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Udf Reader And Ruined Cds!


Maestro1

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I have an older version of Easy CD Creator Basic (5.3.5.10) that came already installed on my computer. On a few occasions now I have had a problem with reading data CDs I made. All I get is some message about the Roxio UDF Reader being ready to install. I cancelled the installation. When I tried to open the CD or look at its properties, the entire CD is FULL (even though I may have saved only a picture or two on it), and I cannot access any of the data or photographs I saved on that disc. Any attempts to do so result in the same error message about the UDF Reader being ready to install.

 

Can anyone please help me figure out what's going on here and how I can recover any of the information I saved on these CDs? I'm frantic!

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Maestro1,

 

You have been making data discs with Drag-to-Disc it seems, rather than CD Creator.

 

Drag-to-disc uses a system called packet-writing to format a disc to UDF style before writing to it. The formatting reserves almost all of the disc for packet-writing, and only a very small area is written in the "standard" method. There is a UDF reader and an installer put in the tiny standard part of the disc.

 

Normally, if your packet-writing/reading software is working properly, you'll only see the formatted part of the disc which holds your files. However if you don't have properly working packet software or the disc goes faulty, only the tiny standard part is seen and the software offers to install the UDF reader for you.

 

If your packet software or disc is broken you won't see the stuff you've written, the disc will show as full, and you'll be offered the UDF reader. Don't click and accept it, cancel out. It won't try to install the UDF reader if you don't accept it. [We had one person who did click to accept it, and still complains about that.] The UDF reader won't help you in the case of broken software or disc.

 

In contrast to Drag-to-Disc which makes and uses "special" discs, CD Creator uses stock-standard blank discs and writes stock-standard CDROMs or DVDROMs which can be read in any PC without having to have special readers or drivers.

 

That's how you're seeing the UDF writer installer popping up. Now to address what's going on.

 

I'm guessing you're using re-writeable discs, since I can't imagine why someone would want to take out 165 MB of space to format a CD that can only be used once, or several hundred MBs of a DVD that's one-shot.

Re-writeable discs wear out after a certain number of write/erase cycles regardless of whether you're writing them with Drag-to-Disc or Creator, however packet writing wears the system area of the disc out much earlier than standard writing. Once part of the system area doesn't want to write anymore the disc is history and you may loose the directory - major calamity! That's why re-writeables, and especially packet-written ones, should only be used for temporary storage and never for your only copy of something precious.

 

Recovery of data:

If a directory is damaged, Windows may not be able to see your files. If this happens and the data are precious, you should go look at Isobuster from Isobuster.com, or CDRoller from CDRoller.com. Both of these recovery programs are very useful for recovering your data off damaged discs. I think they let you download a free trial to see what files they can recover, but you have to buy the program to do the actual recovery. I wish you good fortune.

 

Suggestions for the future:

Use Creator on blank or erased discs rather than Drag-to-Disc on formatted discs

Use re-writeable discs only for temporary stuff, and never for your only copy of a precious file

 

Regards,

Brendon

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It sounds like you have been using DirectCD, which is a Packet-Writing program. Packet-Writing programs (DirectCD, Drag2Disc, Nero's InCD, Sonic's DLA, etc) are ok for short-term uses like moving data from one compuer to another while the original is safely on the originating computer, but not a reliable way to archive data for the long term. Using RW media will increase the risk of losing data. (RW media is fine for things like testing - of something doesn't work, erase the disc and try something else; if it works, burn to R media.)

 

Try a Recovery program such as cdroller (www.cdroller.com) or ISOBuster (www.isobuster.com). Both have impressive testimonials on their websites and in the Roxio boards. Both have "trial" versions, which let you see if anything can be recovered before you have to pay - your odds are better with CD-R than CD-RW.

 

I'd suggest re-burning anything you manage to recover onto CD-R using Data Project, as well as using Data Project for future saves. You can have more than one session, as long as you "import" the previous session - which will bring forward the TOC [Table of Contents] which enables the earlier session to be located - it doesn't re-burn the files.

 

Lynn

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Maestro1,

 

You have been making data discs with Drag-to-Disc it seems, rather than CD Creator.

 

Drag-to-disc uses a system called packet-writing to format a disc to UDF style before writing to it. The formatting reserves almost all of the disc for packet-writing, and only a very small area is written in the "standard" method. There is a UDF reader and an installer put in the tiny standard part of the disc.

