Very important CD reads blank

Ok I wasn’t sure excatly which forum to place this problem in so here it is:

I have a very important CD that has about 400 hours of photoshop work I’ve done on it. I’ve had these files for around 17 years. The information is personal so every couple of years I would re-burn the cd to a new CD-R and destroy the old one. Two months ago I was offered a new driver from windows update for my dvd writer. No big deal so I downloaded it. Could just be coinsidence but the CD then came up as blank… “How do you want to use this disk?” I chose CD/DVD and the disk showed blank. I then tried to use it as a USB flash drive and windows instantly jumped to “Farmatting” I stopped the format quickly by popping open the cd player. There is NOW a small section of the CD that acually DOES appear to have been written over from the format. All other data CD’s are fine in this machine. I have tried Several machines and they all think it is blank now. I’ve tried SEVERAL data recovery freeware programs and nothing comes up. What have I done and is there ANY way to get these files back? Thanks everyone. Oh, also there were hundreds of pictures and the “formatted” portion only covers a very small amount at the beginning.

— Steve

Hi and Welcome!

unless you have been using a CD-RW (which is re-writeable), your disc can’t get overwritten.

How to access the data? I would try other drives together with Isobuster.

Two months ago I was offered a new driver from windows update for my dvd writer.
? :confused: I doubt this.


That is excatley what I thought. It’s a CR-R disk and now if I just try to burn a file to it it will run all the way through lead out then tell me the disc may be unusable. When you look at the burn pattern on the disk itself you can see the original burn pattern then a small new one on the very inside of the disk. I notice on the very OUTside of the disk… there is a small crack in the aluminum inside the disk. The disk itself is not cracked… this appears to be inside the disk. Does the lead out get written there?

Also the driver that was offered from WU was a Sdram slot / CD/DVD driver update… or so it said. Thanks for your reply :wink:

Have you tried to look at this disc with ISOBuster ?
I only have the free version but I know it will see files other programs don’t.
The pay for version has more extract features but I think if the free version doen’t see any files then the pay for version won’t help.
I just thought it might be worth a try.

[QUOTE=mciahel;2413964]unless you have been using a CD-RW (which is re-writeable), your disc can’t get overwritten.[/QUOTE] Unfortunately, it can. If the drive really thinks the disc is blank, it may allow you to burn it again, thus destroying the data. :frowning:

I have tried this with a burned (non-rewriteable) DVD that was recognized as blank by one of my drives.

Yes,… I’ve tried ISObuster and it thinks the CD is blank as well. I just think there is no way to recover the files. It’s weird knowing they are there but cannot be found in any way. Thanks for your replies everyone.

I’ll bet Chloe from “24” could get them babies!! LOL

I had not tried to double burn a CD -R disc but DrageMester posted he had so it’s possible.
That is probably what you did.I don’t know any other software to suggest for this.
I think you have the solution in the quote below.Time to send the disc to a professional recovery service if that’s possible for you.

[QUOTE=Valdimer;2414558]I’ll bet Chloe from “24” could get them babies!! LOL[/QUOTE]

Tricky one if this can be backed up, but there is a very small change left if you want to do it yourself.

1 -Need a drive which can read beyond a lead out. (the new created one.)
2 -Need software which allows you freely to read at sectors.(assuming this is still possible with the screwed recognition.). ( I Think good old cdrwin might do this with the right drive.)
3 -Recover files from the pure sectors alone.(because TOC is broken.)

I have been able to recover some disc’s which were recognized as blank with the above method. But those disc’s didn’t contain an extra overwritten part, which makes things harder.

Much easier sollution will be trying to see what rofessional recovery service can do.