DVD Writer or Blu-Ray Reader/Writer For Reading Bad DVD's?

vbimport

#1

Trying to recover data from a failing DVD using IsoPuzzle and AnyDVD.

Currently using the following DVD writers for reading data -

LG GH24NSD1 > actually not being used for the moment due to suspected hardware fault

Samsung SH224GB

Lite-On iHAS124

Lite-On iHAS324

The LG and Samsung DVD writers are managing to recover some data, but slowly. The Lite-On DVD writers are recovering data just a bit faster, but still relatively slowly.

There are currently about 115,000 “missing sectors” on the failing DVD as reported by IsoPuzzle. At the current rate of data recovery, it will take perhaps at least two or three weeks to recover most or all of the data!?

Ideally I would like to recover data faster. According to various online sources, I understand that (some) Blu-Ray readers/writers may be better at reading/recovering data from bad DVD’s than (some) DVD writers can.

If so, what specific makes/models of currently available Blu-Ray readers/writers are known to be better at data recovery?

And/or are there any other known currently available DVD readers/writers that are good at data recovery?

Thank you!


#2

[QUOTE=meeshu;2782661]Trying to recover data from a failing DVD using IsoPuzzle and AnyDVD

The LG and Samsung DVD writers are managing to recover some data, but slowly. The Lite-On DVD writers are recovering data just a bit faster, but still relatively slowly.[/QUOTE]

Of the many drives I’ve tested only one overlaps with your list. That’s iHAS324 (specifically iHAS324B) and it wasn’t anything special.

[QUOTE=meeshu;2782661]There are currently about 115,000 “missing sectors” on the failing DVD as reported by IsoPuzzle. At the current rate of data recovery, it will take perhaps at least two or three weeks to recover most or all of the data!?[/QUOTE]
It’s extremely unlikely that more than a handful of sectors (or really 16-sector 32KB blocks) will eventually be read of those “missing” sectors if a full attempt has already been made to read the disc to the end with a program like IsoPuzzle. I would stop now and wait until you get a better drive in order to spare both the disc and the drives from additional unnecessary use.

[QUOTE=meeshu;2782661]Ideally I would like to recover data faster. According to various online sources, I understand that (some) Blu-Ray readers/writers may be better at reading/recovering data from bad DVD’s than (some) DVD writers can.[/QUOTE]
This is true in my experience. It will depend on what’s wrong with the disc though. Is it a pressed disc that’s scratched, a bad burned disc in good shape, a bad burned disc with scratches, or a good burned disc with scratches?

[QUOTE=meeshu;2782661]If so, what specific makes/models of currently available Blu-Ray readers/writers are known to be better at data recovery?[/QUOTE]
For practical purposes, “currently available” needs to include discontinued models that can be purchased used or new on eBay or Amazon. My best experience with scratched DVDs has been with Panasonic UJ8E1 drives (which are also pretty good for reading bad CDs). It’s a laptop drive so you may need a USB-to-SATA adapter cable if you don’t have a laptop to put it in.

For bad DVD burns (ideally not scratched) of various types I’ve had very good experiences with the following drives:

  • Lite-On iHBS112 (SATA internal; alternate model number is DH12B2SH)
  • LG BH20N (SATA internal)
  • Toshiba SD-H802A (IDE HD-DVD drive; USB external model is Microsoft Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive)
  • LG GGC-H20N (SATA internal)
  • LG GGW-H20N (SATA internal; USB external model is Buffalo BRHC-6316U2-US)

In another thread Samsung SH-216BB is recommended. I found that it was pretty good, but not great. Of course, each individual unit varies a bit. In my testing, different Lite-On drives of the same model weren’t consistently great. The Toshiba ones were a bit mixed too. The LG ones all seemed to work equally well.

[QUOTE=meeshu;2782661]And/or are there any other known currently available DVD readers/writers that are good at data recovery?[/QUOTE]
The Panasonic UJ8E1 laptop drive that I mentioned is a DVD drive. There were some other laptop drives that were good but not as good (UJ8C1, UJ8B1, AD-7561S). The best desktop DVD drive that I tested was an LG GWA-4165B. That’s an old IDE drive though.

