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Multibooter

Archiving software CDs under Win98

46 posts in this topic

I'll mention two nice pieces of software that I used back in that times. The are CDCheck...
Hi M()zart,

I had tried CDCheck v3.1.14 http://www.kvipu.com/CDCheck/ two years ago, but rejected it. The files "recovered" by CDCheck may NOT be correct, and sometimes differ from the files recovered by Unstoppable Copier (with the setting "Auto Skip Damaged Files") or recovered by Beyond Compare. When a file is recovered as a "good" file by Unstoppable Copier or Beyond Beyond Compare, it is good, you can count on it. On the other hand, I could not extract some cab files "recovered" by CDCheck, while their counterparts recovered with Unstoppable Copier or Beyond Compare could be extracted.

I had also tried Dead Disk Doctor v1.26 http://www.deaddiskdoctor.com/ two years ago, but the files it recovered, over and above those recovered by Unstoppable Copier or Beyond Compare, were bad. A test-installation, for example, of a software containing such a file "recovered" only by Dead Disk Doctor resulted in the termination of the software installation. Dead Disk Doctor resolves the issue of what to do with the areas corresponding to bad sectors in an interesting way: bad areas are apparently filled with random characters, which may be useful for movie DVDs, but not for software CDs/DVDs.

The key to the recovery/repair of a bad CD/DVD is not software, but hardware. Since 2 programs work fine and reliably (Unstoppable Copier and Beyond Compare), I see no point in looking further for something which doesn't enhance the recovery/repair of a bad CD anyway.

The second program is Virtual Drive 7... The game could be installed OK, but it required 2nd CD in CD-rom.
I am not covering here the repair of damaged copy-protected CDs. I am not into computer games, I don't like copy-protected software and the software would have to be really good to overcome my dislike, as for example the Oxford English Dictionary v3.0 (the 4 meters of books on the shelf). Old CloneCD v5.211 could handle a lot. Edited by Multibooter
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@duffy98 - Interesting read and further links given.
I don't agree with the opinions and conclusions of the author of that article, Mr. Silva of About.com, who covers under "http://hometheater.about.com" mainly video DVDs, where a couple of skips don't matter. Some of Mr.Silva's factual claims are incorrect, for example:

"In addition, with the rapid acceptance of recordable DVD, no one has done an extensive evaluation of the dozens of brands of DVD-R/-RW/+R/+RW/RAM discs now available for preserving video at home on DVD." I have been following, for at least 8 years, the very detailed tests and evaluations of CDs, DVDs etc. of the German Computer Bild, which is Europe's best-selling computer magazine, bi-weekly about 100 pages each, paid circulation 540.000, published in nine countries, not dead yet http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_Bild , unlike the computer magazines in the US, rest in peace.

Here the current rankings and evaluations of DVD media in their tests: http://www.computerbild.de/bestenlisten/Die-besten-beschreibbaren-DVDs-3913586.html

The top ranking DVD+R has a rating of only 2.85 (scale: 1=excellent, 6=trash). I wouldn't buy a product with such a poor rating by Computer Bild, unless there were special reasons. If you look at the color of the ratings (this needs no translation from German), the top ranking DVD was rated as belonging to the yellow zone (green - yellow - red). There was no DVD brand in the green zone.

Edited by Multibooter
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Recovery specimen #3 - a DVD+RW

I just gave up on recovering a bad Memorex DVD+RW (re-writable), burnt in February 2004, 8 years ago. It contained 4.1GB of data, altogether 17 zipped up system backups. The DVD+RW was accessible in only 1 of my 5 excellent readers, an Asus blu-ray burner BW-12B1ST, which seems to be good at reading +media. 2 good readers capable of DVD+RW wouldn't even recognize that a DVD was inserted. The silver color of the front side of the DVD, where "Memorex - is it live or is it a Memorex?" was printed, had turned a little yellowish, aging plastic.

The Asus blue-ray burner with Unstoppable Copier was able to recover 3 good zip files, altogether 735MB, so about 80% of the data on the bad DVD+RW was lost. I had a note on a piece of paper with this bad DVD, dated December 2006, indicating that the content of the DVD was still Ok (binary compare) 2 1/2 years after burning. It is interesting to note that adding a 3% recovery record with WinRAR to a .rar file is of little use if the file is stored on a CD/DVD and the whole file becomes unreadable.

I had buffed the bad DVD+RW with the Aleratec, altogether 5 times, and each time the recovery got worse. I decided to give up on the recovery, the remainder of the data was probably unrecoverable, and I had a still good backup on a second DVD-R.

