Dealing with Illegal TOC - Unrecognized Audio CD's

Here’s my original message:



I have had a nasty problem with an older CD I have had laying around since it came out in 1999 or so. The album is Title of Record by Filter, and although I can’t recall when I bought this record, I seem to recall that it was sometime in late 1999 or early 2000.

It has some weird copy protection scheme on it, where you put it into the CD-ROM drive and it can’t read it. There’s some kind of infinite loop instruction in the data session for the CD which makes the drive constantly try to re-read it and fail and all the while the computer can’t see that there is media in the drive.

The odd thing about this CD is that whatever CD protection was unleashed at the time was done without any public notice at all, yet it nevertheless bears the Phillips “Compact Disk Digital Audio” logo on, thus making this legally a defective CD since it does not strictly adhere to the standards of an audio CD.

I had an experience a while back, I think with an earlier version of Nero, where the CD was properly read and recognized and I could rip the tracks, but that was so long ago that I forgot what the situation was.

The inside of the CD ring on the bottom has a few numbers and some text printed on it. They are, from the right side of the bar code around to the left, as follows:

WEA mfg.
ifpi L902 (?)


1 47388-2 02 (It’s a CD!)


The plastic area near the mounting hole has the following stamped into it:


My computer setup is as follows:

750 Mhz Duron (yeah, I know, I’m getting a dual Opteron next, okay?)
512 Mb PC133 Mhz RAM

I’ve tried dropping the CD into a Macintosh and I get the same results. Whatever it is, it’s effective.

So what’s the solution? Is there some way to force the drive to read only the audio session without reading any data from the data session at all? What software should I use?


After a bit of research and google-fu I’ve discovered the most likely culprit is an illegal TOC, where there are two data sessions on the CD with each session referencing the other one, putting your CD-ROM into an endless loop.

From what I gather this was one of the first methods of audio protection as introduced by the mofo’s running the music companies, and is not uncommon on CD’s from circa 1999-2000. Nobody in the public was notified of this minor change, however, and people like you and me were left to suffer with less-than-functional CD’s that really aren’t true CD’s.

In their greed-borne lust to clamp down on “piracy” (as if that’s ever been a real money-losing problem for these companies) they took away your fair-use rights. Screw you, Mr. and Mrs. Customer, you get the shaft and we get your cash, sucker.

No more.

My solution:

Consider the program claims:

* Currently supports 11 methods of copy protection, and we are always adding more.
* Deals with illegal TOC easily, various reading methods provided.

I’ve heard that Nero handles Illegal TOC, and I think that may have been my experience with past versions but the current version 6 doesn’t seem to handle that all that well. If there is an option to support it in Nero 6+, I can’t find it after searching high and low.

As soon and I dropped the offending CD into the drive with this program open, the usual expectation I have of constant cycling and read failures with my CD-ROM drive were ended, and the legitimate audio TOC came up. A backup was promptly made that will finally play on my car’s CD player instead of hanging up like the original always used to do.

Another plus of this software: it’s shareware with free upgrades.

I’m not too familiar with all the bells and whistles of this program, but I’m oh so thankful I stumbled across this program, finally. That’s one less headache for me.

Your mileage may vary, but give it a shot and good luck.

:smiley: D :smiley:

[Mods: Please move this thread as needed.]