All of the drive models I’ve tested are from or were introduced in 2013 or earlier, so there’s nothing I can recommend as far as the very latest models. I can say that while the ‘20’ LG models that I listed were very good the later BH30N was lousy. I don’t know what that means, if anything, regarding even newer LG drives, but it may be worth keeping in mind. As far as I know Lite-On stopped making Blu-Ray drives (except for Xbox One drives) after the iHBS112/212/312. Panasonic’s recent desktop DVD drives may not be great since the SW820 was pretty lousy for bad DVDs (plus it was insanely loud). The newer Panasonic laptop DVD drives that I’ve tested have been disappointing as well. Pioneer’s Blu-Ray drives that I’ve tested (BDR-101A, 202, 206, and 208) don’t work well for reading bad DVDs.

Hopefully that gives you a place to start at least. :slight_smile:


#3

Thanks for the very detailed reply!!

Using IsoPuzzle and using primarily a LiteOn iHAS324 C writer, the number of missing sectors has been reduced to around 86,000+. I’ve stopped trying to read additional data from the failing DVD as the rate of return is diminishing for the time spent processing it.

I am also concerned about the failing DVD as trying to prolong reading this disc might cause further issues with the disc.

The issue with the disc seems to be primarily due to media deterioration and not due to scratches etc.

It is understood that there may be variations in reading performance for exact same model drives due to tolerances of components used and on accuracy of component assembly.

Thanks for the list of possible drives to be used for reading failing DVD’s! That is very helpful!

I am looking at various drive models, and even considering getting some (older model drives) from eBay if necessary.

Someone mentioned somewhere that the Samsung SH-224DB writer is fairly good for reading bad discs. Anyone have comments on that drive?

The Samsung SH-224GB I have is not particularly good at reading my failing DVD.


#4

[QUOTE=meeshu;2783473]Someone mentioned somewhere that the Samsung SH-224DB writer is fairly good for reading bad discs. Anyone have comments on that drive?

The Samsung SH-224GB I have is not particularly good at reading my failing DVD.[/QUOTE]
gilius2k14’s list may be where you saw the SH-224DB recommended: http://club.myce.com/f61/best-dvd-drive-reading-scratched-cds-189414/#post2734351

That list is what motivated me to buy an SH-216BB, and then led to testing about 150 additional DVD and Blu-Ray drives.

As the title of that thread indicates, that’s a list of drives that work well for reading scratched discs. You’ll see that one of my highly recommended drives, the Panasonic UJ8E1, didn’t work well at all for scratched discs. I only tested that model with bad, scratch-free DVD-Rs (some from failing burners with inconsistent power output, some that had deteriorated over time) that most drives can’t fully read. I had declared those discs dead and unreadable many years ago, but I can read them all fully now.

gilius2k14 later tested GGC-H20N and iHBS112 drives with his scratched discs and neither of those worked better for those discs.

I don’t have any personal experience with the SH-224DB or SH-224GB, sorry. Hopefully someone else can help with that.


#5

150 drives tested!!! :eek:

Any comments regarding BenQ DW1620 and early Plextor drives?

I understand that the DW1620 is/was a good “bad” DVD reader, as were some early Plextor models.


#6

[QUOTE=meeshu;2783528]Any comments regarding BenQ DW1620 and early Plextor drives?

I understand that the DW1620 is/was a good “bad” DVD reader, as were some early Plextor models.[/QUOTE]
There’s an old study here that covered the DW1620 and some Plextor drives. The DW1620 did alright, but the DW1670 was better. The results indicate that the Plextor models were pretty useless.

I haven’t tested a DW1620, only a DW1670. I also had a few other BenQ drives such as one DQ60 and at least two rebranded/clone drives. The only Plextor-branded DVD drive I’ve personally tested is actually a clone of the BenQ DQ60 (Plextor PX-750A). As expected, the DQ60 and PX-750A perform similarly. Some of those were the best drives I got my hands on back in 2008 when I first bought a bunch of drives to try to read my bad DVDs. The LG/Lite-On/Panasonic/Toshiba models that I listed in the earlier post are much, much better than any of them though.


#7

Thanks once again for the very informative reply!