 

Normally, if your packet-writing/reading software is working properly, you'll only see the formatted part of the disc which holds your files. However if you don't have properly working packet software or the disc goes faulty, only the tiny standard part is seen and the software offers to install the UDF reader for you.

 

If your packet software or disc is broken you won't see the stuff you've written, the disc will show as full, and you'll be offered the UDF reader. Don't click and accept it, cancel out. It won't try to install the UDF reader if you don't accept it. [We had one person who did click to accept it, and still complains about that.] The UDF reader won't help you in the case of broken software or disc.

 

In contrast to Drag-to-Disc which makes and uses "special" discs, CD Creator uses stock-standard blank discs and writes stock-standard CDROMs or DVDROMs which can be read in any PC without having to have special readers or drivers.

 

That's how you're seeing the UDF writer installer popping up. Now to address what's going on.

 

I'm guessing you're using re-writeable discs, since I can't imagine why someone would want to take out 165 MB of space to format a CD that can only be used once, or several hundred MBs of a DVD that's one-shot.

Re-writeable discs wear out after a certain number of write/erase cycles regardless of whether you're writing them with Drag-to-Disc or Creator, however packet writing wears the system area of the disc out much earlier than standard writing. Once part of the system area doesn't want to write anymore the disc is history and you may loose the directory - major calamity! That's why re-writeables, and especially packet-written ones, should only be used for temporary storage and never for your only copy of something precious.

 

Recovery of data:

If a directory is damaged, Windows may not be able to see your files. If this happens and the data are precious, you should go look at Isobuster from Isobuster.com, or CDRoller from CDRoller.com. Both of these recovery programs are very useful for recovering your data off damaged discs. I think they let you download a free trial to see what files they can recover, but you have to buy the program to do the actual recovery. I wish you good fortune.

 

Suggestions for the future:

Use Creator on blank or erased discs rather than Drag-to-Disc on formatted discs

Use re-writeable discs only for temporary stuff, and never for your only copy of a precious file

 

Regards,

Brendon

 

Dear Brendon,

 

Thanks so much for the time you took to answer my post in the way you did. As a result, I think I understand things much better now. A few comments...

 

Yes, you are absolutely correct: I have been saving things to a CD-RW using Drag-to-Disc.

 

You are also correct in saying that I've been using rewriteable discs. But I had no idea these had a limited life and were not the best way for storing things long term. Let me ask you this, then: what IS the best way to store things long term? CD-Rs? Zip Drive?

 

The reason I was using Drag-to-Disc is because it allowed me to save things on the disc until it was full...as opposed to saving just a small amount of information on a disc, and then have it "close out" on me, thereby not allowing me to save anything else to it. If I did not use Drag-to-Disc, what would be the best method for saving data long term?

 

I have purchased IsoBuster and will try later tonight to recover the information from my damaged discs.

 

Thanks again for your help - it is much appreciated.

 

 

Dear Lynn,

 

As with Brendon above, thank you for your reply to my post. Both of you have been wonderful in helping me to get to the bottom of this problem.

 

And, like Brendon, you were quite correct in saying that I was using CD-RWs and using Drag-to-Disc to save my data.

 

I gather from your reply that you're saying it's best to save to a CD-R.

 

Your last paragraph was probably the most helpful. If I understand you correctly, I should use the Data Project option in Easy CD Creator, and always ensure that I import the previous session. Doing so will enable me to have multiple sessions and save information on the disc until it is full. Do I have all that right?

 

Boy, one is never too old to learn!

 

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Boy, one is never too old to learn!

You're dead right. Look at Lyn and me! :lol:

Lyn has learned a lot from the gurus here.

 

The reason I was using Drag-to-Disc is because it allowed me to save things on the disc until it was full...as opposed to saving just a small amount of information on a disc, and then have it "close out" on me, thereby not allowing me to save anything else to it. If I did not use Drag-to-Disc, what would be the best method for saving data long term?

 

Drag-to-Disc is fine for temporary work - [Lyn and I differ there, as she thinks it's the devil's spawn and only good for 'permantly' losing data]. But especially when combined with an RW disc it's a bit too shakey to entrust your only copy of a treasured file to. No problems to use it to amass a bunch of files to burn, as long as the originals are saved elsewhere.

 

In the days when we were very proud to have a 470 MB hard drive, you couldn't store files until you had enough to fill a 700 MB CD unless you used a packet-writer. However, now a Terrabyte drive [1000 GB or thereabouts] is a reality, and I think the price-break [cheapest cost per GB] is at the level of 640 GB drives which are really cheap. Given this amount of space, it's not an issue to store files on your hard drive until you have enough to fill a 4.7 GB DVD, and that's the path I'd recommend.

