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  1. Member
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Search Comp PM
    Hello everyone - I am just an old Brit end user and hardly and IT skillful person!...however I am trying to convert the family video records from old (!!) cd's to mp4 format to avoid any further degrading. I have the conversion software and it works fine.

    BUT - it will not read/open some VOB files and I wonder if anyone knows any software for dummies that would help. I have tried several brand names but they do not work with these 'frozen' VOB's . Usually there is only one dead file on some disks; other disks with same vob files read with no probs.

    Cannot handle code writing or major adapting of existing code ( I think!)....but maybe able to follow some clear idiot proof method with basic code adapting.

    Thanks for any help anybody; this is our whole married life (27 years) on disc here and I hope to preserve it for ourselves the the other generations; if I live long enough of course!

    keep safe and well
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  2. Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    United States
    Search Comp PM
    First, are you using Windows, Mac or Linux? I'm only familiar with Windows. ISOBuster and ISOPuzzle (more about this below) are Windows only and I don't know if there are Mac or Linux equivalents.

    I hope you mean DVDs, not CDs.

    What programs are you using? Sounds like you're converting/encoding to .mp4. Don't do that. For archival purposes, just remux (place it in another container) so you retain the full original quality. Use MakeMKV which will RIP (create an exact bit for bit copy of the original video) and remux (place the video into another container) to .mkv, which will play in most devices. If you need to convert to .mp4 for compatibility reasons, you can do that from the .mkv. But keep the .mkv for archival purposes.

    On to disc issues.

    Do the errors always occur at the same place?

    On DVDs, check the underside of the discs for any scratches, dust/dirt or discolored spots or rings. They're probably burned discs and the color on the underside on DVDs should be a consistent blue/purple and spots may indicate separation of the recording layer (unrecoverable) and rings may indicate a bad burn. DVDs are read from the center out, so you can estimate if the bad area(s) are where the error occurs. On CDs, check for underside AND the topside for scratches. The recording layer on most CDs are silver, so you can't really see bad burn/degradation errors. But since there's no additional plastic top layer on CDs, a scratch on the top may cause read errors. Hold the CD up to the light and if there are any there are any pinholes or larger that let the light through, that section is damaged and unreadable.

    Try a different reader(s). Sometimes a bad disc can be read with a different reader. External USB DVD drives are cheap, as little as $20 in the U.S. and it's always good practice to have at least one extra for troubleshooting.

    Try recovery software like ISOBuster (recommended) or ISOPuzzle (free) to extract the raw data from the disc. Let the program run through their course as it may take hours, days or weeks to complete as it continually starts and stops reading the bad sections of the disc. If the progress seems to be stuck, leave it for a least several hours to see if changes. They'll display an error message if they fail. Try ISOPuzzle first as ISOBuster will check the disc and show how much data can be recovered, but you need to pay for the software to do the actual recovery.
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