A little surprised that the Plextor drives didn’t seem to do well, as I understood from other sources that early model Plextor drives (no later than model PX-760A) were supposedly good at reading bad discs(?)

The BenQ DW1620 and the DW1670 drives seem to read bad discs reasonably well which is not entirely surprising from the little information I had previously.

Based on all the advice given, I’ve now ordered two different drives. Once the drives have arrived and then tested on my failing DVD, I’ll provide further details/feedback on how these two drives fared.

In the worst case, if either or both of these drives don’t perform as well as hoped, then I might on sell them. Actually I have just sold a Plextor PX-891SAF recently as it didn’t seem to read the failing DVD any better than my current LiteOn drives.


#8

The best drive that i have tested so far on damaged media is a Lite-on LH-20A1P.
If that drive can’t read a defective disc, no drive can, at least from my other drives.
Another decent drive is the Benq 1640, also in my modest drive colection.
Plextor drives (716,760) are surprinsingly poor in this department.
By the way, all of this drives are IDE drives.


#9

Thanks for the additional information!

We’ll see how the two drives I ordered get on with reading the failing DVD. If by chance they don’t read the DVD well, I’ll consider getting other drives instead.

In the meantime, I’m selling my fairly new LiteOn iHAS124 F drive as it doesn’t read the failing DVD as good as my iHAS324 C drive.


#10

An update.

Received one of two drives that I ordered recently. Installed and ran the drive in order to read the failing DVD I have. Unfortunately, after scanning for about 14 minutes the drive failed to read any further “missing” sectors from the failing DVD. So this drive will be on-sold as I need drives that are good at reading bad DVD’s.

The drive I got and am now selling is the LG GGW-H20L (I didn’t find any GGW-H20N models for sale, so I bought the next best model, I thought). I believe the GGW-H20L is basically the same as the GGW-H20N apart from having Lightscribe function added(?), so the two drives should (in theory) have similar reading/writing performance.

Still awaiting delivery of the other drive I ordered. We’ll see how that one fares. If that drive also fails to read (any further) missing sectors on the failing DVD, then I’ll sell that one as well and I’ll try getting one or two other drives instead that I’ve got in mind, based on comments here in this forum.

Any other suggestions for drives that are good at reading bad DVD’s?


#11

[QUOTE=meeshu;2783862]An update.

Received one of two drives that I ordered recently. Installed and ran the drive in order to read the failing DVD I have. Unfortunately, after scanning for about 14 minutes the drive failed to read any further “missing” sectors from the failing DVD. So this drive will be on-sold as I need drives that are good at reading bad DVD’s.

The drive I got and am now selling is the LG GGW-H20L…[/QUOTE]
That’s very odd. As you said, Lightscribe support should be the only difference for the GGW-H20L compared to the GGW-H20N, and I wouldn’t expect that to make a difference.

14 minutes doesn’t sound like much. I would expect at least some parts of the DVD to be more readable with that drive unless the drive itself is bad or there’s something really, terribly wrong with that disc. I’m assuming that only the first unreadable sectors were what the drive tried to read during those 14 minutes.

Is this is a burned disc or a pressed disc. Also, and I apologize if this seems like a stupid question, was this disc ever fully readable for you in the past?

If you’re interested, I made a tool many years ago that works similarly to IsoPuzzle. It has a feature that allows skipping over chunks of sectors so the drive doesn’t waste time choking on large parts of the disc that it can’t read. At a glance it doesn’t look like IsoPuzzle will do that, but I could be wrong. It’s a command-line tool, requires Java, and has some quirks that have put me off from sharing it before, but if you want it I’ll upload it.


#12

I tried the GGW-H20L drive in another computer first, and got it to continue reading missing sectors from an earlier scan of the bad DVD (via other drives) with about 700,000 (!!) missing sectors.

The GGW-H20L did pick up/read some missing sectors but not as fast as I thought or expected. However, that computer started to go to sleep or standby mode every now and then by itself!? I suspected a problem with the GGW-H20L drive, so I installed it in another computer (my main computer).

The GGW-H20L was then set to continue scanning the 86,429 missing sectors from the latest scan by previous drives (primarily the LiteOn iHAS324 C), and appeared to work without issue. After 14 minutes the GGW-H20L failed to read any of the missing sectors. In comparison, the LiteOn iHAS324 C drive I have would probably have successfully read some sectors during that 14 minutes.