When I burnt backup DVDs, about 5 to 8 years ago, I ALWAYS burnt 2 identical good copies, in case one goes bad. Usually I burnt more than 2 copies, on top-rated media with a burner which "liked" the particular media, until the burn quality with Nero Speed Disk was 95-98/100, and then discarded those DVDs with a lower burn quality. I have transferred the content of maybe 80 old DVDs, burnt between 2003 and 2007, onto external HDDs over the past 2 years. It was probably the last call, even if the DVDs were stored in slim cases in a cool place. The disk quality, as measured by Nero Speed Disk, had gone down to zero with most DVDs. Maybe 10 of these 2x80 DVDs had serious read issues and 5-10% of the archive would have been lost if I had not burnt 2 backup DVDs for each set of data backed up.

I hope that the transfer from plastic media to HDDs will be complete by the end of this year, it's a quite time-consuming undertaking.

Edited by Multibooter
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Recovery specimen #4 - a perfectly readable DVD, but 1 file differs from the other backup DVD

As I mentioned above, I always created 2 backup CDs/DVDs of each set of data to be backed up. But I have one pair of DVDs where 1 file differs. The file in question is a 691MB .ace archive file and contains inside a .ccd image (CloneCD) of a CD. On one DVD the 691MB .ace archive extracts fine, on the other DVD the .ace archive is broken and doesn't extract. A binary compare with Beyond Compare/Hex Viewer indicates that the two .ace files have different non-zero content in one contiguous block of 362 bytes.

Here the history of the "bad" DVD containing the broken .ace archive:

This DVD was burnt on 26-Aug-2006 as replacement of another backup DVD, burnt about a year earlier, because the disk quality of the initial DVD had deteriorated substantially. This replacement DVD, containing the corrupt .ace archive, was burnt with Nero v6.6.0.13, by first creating with Nero "Image Recorder" a temporary .iso of the deteriorating original backup DVD and then burning the replacement DVD from this .iso. I then made a binary compare of the burnt replacement DVD and the .iso, mounted with Alcohol, which was Ok, and I noted this on the DVD. This replacement DVD had a disk quality of 95/100 just after burning, measured with Nero CD-DVD Speed v4.7.7.15. I have just re-checked its disk quality with the same tool, it is currently, 6 years later, 48/100, still in Ok condition. So why did the "bad" DVD contain a broken archive?

I checked my notes for 26-Aug-2006 and actually found 2 cryptical entries "Nero burns not-identical files, no msg" and another entry that I had rejected on that day a Targus 7-port USB hub Model PAUH212, "does NOT work with Belkins USB 2.0 PC-Card, problem with Nero when using Adaptec USB 2.0 PC-Card: large files on burnt DVD are incorrect, without a message (found out with binary compare)". I apparently had suspected a hardware problem to be the cause of the non-identical files. I remember vaguely to have repeated the burning of the DVD from the .iso, and that the binary compare against the .iso was Ok, but the binary compare against the other backup DVD showed a difference. I had no explanation for this difference, and couldn't decide which one of the 2 DVDs was better, so I kept both versions. After I stopped using the Targus hub, this burn problem didn't occur anymore. The real reason, however, that this problem didn't come up anymore was probably that I haven't burnt replacement DVDs after that experience, checking disk quality and re-burning CDs/DVDs was just too time-cvonsuming.

Looking back, I probably made the wrong conclusions 6 years ago. Today I would rather speculate that Nero v6.6.0.13 "Image Recorder" had an issue reading the deteriorating original DVD and created somehow an iso with 362 contiguous wrong bytes. A binary compare of the DVD burnt from such an iso against the same mounted .iso would then be identical, and a binary compare against the other good backup DVD would show differences. But I have no idea why this area with bad data was only 362 bytes, not a whole 2kB sector,

I suspect that the gradual decay of plastic media is a major cause of broken archives. At eMule maybe 5% of archive files (zip, rar) are broken. Maybe the great number of different versions of an mp3 at eMule, often between 10 and 30 different version for one original mp3, is brought about by the decay of plastic and the selection of the option "Ignore read errors" when CDs are copied. MP3Test, for example, is a very good tool to test mp3 files for corruption.

I was able to repair with WinAce v2.6 the broken 691MB .ace archive on the "bad" replacement DVD. The .ccd image extracted from the repaired .ace was identical to the .ccd image contained on the other good backup DVD.

Edited by Multibooter
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A sensible approach (for the future) may be to add anyway some redundancy, like:

http://dvdisaster.net/en/

For recovering CD's, I still use my ancient Pioneer SCSI 1x CD drive (one of those with the caddy tray), in my limited experience I have been able to read more data with it than with any "modern" burner I have handy.

jaclaz

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A sensible approach (for the future) may be to add anyway some redundancy, like: http://dvdisaster.net/en/

1) dvdisaster

I had tried out dvdisaster v0.70.1 about 5 years ago, but I didn't put it into my tool box. At the time it looked too complicated, burning sets of 2 CDs/DVDs seemed to be easier.

