NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article
My CDROM is Unreadable
by John Clark, WebMaster, January 2001
rcmahq@nwark.com (click to email author)

Those four little words may give one heart murmurs, if not that at least a bad case of depression. At least it did for me because I had some one time copies of files on that disk. What should I do, for the CDROM appeared to be suitable only for a beer coaster.

As usual to solve this type of problem I jumped one the big wire and sent out a request for help from people who have more experience that I have. Immediately the word came back -- check out http://www.CDROM-Prod.com

They have a little 30 day test product called CD-R-Diagnostics and believe me, it works. It is set up to run under W/95, W/98, W/98SE, W/ME, W/NT4.0 and W/2000. Supposed to work on a CD, CD-R & CD-RW type platters. Will also run on a regular CD drive. It will identify files it has found that appear to be retrievable. Now you have to make a decision to determine if it is worth trying to save the files.

To extract the files you will need a registered copy of CD-R-Diagnostics. You may obtain one from the site listed above using e-commerce rules. The system is only 837260 bytes and will be downloaded to you. If on the other hand you do not trust e-commerce and/or your credit card is not on their list, you may call NorthStar Solutions at 1-800-699-6395 and they will accept most any credit card and act as a middle man for you -- same price. I went the NorthStar route and within an hour I had a system.

There are a couple of items to watch out for when you run the program:

    1. It takes a long time to scan the CD and if you interrupt the scanning mode you get to start over. When you start the scan, you may as well plan to do something else for at least a couple of hours. There are a lot of sectors on a CD.
    2. Make sure you have room on your HD to move the files or the system locks up and you get to start over.
    3. In my case there were several files marked as 'Unnamed_nnnn' where nnnn is a number. I found most of these files to be intact and with a bit of work was able to identify and rename the files correctly.

I would recommend this product for any NWA-PCUG member who is working with CD-ROMS. It appears now that there are four things you are guaranteed in life: Death, Taxes, Hard Drive Failures and CD Failures.

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