I’m using the iHAS324 C drive performance as a benchmark for selecting other drives for reading bad DVD’s. The other drives MUST be able to at least read some of the 86,429 missing sectors within 10 minutes, but preferably read quite a few more sectors during the 10 minutes or so. If any drive fails to read any data within that period, then that drive will be rejected (and on-sold).

The other LG drive I have (GH24NSD1) didn’t read the missing/bad sectors particularly well either, but, seemed to read a few more than the GGW-H20L on the early scan with 700,000 missing sectors. So the GH24NSD1 drive appears to be a slightly better drive at reading the failing data than the GGW-H20L. But it is only a slight difference, and is not as good as the LiteOn iHAS324 C drive, so the GH24NSD1 drive is also for sale.

The faulty DVD is a commercially pressed one. It was fine initially and played back fine for a couple of years or so. Only recently has this disc begun to play up due to deteriorating media, I believe.

Thanks for the offer of a program to read data off bad discs, but I prefer to use IsoPuzzle as I want to recover as much data as possible without skipping over bad sectors. This is particularly important as the bad area of the disc is right in the middle of one episode of a TV series, and I would like to recover that episode in full, if possible.

IsoPuzzle can be set to re-read bad sectors indefinitely until sectors are successfully read. This is how I’ve set it up. I’ve managed to successfully recover data from another bad DVD using IsoPuzzle recently, so IsoPuzzle does work. It is the reading drive that is the determining factor as to how much and how soon data can be recovered.


#13

Finally received another drive (Toshiba SD-H802A) to test reading the failing DVD.

Unfortunately, after reading the DVD with about 700,000 “missing sectors”, the SD-H802A drive didn’t read very many of the missing sectors after running for about 15 minutes. It read more sectors than the LG GGW-H20L drive, but not a lot better. So this drive is likely to be on-sold.

So at this stage, the drives I’ve tested for reading this failing DVD are ranked as follows from best reading drive to the poorest reading drive.

LiteOn iHAS324 C
LiteOn iHAS124 F <- Selling
LiteOn iHAS324 B
Plextor PX-891SAF <- Sold
Asus DVD-E818A9T b
Samsung SH-224GB
Toshiba SD-H802A <- Selling
LG GH24NSD1 <- Selling
Optiarc AD7200A
Pioneer DVR-215
LG GGW-H20L <- Selling

In view of the relatively poor performance of suggested drives so far, I’m unlikely to try another suggested drive (that I had in mind to purchase), as I can’t really afford to keep buying drives indefinitely until a drive is found that is good or better at reading this failing DVD than my iHAS324 C drive. However, I’m looking at maybe getting another drive that has mixed reviews (elsewhere) as to ability for reading bad DVD’s. Generally though it seems that this drive is recommended.

We’ll see.


#14

Hi meeshu, thanks for the drive table. Is it also possible to mention the Firmware version?


#15

[QUOTE=meeshu;2784278]In view of the relatively poor performance of suggested drives so far, I’m unlikely to try another suggested drive (that I had in mind to purchase), as I can’t really afford to keep buying drives indefinitely until a drive is found that is good or better at reading this failing DVD than my iHAS324 C drive. However, I’m looking at maybe getting another drive that has mixed reviews (elsewhere) as to ability for reading bad DVD’s. Generally though it seems that this drive is recommended.[/QUOTE]
Based on your experiences it sounds like whatever is wrong with your pressed DVD is very different than the various problems I had with burned DVDs. Without having any idea what’s wrong with your disc, and without having a way to reproduce the problem by intentionally damaging/degrading a pressed DVD of my own, there’s no way I can do tests with bad pressed discs to get more suitable drive suggestions for you.

Could you possibly post a picture or two of the underside of the disc? I’m interested in knowing what visual defects, if any, are present.


#16

[QUOTE=meeshu;2784278]Thanks for the offer of a program to read data off bad discs, but I prefer to use IsoPuzzle as I want to recover as much data as possible without skipping over bad sectors. This is particularly important as the bad area of the disc is right in the middle of one episode of a TV series, and I would like to recover that episode in full, if possible.

