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  1. Member ahhaa's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
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    Michigan USA
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    I started working on shovelling all my old backup CDs onto a new mogambo hard drive, to reorganize and burn updated DVD versions. A lot of them are so old they are backups of Stone Age floppies & zips!

    One group is significantly failing out of two, and failing in a very annoying way.
    The CD spins, and a menu appears, but when it is dragged to the destination icon it either burns some of the files, or just spins incessantly (locking up the machine). If it burns some of the files, it leaves a mystery as to what got copied and what didn't, and if you have folders inside folders its a real nightmare.

    They were all burned about the same time, and on a new machine, back in 2000 & 2001. They are all (I think) Verbatim discs, and were spotchecked at the time.

    As I said there are two groups: the group that were pen-labelled & stored in a fairly-good-quality sleeve compartment in a zipper folder. This group has mostly read into the hard drive's archive with no problems.

    The group that has almost completely failed was adhesive-labelled with full inkjet artwork, using a Stomper and name brand top-quality labels.
    I can see no defects in the labels or from the labels; no bubbles, failed adhesive or signs the adhesive has pulled away the CD coating. Due to the labels I can't confirm they are all Verbatim discs.

    The other possible factor is that this group was stored in those thin, hard plastic Jewel cases with the one sherbert colored side. These were kept in a crate-like wooden case.
    While never exposed to direct sunlight, the failed discs were not kept in total darkness like the ones in the zipper case.

    If you'd asked me before I discovered this, I would have said the opposite would happen- the zippered up discs would be the most likely to fail.

    Anyway... I'm posting this so those of you with antique archives of 386 software and ebay pix from the Golden Age' or uhoh- digital wedding albums - might take the Xmas $ale chance to get a big HD and re-backup your oldest disc-based backups!
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  2. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    Jun 2002
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    canada
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    Remove the labels and try again,it's well know that labels causes all kinds of read problems with discs,i had to remove the labels off my old cds before i could rip them.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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  3. Member
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    Jan 2007
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    Republic of Texas
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    Download ISOBuster and see if you can do salvage backups. There have been warnings about the chemicals in label adhesives seeping into the discs themselves. I never knew if that was a myth or not, but your situation provides compelling evidence against sticky labels on CDs. (They've always been a no-no for DVD discs.)

    Good luck.
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  4. that's about what i would expect. what most folks don't realize is that the optical writing layer of a cdr is right on the top. it's not covered with a plastic stamper like dvdr medium, just some paint on most of them. any sticky label has solvent in the glue and can cause damage to the dye layer of a cdr.
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  5. Try soaking them in warm sudsy water to remove the label,then use ethyl alcohol to remove the adhesive.
    The damage may be irreversible but it's worth a try.

    Good luck
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  6. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
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    USA
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    Maybe not the dye layer as I don't know that a CD has that, but the thin aluminum layer (I think it's aluminum) that is at the top of the disc under another thin layer of lacquer or paint is damaged. Novices have learned about that the hard way if they have ever used a ball point pen to write on a CD. Very easy to damage the writing layer. Usually if the writing layer is damaged you can visually see the problem.

    I would definitely try to remove one of the labels and see if that cures the read problem. Soaking in a mild soap solution in warm water is a good way to start. It is possible the aluminum writing layer has been damaged, if so, little hope of full recovery, but ISO Buster or dvdisaster or ISOPuzzle would be worth a try.
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  7. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    I would not advise soap and water for CD LABELS. For DVD LABELS, yes. But the water will damage the foil layer.

    I would try to use ISO Puzzle, a better CD/DVD reader drive, finger crossing and prayer.
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  8. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    I admit, I have never tried to soak off a old CD label. I do have some old cheap CDs that show corrosion of the foil at the edges, so apparently the foil isn't as well sealed as in a DVD. If the foil itself has damage, then the label may not be the problem.
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  9. under the reflective shiny layer is an organic dye layer - cyanine, phthalocyanine or azo. it's pretty much attached to the reflective layer. the edges aren't sealed well at all and there are fungi that can get in and munch on the dye even if the disc isn't damaged in any other way.
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  10. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    Just put dishwashing liquid and very warm water on the label side and peel away,i've done this with lots of cds that had labels and it fixed all the read problems,If the discs are damaged due to rot then it wont make any difference.

    I have never seen damage done with the way i've cleaned cds.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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