 

You can build up enough files to eventually fill a disc by using Creator and writing sessions on an 'R' disc. It is a lot safer than using packet-writing and an RW disc, but probably getting an extra decent-sized hard drive is easier and it would be just as safe if you kept your precious stuff duplicated on your original small hard drive as well.

 

When it comes to archival storage, burn a couple of sets of DVDs with Creator on DVDRs in standard format, and store each set separately if the data are precious. The DVDRs [DVD+ or DVD- doesn't matter] should last happily for decades if stored flat, cool, dark, and dry. I wouldn't recommend Zip discs except as temporary storage due to their small size [100MB or 250MB] and fragility - [the dreaded 'click of death'], and things like USB pendrives are just as temporary.

 

Regards,

Brendon

 

 

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Brendon is correct about the "click of death" on Zip drives. The more changes you make, the likelier it is to eventually arrive, altho I think what started my problems was not realizing WinXP is NOT JOKING about using the 'eject' icon in the tray before unplugging (I detest WinXP).

 

Of course, if you don't have a DVD burner but do have a CD burner, you can continue to use CDs - but use R media if you want to keep it long-term.

 

I've not used my Flash drives quite the same way as I used the Zip discs or the (very dead) formatted RW media, as I've not erased anything other than AVG 8 (ick!!) - generally by the time one starts looking full, I have another drive or two that was too inexpensive to resist. So I don't know about Brendon's previously unmentioned comment on Flash drives can also have that problem.

 

But basicly, the more ways you have data backed up, the better. Whatever is left of my Zip discs is what was copied to the 2nd Hard Drive of the WinXP, and then copied onto DVD before that drive died as part of the WinXP crashing.

 

Digital Guru Jim Hardin recommends multiple copies, stored in different locations.

 

Lynn

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Dear Guru Brendon and Guru Lyn,

 

The oddest thing...

 

I'm trying to burn/save stuff to a CD-R, and my Roxio Easy CD Creator won't recognize the disc. If I put a CD-RW in the drive, no problem. CD-R? Problem! Now I know I've used CD-Rs in the past, mostly to burn music CDs using Windows' Media Player.

 

Any idea(s) as to why I'm having this problem. (I'm using Windows XP Home with SP3.)

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The oddest thing...

 

I'm trying to burn/save stuff to a CD-R, and my Roxio Easy CD Creator won't recognize the disc. If I put a CD-RW in the drive, no problem. CD-R? Problem! Now I know I've used CD-Rs in the past, mostly to burn music CDs using Windows' Media Player.

That is the oddest thing ! :blink:

 

I think it's a hardware problem with the drive, rather than something gone wrong with Easy CD Creator. Can you check please, by burning a disc with Windows Media Player?

 

If that works we look hard at Easy CD Creator, but if Windows Media Player can't burn a disc either then we have to think the drive is misbehaving.

 

Regards,

Brendon

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Guru Brendon,

 

I've just tried to burn an audio CD-R disc, and I keep getting a message saying..."Please insert a blank disc..." I have no problem burning to a CD-R on my laptop using Easy CD Creator, so it seems like it's the drive that may be playing up. I have no trouble playing a CD from my desktop drive, though.

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Hi Maestro,

 

You didn't say what you "just tried to burn an audio CD-R disc" with, but I'm guessing it was with Windows Media player. If that's so, then we have two different burning programs which aren't being told that there is a blank disc in the drive. I suspect that the drive is failing you.

 

There is one more test you could try. Disable 'Direct CD', the packet-writing system, or else disable that drive for Direct CD. Then try the built-in XP writing system to make a data CD.

 

If the XP system won't work, then I think it's pretty conclusive that the drive isn't recognizing the blank CD-R, and so it isn't telling the writing system that it's ready to write. - A drive fault. The software is sitting waiting for the green light, but never gets it.

 

The fact the drive will recognize a CD-RW or a pressed commercial CD but not a blank CD-R, is unusual but obviously not impossible. A drive cleaner disc might improve it, but I don't expect it will. You may need to get another disc drive.

 

If you get a newer drive you can almost guarantee that Direct CD and possibly Easy CD Creator itself might fail to recognize the drive. If this happens I should be able to give you a registry patch which will let you use the drive to read your older discs, but I would advise that you only use Easy CD Creator on blank discs [and not Direct CD on formatted discs] to write with in the future.

 

Best regards,

Brendon

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