Cloning of a FAT32 DVD-RAM

Hi Folk, first post so bear with me if I’m in the wrong forum etc but I need some advice! Also I am not familiar with the mechanisms of DVD writing so forgive me for that too.

I’ve got a corrupted 4.7GB DVD-RAM that is formatted as a FAT32 volume. It is used to store large files from scientific studies that are subsequently read by an application. A few weeks ago we had a series of high voltage faults on our incoming mains supply resulting in the XP workstation that writes the disk falling over during the write phase. Of course the user didn’t report this to use just carried on and successfully wrote other files.

Now we have a RAM disk with at least a corrupted file allocation table and probably chains of clusters overwritten by subsequent files. This is substantiated by it being possible to read all the files created since the date of the HV fault but only a subset of those before.

My understanding is that a FAT32 DVD-RAM is just a BIG floppy disk with a boot sector, FAT and lots and lots of sectors to use. Indeed CHKDSK when run without the /F (Fix) switch treats it as such and suggests that a fix is plausible. This in turn implies that a more sophisticated disk recovery package might so the job.

The problem is of course I’m loath to run such a process on the original disk. Years ago when we mended corrupted floppies we would secure and quarantine the damaged media and use DiskCopy to create a new sector by sector image, faults and all. This is what I need to do with my DVD-RAM. Diskcopy reckons that the drive is irremovable and so won’t run; of course it was never designed to work with such huge media.

Can anyone suggest an equivalent to DiskCopy in order to recreate a forensic grade copy of this DVD-RAM in its entirety? Sorry about the length of the post but I thought it useful that you folks knew why I need all of the sectors not just those referenced by the existing FAT.

I live in hope…

Many Thanks

Dave S

There was a package called Diskinternals FAT recovery that you could try, but according to your description I don’t know if it could solve all your prob - depending on the point your FAT was damaged and what did happen afterwards.
" more applications that are referred as working for DVD-RAM (? - no experience about)
are CDroller and ISOBuster.
As you refer to certain type of studies, there are specialized houses but price is not low for sure, so a matter of cost/bennefict will dictated if you consider it as a possibility or not.

As far as I’m aware of, a FAT32 formatted DVD-RAM works pretty much identical to that of any other large removable FAT32 formatted disc, such as a flash pen drive, Zip Disk, etc., which means that you should be able to use virtually any tool to recover data from flash and Zip disks with your DVD-RAM.

However, if you are unable to make a copy of your DVD-RAM disc, I would recommend only trying non-destructive file recovery tools. For example, do not attempt to run any tool that claims to fix or repair corrupt or damaged disks on your FAT32. Instead, try using tools which mention that they do not write anything to the disk being recovered. This way if a tool does not manage to recover your tools, nothing has been changed on your DVD-RAM. From my experience, I have had good results recovering data (such as from corrupt partitions, deleted files, etc.) using the utility ‘GetDataBack’, however it only displays and previews what it can recover in the trial version.