Bad DVD specimen #3 (DVD+RW, see my post #19 above ) would probably have been a challenge for dvdisaster. Only 1 out of 5 good readers was able to read from the DVD, and only 735MB out of 4.1GB burnt originally on the DVD (3 out of 17 files) were readable [wiithout dvdisaster], representing about 20% of the data, i.e. about 80% of the stuff on the DVD was unreadable, when read by file. "... a peak error correction load of 63%, meaning that this degree of damage is handled well by error correction data created with default settings. " http://dvdisaster.net/en/index10.html

"Most drives will not recognize media when the lead-in area before the first sector (near the center hole) is damaged. In such cases, dvdisaster will not be able to recover any content from the media. It is not feasible to enhance the reliability of poor quality media by using dvdisaster. Cheap media can decay within a few days to an extent which will exceed the capabilities of the error correction code. " http://dvdisaster.net/en/qa31.html

dvdisaster cannot archive copy-protected CDs/DVDs http://dvdisaster.net/en/qa10.html#media nor "BD-ROM (pressed BDs), DVD-ROM (pressed DVDs), CD-Audio and CD-Video", i.e. dvdisaster does not include tools to convert such plastic media into regular image files.

The Q&A http://dvdisaster.net/en/qa.html contains very good explanations and ideas about how to back up stuff to plastic media and about recovering data from plastic media gone bad.

The comment there "Loss of directory = loss of all files!" was very interesting, so probably the best way to save stuff on plastic media is in the root, without the use of subdirectories. The section "Advantages of image level recovery on optical media" explained to me why reading a bad CD/DVD by sector (i.e. with ImgBurn or UltraISO) produced an iso image with substantially more good files than obtained when reading a bad CD/DVD by file (e.g. Unstoppable Copier or Beyond Compare)

The hints in "Some hints for effectively reading damaged media" http://dvdisaster.net/en/qa36.html are very useful. I can confirm that "Some drives read better while being cold.": one burner was able to recover a lot from a bad CD, which other burners couldn't, just on the first read after power-on. The same burner was not able to repeat this single good read.

dvdisaster, together with the excellent explanations, is a very useful tool to learn about the limitations of plastic media.

2) Considerations for preparing CDs/DVDs that are easier to recover

- creating sets of 2 CDs/DVDs has worked well for me

- rather than saving stuff in a single large file, it may be better to save large files as .rar, split into many small volumes/parts.

If a small part file on DVD1 is bad, there is a good chance that the corresponding small part file on DVD2 is still good, and that a good set of part files can be put together from 2 different CDs/DVDs.

- use a 3% recovery record. Maybe a recovered damaged file, e.g. containing "holes" filled with zeroes when the CD/DVD was read by sector, can be repaired

- I don't use 7-Zip to create .7z archives, I know of no software which can repair damaged 7z archives

For recovering CD's, I still use my ancient Pioneer SCSI 1x CD drive (one of those with the caddy tray), in my limited experience I have been able to read more data with it than with any "modern" burner I have handy.
I also have several interesting SCSI CD drives. Any suggestion on how to build an external USB box, with a SCSI burner inside?

The attached image displays what I think about the reliability of plastic media. I liked the text on the image: "For installation instructions, see your Quick Start Guide". :)

The name of the company is coincidental, it's a good Japanese company. The image was produced with Virtual Painter v5.0.

Edited by Multibooter
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I had 100% succes rate with recovering bad disks (mostly video DVDs, but also others) with IsoPuzzle. I think it works on the same principle as Dvdisaster, but maybe the accent is on reading with different drives. I use three DVD burners in my computers.

In fact, I was prepared to use Dvdisaster in case IsoPuzzle failed, but it never did. :thumbup

Just FYI...

GL

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Just to disambiguate. :ph34r:

The "usage paradigm" of dvdisaster and isopuzzle is completely different.

Common misunderstandings about dvdisaster:

dvdisaster can not make defective media readable again. Contents of a defective medium can not be recovered without the error correction data.

