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Burned DVD doesn't show files

Posted on 2009-04-12
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I had to reinstall Vista for a client. Before doing it, I backed up all her documents and iTunes files to CD, and all her pictures and videos to a DVD. Then I reformatted and reinstalled her OS and apps.

I took the CD, and was able to recopy her docs and music with no problem.
But when I put the DVD in, the icon switches from DVD-RW Drive to CD Drive, and I can't find any files on the DVD. Further, I get a popup box that asks me how I want to open the writeable media. So now I've got this poor girl's last two years of pictures, and no way to get them back to her.

I did not use any third party software to do the burn to DVD - just stock Vista. The DVD looks like it's been burned, and it did take about 40 mins to complete, so I do believe it copied the data to the drive. I just can't seem to get anything off, and this is the only copy we now have.
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Question by:d0ughb0y
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by:greyknight17
ID: 24127257
After you did the backup, did you insert the DVD back in to confirm that the data were all there? I usually check at least one more time when burning media discs to make sure there is data burned.

Windows should be able to read the DVD by default. But this is worth a shot. Do you have any DVD/CD burning software installed? If not, install one now to see if it helps.
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by:d0ughb0y
ID: 24127268
That's one of those things I've been kicking myself about all weekend. I know I should have done a test read, but for whatever reason, I didn't. You're suggesting using burning software to try to read the DVD now, after the fact?
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by:d0ughb0y
ID: 24127285
I put the DVD into my XP machine, which shows the same problem I described for the Vista machine, and launched Roxio Creator. It, at least, seems to recognize the DVD. It shows me the correct label anyway. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to have any way to copy the data off the DVD, short of burning another copy of it. Any thoughts as to a tool that might do that?
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by:greyknight17
ID: 24127301
If the data is corrupted, this won't help. But you can try a DVD to DVD copy and see what the outcome is for the new burned disc.

If that fails, try using a data recovery program like this one to see if it can find and recover the data on that disc.
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 24127372
Have you installed the latest Vista driver for her DVD-RW drive from the manufacturer?
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by:Eirman
ID: 24127485
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by:d0ughb0y
ID: 24127514
This doesn't seem to be a problem with a corrupt disk. It seems to be more of a problem of a corrupt... image? I was able to copy the DVD image without a problem, but I can't read it on the new media either. Roxio can, at least, identify the label on it. Windows doesn't seem to be able to find anything at all on the DVD; not even that it's a DVD.
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by:greyknight17
ID: 24127538
Try to see if there is an updated driver for the DVD drive as suggested earlier. Also check for any new Windows Updates as it may also find updated drivers in some cases and update it for you there instead.
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by:nobus
ID: 24128391
>>   But when I put the DVD in, the icon switches from DVD-RW Drive to CD Drive   <<    this makes me belief you have  burned a bad CD/DVD.  can you see the burned surface on the dvd ?
then try    http://www.cddataguys.com/BadCopyPro.htm                        BadCopy Pro
But, i do not believe you'll be able to recover the data
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CompTechNS earned 250 total points
ID: 24133179
Have you considered that the disc may not be finalized? If you can get ahold of a bootable Linux CD image and burn it - reboot to that and see if you can access the data on the disc in question from inside Linux.

I've had this problem before and I was able to recover the data from within Linux as it appears to not need the disc to be written properly to access the data on it...
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by:Gregg DesElms
Gregg DesElms earned 250 total points
ID: 24134166
CompTechNS's comment that the disk may not be finalized was the first thing that came to my mind as I was reading down the list of comments here.  He may be onto something... and his Linux bootable CD idea has merit, and for the reason he gave.

If, in fact, it's unfinalized, it also depends on why that's the case.  If it's merely an oversight on your part, then that's one thing.  But if it's because the DVD was so full that there was actually no room to finalize (a malady which newer DVD drives (or older ones with latest firmware updates) should not actually allow... but it can happen), then you could be in a pickle.  Same if it was left unfinalized because of a good, old-fashioned tech-glitch of some kind... something that simply caused corruption.

Several well-known (and maybe a couple not-so-well-known) come to mind... "ISO Buster," or the lesser-known "ISO Puzzle," for starters.  I think I also remember reading somewhere that "ImgBurn" will finalize an unfinalized DVD.  

If you can "see" the data with this freebie   http://www.infinadyne.com/pub/diagnostic.exe   then it might be worth it to purchase the full version at   http://infinadyne.com/cddvd_diagnostic.html

All versions of NERO since, I think, version 3 (but, if not, then certainly since version 6) have also been able to help with this problem somewhat (and, believe me, I'm no fan of Nero... but I'm just sayin' that it could help).  And there's some wisdom in using NERO for the task in any case because it is capable of making a byte-for-byte DVD copy (as is, I think, AShampoo's burning software... and several others) so that you'll have a backup if whatever steps you take to finalize the original DVD fail.

The guy who really knows about all this has a good web page which could help you.
SEE:  http://www.dvdrepairtips.com/unfinalized-dvds.html
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by:d0ughb0y
ID: 24194942
I hadn't considered that, but I'm going to try it. I've got a Linux machine around... I just have to check whether it has a DVD burner on it. Thanks for the tip - I'll let you know if it solves the problem.
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by:Gregg DesElms
ID: 24926472
This is frustrating to me.  Questioners come here, get answers that, in a single question, can be worth hundreds of times what they pay (if anything) to be here, but then they never come back and both let us know how it came out (because we're human, too, and simply would like to know), and then select a best answer (so that experts may maintain there respective statuses here).

I've come to call it "drive by questioning."

After a flurry of activity here when I first signed up, I was quickly soured on participating here because a lot of work can go into these answers... and all for nothing, in many cases, because questioners never return and best answers are never selected.

Anyone who's good at this kind of work is BUSY.  It's not so much a time-is-money sort of thing (although that's a factor, too) as much as it is honoring and respecting one's time.... being unwilling to see it wasted by thoughtlessness.  I'm 52.  I've been at this well over 30 years.  I have a divorce in my history which can be blamed, in no small measure, on the inordinate time I devoted to my careeer.  I'm smarter, though, now... which means that the time I spend in a place like this is even MORE valuable because I now force myself to spend more time with my partner, and to smell the roses a bit.

If anything is ultimately going to chase me away from this place, it's this problem.  I got so irritated by it at one point that I think I, myself, abandoned a thread -- a printer question as I recall -- because I got so ticked off at this place.  And my participation has subsequently trailed-off accordingly.

It's just a thought -- one not fully thought through, yet, so don't blame me if it turns out to be a bad idea in the longrun -- but it seems to me that there should be some other method of resolving these threads so that they end-up with a best answer selected by someone, somehow, when the questioner just abandons it like this one seems to have.  I got the idea, frankly, from Yahoo Answers, where I try to help out with Higher Education questions now and then, and I noticed that sometimes the best answer is selected by reader/voters whenever the questioner won't choose.  Seems, to me, a concept worth this place exploring... but that's just me.

[sigh]

Sorry for stepping up on the soapbox like that... but I just couldn't stop myself.

Of course, all that said, I nevertheless hope that d0ughb0y got his problem resolved.  That, I'm hoping, is the reason he never returned; and, of course, that's the silver lining, I guess.  But still.

Peace.

_________________________________
Gregg L. DesElms
Napa, California
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by:Gregg DesElms
ID: 24926518
Addendum:  And, yes, I see LeeTutor's credit recommendation... and that's one way.  Perhaps the best.  Maybe that should be acceptable.  I still don't like the "drive by" nature of it all, though.  But maybe I'm just in a funky mood today.  [grin]
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