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Thread: Bad DVD-R help

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  1. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2006
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    I have a TDK 16X DVD-R that I recorded using my set-top Toshiba DVD Recorder in 2006. The DVD worked fine when I first recorded it. I want to copy the DVD but when I insert it into my iMac (G5) drive the computer ties to process the DVD for 30 seconds or so and then ejects the DVD. The same thing happens when I insert it in my Pioneer DVR-112D. When I insert it in my Toshiba recorder, I get a message that the Disk is bad. So my question is two-fold: (1) How do I get either of the DVD drives from ejecting the DVD and (2) is there a program for the mac (preferably a freeware or shareware program) that I can use to recover the the VIDEO_TS folder or at least the VOB files? Thanks.
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2005
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    The method and prospects for recovery depend very much on the nature of the damage. For example, if scratches are the problem, you might be able to polish the disc and restore functionality.

    If the media has degraded more or less uniformly, your options diminish rapidly. In your case, the fact that the disc is no longer readable in the very same drive that produced it is a cause for pessimism. You can try reading the disc in other drives than the one you've tried; different drives -- even ones with the same model numbers -- can have differing sensitivities to degraded media. Try every drive you can get your hands on. Try Windows boxes as well as Macs.

    If the problem is delamination, you're SOL. Discs are made from two halves that are bonded together. If the bonding degrades, several bad things happen. The separation itself degrades focusing. It also provides an opportunity for air and moisture to attack the dye layer. If this has happened, there's usually very little recovery possible.
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    Originally Posted by tomlee59
    The method and prospects for recovery depend very much on the nature of the damage. For example, if scratches are the problem, you might be able to polish the disc and restore functionality.

    If the media has degraded more or less uniformly, your options diminish rapidly. In your case, the fact that the disc is no longer readable in the very same drive that produced it is a cause for pessimism. You can try reading the disc in other drives than the one you've tried; different drives -- even ones with the same model numbers -- can have differing sensitivities to degraded media. Try every drive you can get your hands on. Try Windows boxes as well as Macs.

    If the problem is delamination, you're SOL. Discs are made from two halves that are bonded together. If the bonding degrades, several bad things happen. The separation itself degrades focusing. It also provides an opportunity for air and moisture to attack the dye layer. If this has happened, there's usually very little recovery possible.
    There aren't any scratches, so the problem is probably degradation (I mostly use this brand of DVD and have had no problems with the disks until this one). I will follow your suggestion and see if I can get it to work and then extract on other machines (Mac and Windows), but I am guessing that I am up the proverbial creek. Thanks.
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    I wish you the best of luck!
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  5. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Degradation is unlikely. More likely is the disc was never good.

    But I think you just forgot to finalize this one disc. That's the most likely of all.
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    Degradation is unlikely. More likely is the disc was never good.

    But I think you just forgot to finalize this one disc. That's the most likely of all.
    I am pretty systematic about the discs in terms of naming, finalizing, and then testing before I delete the matches from my DVR, so that wouldn't be the problem. Moreover, I still have the same recorder that I used originally, so in theory if the DVD was not finalized, I should be able to do it now. That was actually what I was hoping would happen, but no luck. Also, if the DVD was bad in the first place then it wouldn't have tested after it was finalized.

    On a similar note, would a non-finalized disc eject from the computer without registering? I have had DVD-Rs that were sent to me by other people eject, but in *every* situation, the DVD that would eject from the Pioneer burner can be read in the Mashita or vice versa. This DVD ejects from both drives.
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    Yup, Macs will not acknowledge an non-finalized DVD. Some PCs
    will, and -- for sure the machine that created it.

    Have you tried a CD/DVD laser lends cleaner? Might Help.
    Al Bloom
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  8. Member
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    Degradation is unlikely. More likely is the disc was never good.
    Given that he said in the OP that he could play the disc in the same recorder right afterwards tells us that it was recorded well at one time. The fact that this same recorder cannot read the disc now tells us that the disc (or recorder; I am assuming that the OP has checked this possibility) has degraded or has otherwise been damaged; it is unlikely that lack of finalization is the problem. I have 3- and 4-year-old discs that are no longer in good shape from having been stored poorly (too much exposure to sunlight), so degradation is a demonstrable phenomenon. Even good media well stored can degrade because of the occasional manufacturing flaw, so you can't dismiss the possibility out of hand. In this case, the OP has given us ample information with which to narrow down the list of suspects.
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  9. Member
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    Degradation is unlikely, but it does happen. I had problems with the notorious RITEK G4's a few years ago and now only us TY. The RITEK did not burn properly - high failure to burn rate, high coaster rate. The RITEK "went bad" after a few months. Well documented on this site.

    Interesting thing is that I was able to recover 95% of the bad RITEK with a new Pioneer burner. Therefore, both the RITEK and old burner were part of the problem. I have never had a read problem with any disc other than the notorious RITEK, but I was able to recover the majority of those with a new quality burner.

    I burn about 6,000 discs a year and replace my burners with new Pioneer about once every year or two. I don't bother with lens cleaning, etc. Burners are cheap.

