashAuthor Commented:
Sidebar: Bit torrent sites are not for the faint of heart, are they! Just clicked into a couple of likely looking sites and both AVG and PestPatrol went absolutely bonkers. Twenty trojans/viris in 3 minutes? That's special.
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Purple_TidderCommented:
Thanks Decksawash, much appreciated!
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