  1. dvdisaster is a "preventive" tool that allows you to burn media with redundant info (you will need more bytes used per byte saved).
  2. iso puzzle is a "recover tool" to recover an already (badly burned or deteriorated) media

There is a known Commercial tool (bought a license for it many., many years ago, and at the time, if I remember correctly it was a steep amount of bucks, now at around 40 it sounds to me like a fair price):

http://www.infinadyne.com/accuburn-r.html

that behaves like dvdisaster (adds redundant data) and possibly has a few more little tricks up it's sleeve :unsure: (and also has a "companion" recovery app)

And now, for NO apparent reason :w00t: Millennium (maybe) media:

http://www.forensicfocus.com/Forums/viewtopic/p=6553813/

http://millenniata.com/

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz
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It shows I never got to really use or study Dvdisaster. :blushing:

GL

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And now, for NO apparent reason :w00t: Millennium (maybe) media:

http://www.forensicfocus.com/Forums/viewtopic/p=6553813/

http://millenniata.com/

Very interesting link. Since it's a USB device, it may even work with Win98 under nusb.

On the first glance it looks like an expensive Gilette shaver, with about $3.50 each blade

http://www.esystor.com/page/PROD/SYSMD01.html

http://esystor.com/page/category/M_Disc_Duplicators.html

To store 1TB may cost $1000, plus a lot of time to burn 250 DVDs. Another question would be the quality of the M-Ready drive itself. Burners are consumables, and tend to die quite quickly, or the burn quality starts to deteriorate, perhaps after 100 burns. So this could raise the cost per long-lasting DVD to maybe $5 a piece, not counting coasters.

Also: "This machine does not burn any copy protected DVDs or CDs"

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Also: "This machine does not burn any copy protected DVDs or CDs"

That has nothing to do with the M-disc technology, that is a "duplicator" most of these machine sport that kind of warning (I presume for "legal" reasons :ph34r:) of course everything depends on the kind of protection the CD/DVD's have, some are simply NOT duplicable, some are, no matter what they say on the home page.

You can get a simple burner, though.

http://www.produplicator.com/mdisc-external.html

jaclaz

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And LG has a model - WH12LS39 - that supports M-disc, BluRay, Lightscribe, DVD, CD, ie everything I know of - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136241 - $79.99 as of today. I have this drive. Nice and quiet as well.

EDIT: The M-Discs are available in 50 packs from Amazon for $136.00 ($2.72 ea) with no tax and free shipping - http://www.amazon.com/M-DISC-DVD-Cake-Box-Pack/dp/B005Y4NL5I - So the average costs aren't quite as bad as you feared, Multibooter, only $604/1TB. :) Combined with dvdisaster I would think the reliability of this approach would be fairly high. The time to make the necessary copies would still be a factor, but the peace of mind might be worth it.

Cheers and Regards

Edited by bphlpt
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And LG has a model - WH12LS39 - that supports M-disc, BluRay, Lightscribe, DVD, CD, ie everything I know of - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136241 - $79.99 as of today. I have this drive. Nice and quiet as well.

EDIT: The M-Discs are available in 50 packs from Amazon for $136.00 ($2.72 ea) with no tax and free shipping - http://www.amazon.com/M-DISC-DVD-Cake-Box-Pack/dp/B005Y4NL5I - So the average costs aren't quite as bad as you feared, Multibooter, only $604/1TB. :) Combined with dvdisaster I would think the reliability of this approach would be fairly high. The time to make the necessary copies would still be a factor, but the peace of mind might be worth it.

Cheers and Regards

Good, now that we have if not solved, at least easened the cost aspect :), back to the issue.

I personally find that if a DVD survives immersion in liquid nitrogen, it means that it survives immersion in liquid nitrogen ;) (and not necessarily that it will last longer).

The actual Warranty they provide:

The M-DISC™ has a limited lifetime warranty covering defects in materials and workmanship of the product when the product is used as directed and data is written to the M-DISC™ using an M-READY™ drive. Verification that an M-READY™ LG drive was used to write data may be required. If this product is found to be defective, it will be replaced at no cost to you. Product replacement is your sole remedy under this warranty, This warranty does not apply to normal wear or to damage resulting from abnormal use, misuse, abuse, neglect or accident, or to any incompatibility or poor performance due to the specific computer software or hardware used. Consequential or incidental damages, damage to property, liquidated damages, special damages, and any damages for loss of use or data are excluded. Defective discs will be replaced with a new, functionally equivalent blank disc only.

in NO way endorses - not even INdirectly - the actual durability of a recorded media, so, call me tough as you wish :ph34r:, but I won't trust this particular technology (or the claims they make) based on a single test that may (or may not - independently from the results) be only loosely related to actual time passing.

UNdoubtedly these thingies are "tougher" than conventional media, but are they "tough enough"? :unsure:

jaclaz

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... I won't trust this particular technology (or the claims they make) based on a single test that may (or may not - independently from the results) be only loosely related to actual time passing. UNdoubtedly these thingies are "tougher" than conventional media, but are they "tough enough"?

Hey, you brought them up! :w00t::)

Cheers and Regards

Edited by bphlpt
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