    Back to the notorious RITEK, I now believe that the RITEK coaster and "went bad" problems were firmware related. I now always use the latest firmware. That's another reason that I buy new burners every once in a while - to get the latest firmware to burn the latest discs out there. Most times there is no firmware available for old burners to burn new discs.
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    Thanks for the additional responses. I haven't had a chance to test it at work, where colleagues work on PCs and I have a g5 tower, but I'm not holding my breath. In response to some of tomlee59's comments/questions. The set-top Toshiba player that I used to record the DVD is still working fine (as a recorder and as a player). I have recorded many many futbol matches since this one that now does not work and have been using TDK 16X DVD-R most of the time (with the occasional Verbatim mixed in when TDK was not on sale and I was out). This is the only DVD-R (as far as I know). I store them in plastic sleeves in shoe boxes without lids. I don't stack them (DVDs or boxes) and the room never gets too hot or too cold (barring the occasional heatwave--I don't have AC).

    I guess the thing that confuses me is that when I have had a bad DVD here and there is that it usually happens right away (i.e., I was copying to a Verbatim DVD-R on my external Pioneer and the DVD froze up when Toast was verifying--the DVD did not play past the same point when I ejected the DVD). I haven't had any coasters after the fact. Take care.
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  11. Member
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    For what it's worth, TDK's quality seems to have taken a nosedive around the time you burned that disc. Burning at its maximum rated speed often produced marginally-burned discs. Over time, "marginal" can turn into "dead" and this may have happened to you. I had enjoyed TDK's high quality for years, and then overnight things went south. I had to throttle back in speed one or two notches to get reliable burns. From what others have posted here and elsewhere, my experience was sadly not unique. I no longer buy TDK media.
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    Originally Posted by tomlee59
    For what it's worth, TDK's quality seems to have taken a nosedive around the time you burned that disc. Burning at its maximum rated speed often produced marginally-burned discs. Over time, "marginal" can turn into "dead" and this may have happened to you. I had enjoyed TDK's high quality for years, and then overnight things went south. I had to throttle back in speed one or two notches to get reliable burns. From what others have posted here and elsewhere, my experience was sadly not unique. I no longer buy TDK media.
    I have read similar criticisms on New Egg when New Egg had a recent sale (i.e., the recent batches of 100 spindles had new codes and seemed to produce more coasters). This DVD that isn't working for me was copied on November 15, 2006. Again, that was with my Toshiba set-top. When I burn, I always burn at 4X no matter the maximum speed of the DVD. What brand of DVDs are you using now?
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  13. Member
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    I got a great deal on a batch of Sony 16x media. It works flawlessly at full speed on all of the burners I own, including the infamously finicky Matsushitas in my Powerbooks. In the past, I've also had great results with Verbatim and Taiyo-Yuden media. I can't recall a bad burn (except for ones that were my fault) on those.
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    Sorry to revive a dead subject I started awhile back but I am finding that I have a lot more DVDs that are from the same batch that seem to be coasters. The thing is that when I can actually get the DVD to stay in the Mac (usually the Matshita tries to read it and then spits it out and my external Panasonic always spits it out), I can use Disc Info in Toast and Toast says that there is data on the Disc although Toast won't recognize the DVD to copy it. Since I probably have 100 different DVDs (I am assuming this was a 100 spindle), I would like to take one more shot. I am by no way skilled in unix, but I am wondering if there is some way to use Terminal to copy the info that is on the DVD to a folder on my desktop. Is this possible and if so, can someone walk me through the steps. Thanks.
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  15. Member ricoman's Avatar
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    Will the disc still play on the original standalone player? If so, check to see if it is finalized. Unfortunately, discs do degrade and the cheaper they are, the faster. I only us TYs, won't even buy Verbs anymore because they have gone down hill. If the drives won't even recognize the discs and you have the latest firmware, I'm afraid there is nothing you can do. You can't even try a CDspeed (Discspeed) scan if the drive won't see the disc. No file recovery software will work it the disc can't be seen.
    I love children, girl children... about 16-40
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    Originally Posted by ricoman
    Will the disc still play on the original standalone player? If so, check to see if it is finalized. Unfortunately, discs do degrade and the cheaper they are, the faster. I only us TYs, won't even buy Verbs anymore because they have gone down hill. If the drives won't even recognize the discs and you have the latest firmware, I'm afraid there is nothing you can do. You can't even try a CDspeed (Discspeed) scan if the drive won't see the disc. No file recovery software will work it the disc can't be seen.
    It will not play on the set-top player, and as I note above, they all have been finalized. Thanks.
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  17. Member
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    About 4 years ago TDK media sold in the USA (I'm guessing that you are American) was top notch, but like just about everybody who sells in the USA, they outsourced to cheap, poor quality manufacturers. Your discs probably date from the time when their media stopped being good. Your only hope will be to try as many different DVD burners as you can and you may get lucky and find one that can read it, but if the disc has degraded (quite possible), there may not be anything you can do.

    I have an iMac because of work and their CD/DVD burner drives are not exactly high quality. The fact that your iMac can't read the disc isn't surprising to me.
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