09/07/2006

Adaptec-Roxio: Reading Unreadable CDs

Man, what a hassle! What a relief! I've spent the last few days trying to retrieve files from some CDs burned with Adaptec's (now Roxio's) EZ CD Creator and DirectCD version 5 software.

Unfortunately, this software had come on our old Win98 system (yes, we still have one of those) but the CD burner drive had long since died. Any attempts to use a new Sony CD burner, or an old CD burner, failed — either the drive was not recognized by the Adaptec software, or we were unable to update the software drivers (which were needed for the new Sony drive. I guess). And, of course, Roxio itself is no longer supporting the version 5, beyond providing the updaters which we couldn't use.

At any rate, courtesy of information provided by the kind folks at the Roxio forums, I was eventually able to extract files at will using ISObuster; well worth the $29.95 price tag. I was even able to use the trial version to test first (to see if it could locate and read the files on one of the CDs) before purchasing (so that I could save). Excellent.

Also from the Roxio forums, an important note from the Best Backups? thread at the Roxio forums:

If it is a question of having a spare copy (but not one that can be revised at will), CD-R and DataProject is reasonalby save – the caution is CD-RW. CD-R is "burned" by "cooking" a dye with the laser; CD-RW is "burned" (at a lower temperature) by the laser melting and recrystalizing an aluminum alloy – which promptly begins to de-crystalize – taking all the data with it.

Or, to have something that can be revised at will, use an External Hard Drive, or Flash drives (aka Thumb / Jump / Pen / Keychain drives).

I'd say that's something to know. :)

Updated: via Dan, a link to Breaking the Myth: CDs Can be Damaged and Can Deteriorate.

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