IsoPuzzle can be set to re-read bad sectors indefinitely until sectors are successfully read. This is how I’ve set it up. I’ve managed to successfully recover data from another bad DVD using IsoPuzzle recently, so IsoPuzzle does work. It is the reading drive that is the determining factor as to how much and how soon data can be recovered.[/QUOTE]
The default behavior of the program I offered is to try to read every 16-sector block. This is because error-correction data on DVDs is for 16-sector (32KB) blocks. The number of retries for each 16-sector block can be manually set to whatever you want, but setting it to a high number is a huge waste of time unless you have a disc with only a few unread/missed blocks remaining.

The fast, sector-skipping mode is optional and it just helps to skip over bunches of bad sectors. The point is that if one drive is better at reading one damaged part than another, which definitely can happen, each drive won’t stall forever struggling to read sectors it has no reasonable chance of reading and can move on to later parts it may be able to read better. If the drive is no good at reading the bad disc the program will finish running pretty quickly and you can move onto a different drive.


#17

[QUOTE=HM01;2784296]Hi meeshu, thanks for the drive table. Is it also possible to mention the Firmware version?[/QUOTE]

LiteOn iHAS324 C firmware LL14

LiteOn iHAS124 F firmware CL99

LiteOn iHAS324 B firmware AL14

Plextor PX-891SAF firmware ?? <- didn’t note firmware version, sorry

Asus DVD-E818A9T b firmware 3.00

Samsung SH-224GB firmware SB00

Toshiba SD-H802A firmware HP10

LG GH24NSD1 firmware LG00

Optiarc AD-7200A firmware 1.09

Pioneer DVR-215 firmware 1.22

LG GGW-H20L firmware YL05

Upgrading and/or downgrading firmware might help in reading failing data. But from some very limited tests done so far (iHAS124), there was no obvious improvement in reading ability.


#18

[QUOTE=opieant;2784298]Based on your experiences it sounds like whatever is wrong with your pressed DVD is very different than the various problems I had with burned DVDs. Without having any idea what’s wrong with your disc, and without having a way to reproduce the problem by intentionally damaging/degrading a pressed DVD of my own, there’s no way I can do tests with bad pressed discs to get more suitable drive suggestions for you.

Could you possibly post a picture or two of the underside of the disc? I’m interested in knowing what visual defects, if any, are present.[/QUOTE]

The best photo I have is attached.

There is some very slight scuff marking around the periphery of the disc. No scratch marks. Some slight dust settled on disc. Change in tone is not quite circular due to suspected deterioration of media.

Disc was cleaned using an air brush and then a lint free chamois cloth was used gently and briefly on previous occasion.



#19

[QUOTE=opieant;2784299]The default behavior of the program I offered is to try to read every 16-sector block. This is because error-correction data on DVDs is for 16-sector (32KB) blocks. The number of retries for each 16-sector block can be manually set to whatever you want, but setting it to a high number is a huge waste of time unless you have a disc with only a few unread/missed blocks remaining.

The fast, sector-skipping mode is optional and it just helps to skip over bunches of bad sectors. The point is that if one drive is better at reading one damaged part than another, which definitely can happen, each drive won’t stall forever struggling to read sectors it has no reasonable chance of reading and can move on to later parts it may be able to read better. If the drive is no good at reading the bad disc the program will finish running pretty quickly and you can move onto a different drive.[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the comments.

Actually number of retries in IsoPuzzle can also be set in terms of time spent retrying to read bad sectors. This is something I haven’t experimented with much yet.

I am also swapping drives now and then for reading bad sectors, especially when the current drive seems to be reading very few, if any, bad sectors over the past 10 minutes or so.

If you really want to, you can upload your program somewhere and I could have a look at it/try it out on this particular failing DVD that I have.


#20

[QUOTE=meeshu;2784303]The best photo I have is attached.

There is some very slight scuff marking around the periphery of the disc. No scratch marks. Some slight dust settled on disc. Change in tone is not quite circular due to suspected deterioration of media.[/QUOTE]
Hmm. Are those many terrible looking spots/patches near (but not quite at) the outer edge the scuffing you’re referring to?