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Disk failed to finalize - now data appers to be lost!

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I wonder if anyone out there can help as I have been trying to recover lost data from a dvd-r for over a month and I am still at a loss...

The situation is that I used to copy all my home video to a dvd-r using a Panasonic DVD Recorder. I built up a disk (among others) over the course of a year and when I came to finalise it the recorder had a heart attack during the finalisation (resistor burnt out inside the machine).

Ever since I've been trying to recover the data as it has important sentimental value.

Here's what I've tried so far...

I've tried the disk in another DVD Recorder and the disk is 'unrecognised'

If I open the disk on my PC DVD (Win XP) via My Computer it says the disk has no data. You can physically see that there is data burnt to the disk and I was previously able to watch all the content before the failed finalize.

I tried ImgBurn and Burn4Free applications (on recommendation) to try to 'close' the disc but neither could see anything on the disc so the ‘finalise’ option was not offered.

Most recently I've tried Nero 8 to see what options I have. It also cannot 'see' any data if you try a covert or copy the content BUT if I use the 'Disk Information' option it does show all the tracks I've copied to the disk (each with size in bytes) which is hopeful.

If I try to finalize the disk (using Nero) it fails after 10% stating that the operation could not be completed.

Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions as to what I should try next?

Thanks in advance for any advice. Much appreciated.

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You might try ISOBuster and see if it can locate your files and allow you to copy back to your HDD.
Thanks. I'll give it a try.
Laddyboy thanks for the help.

I think I am definately making progress now I have IsoBuster.

Prior to this I had managed to save a copy of the disk contents to the pc (using Nero) as a .nrg image file. Things looked good as it was the correct file size (1.7gb) but when I converted it to .iso and tried to play the disk it was unrecognised and said there was nothing on the disk.

The situation now is that IsoBuster allows me to see the contents of the disk (major progress). I can see a mix of .ifo and .vob files (sizes are in mb and appear to be correct). I am using the trial version. If I want to 'extract' the files I need to buy a license which is fine with me if it means it'll produce 'usable' data.

What is the general opinion? Is it worth going for? If parts of the disk are damaged can I extract individual .vob files and reproduce their content? (video)

My theory is that the majority of the data on the disk is ok but maybe there is some form of inex file (an .ifo?) that is missing or corrupt so DVD players can't make sense of what's on the disk??? Just a thought.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

If you can get the vob files which actually contain the video and muxed sound, the index/info files (IFO file) and backup (BUP file) can be recreated using IFOEdit.

Edit: changed video amd muxed to video and muxed
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 04 Dec 2007 @ 17:02
Many people swear by ISOBuster and say it works wonders, so if the data is important to you I wouldn't hesitate to pay $30 for it. If there is major damage to the disc it may take hours to recover but it usually does work.

Another option is CD Roller which costs $35
Thanks for all the feedback. This forum has been a huge help so far.

I am going to buy a copy of IsoBuster today and work on the files over the weekend.

I'm making faster progress than expected. I bought IsoBuster today and extracted the data.

I can now view the .vob files within Nero Show Time (i.e. can see my home movies with audio) and according to Nero all I need to do is use the wizard to create a new DVD Movie (add in the .vob files first).

The wizard completes and I am left with a DVD image containing a VIDEO_TS main folder and within it vob, ifo and bup files. This all looked promising but the DVD itself (which has been closed) will not play on any DVD Player (unrecognised media)...

Any ideas what I can do to make the DVD viewable? I've copied the data to a variety of DVD disks (-R and +R) and still no success.

At what speed did you burn it? It's usually best to limit the speed to half the rated speed of the media for best results.

Are you using good quality media like Verbatim?

If you have the Nero history log section for the burn, that'd provide some useful info.

Nero 6: Program Files -> Ahead -> Nero -> NeroHistory
Nero 7: Program Files -> Nero -> Nero7 -> Core -> NeroHistory

Just post back the section that deals with the burn of interest. Be sure to remove your name and Nero serial number before you post.

Have you tried a different DVD player to see if it can read the disk?

If you use +R media you can booktype the disk as DVD-ROM (if your burner supports the function) which may increase your player's ability to read the disk.

Is your burner's firmware up to date?
The wizard completes and I am left with a DVD image containing a VIDEO_TS main folder and within it vob, ifo and bup files. This all looked promising but the DVD itself (which has been closed) will not play on any DVD Player (unrecognised media)...

The image part confuses me (I use NVE3). Redo it in Nero Vision and save the output to a HD folder. Then open the VIDEO_TS folder and click on the VIDEO_TS.IFO file, it should open and play in Showtime. If it does you now know the problem is in the burn and not the conversion.

Looking for a new burner? Check here.
The reviews also help to determine which media gives the best results.
Thanks for all the feedback


The burn speed is 8x (the rated speed of the media is 16x). I’ve used various +R and –R disks which I have used for other DVD copies without any problems.

I’ve tried 2 different DVD players and the firmware is up to date on both.

I will post the log file below in a separate entry.

I think the decoder on the PCs I have been using (with DVD-ROMs) was probably at fault or maybe firmware.

I have tested the disk on dedicated DVD player and it works fine.

Thank you so much for all your input. I've learnt a lot in a short space of time.

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