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CDs don't read

Hello.
I have a bunch of old CDs that I put data on back in 2000-2004 and I was trying to read them with my DVD and/or BVD drive but I cannot read them. The system will either think the CD is empty and can be written which if I try it won't succeed. Or tell me that the drive does not exist, in the case of usinig a disk recovery program. What could have happened? Everyone has failed that I tried to read so far. Should I use an older CD rom drive that I have? Should I get some sort of program to read the failed CDs?
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PawloA
Asked:
PawloA
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2 Solutions
 
dbruntonCommented:
What about brand new CDs (such as music CDs), are they readable?

And what application did you use to write these old CDs?
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Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
11 years can be a long time for a burned CD, depending on the quality of the original media.  Some estimates of effective lifetime are as low as 2 to 5 years, depending on the dyes and the original burner.

In this case I would recommend taking the discs in question to systems with several different CD/DVD drives, and seeing if they are readable on any of them.
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garycaseCommented:
If you used quality blanks and wrote them at modest speeds they should be fine;   but if you used inexpensive media and/or burned them at the highest speeds, then it's very likely that they've deteriorated to the point they can't be successfully read.

Note also that if you nsed a packet-writer rather than burning a fully ISO compliant CD you'll need to have a software package or OS driver that understands the packet writing scheme you used.    Otherwise they won't be readable.

If you provide more details on HOW you burned the data to the CDs (what program you used;  how you did the actual writes) we may be able to provide more help.

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Software_onbekendCommented:
If you tried everything.
You can try this.
It helped a friend of mine with the same issues...

Put a CD in the freezer, in sealt plastic or something like that.
After de cd is cold put it in the dvd/cd reader.

Be aware of condesation when you remove the cd out of the freezer and into the dvd/cd reader.
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PawloAAuthor Commented:
I had windows XP pro and used a Plextor DVD burner built in 2001. I used the default settings for writing to the CDs. The CDs themselves have no identifiable writing on them except for some Korean or Japanese chraracters engraved near the center of the CD. I can't make out what any of the characters are as they are very small and fine. They were relatively cheap. The CDs were stored in a spindle in the basement on a shelf in my work/storage room., This room is relatively cool throughout the year. I have other CDs in the spindle which work fine and I can read them.
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dbruntonCommented:
Note DrKlahn's comments about using another machine to try and read them.

Also try Isobuster http://www.isobuster.com/ (the free version is all you need) and see what it makes of your CDs.
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garycaseCommented:
Plextor units are excellent -- sounds like you had a top-of-the-line burner but used relatively low-quality media.    Since some are still readable, the first thing I'd do is separate what you can read from what you can't ==> copy the entire contents of all of those you can read to your hard drive [perhaps one folder/CD] and then reburn them to DVDs.    Use top-quality blanks (I only use Taiyo-Yuden premium line), and don't burn any faster than 8X,  and your DVDs will last for decades.

As for those you can't read -- try them on several different systems ... if you have a system with an older CD-R/W that may have better results than the newer DVD-R/W and BluRay units (the laser is "wider" on the older units).    ISOBuster also may let you recover some of the data on any that can't be completely read.
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PawloAAuthor Commented:
I read http://www.audioholics.com/education/audio-formats-technology/cd-and-dvd-longevity-how-long-will-they-last and they mention more on CD/DVD lifespan. I did find my old Plexor drive and installed it on the oldest compter (my son's) that still has and IDE connection and was able to read some of my CDs that were unreadable before. However 99% still remain unreadable. I did try to connect the Plexor drive to an external box with USB but for some reason the computer would not recognize the drove. I don''t beleve the settings on this drive should matter (MAster SLave or CSel) I tried them all and it did not work that way. I'll try ISOBuster.
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garycaseCommented:
A lot of external USB bridge devices aren't ATAPI compatible -- i.e. they'll only work with hard drives, not optical units.

Using the old Plextor is your best chance at reading these -- if that doesn't work, it's unfortunately likely that you simply used poor quality media that hasn't survived the test of time.    

 Doesn't help with those disks ... but for future reference use only top-quality blanks (as I noted, I use only Taiyo-Yuden premium blanks).

These are excellent blanks:

CDs:  http://www.supermediastore.com/product/u/taiyo-yuden-48x-cd-r-silver-thermal-printable-100

DVDs:  http://www.supermediastore.com/product/u/jvc-taiyo-yuden-dvd-r-8x-silver-thermal-dvd-recordable-single-layer-media-jdmr-zz-sb8-100pk

Note:  Taiyo-Yuden also has a "value line" -- but these are not the same quality as their premium line blanks.
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nobusCommented:
>>  Should I use an older CD rom drive that I have?   <<  Yes, i found some could read cd's that other could not
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