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CD data unaccessible, but free space indicates it's there


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#1
Golden Butterflies

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First of all, my apologies if this is in the wrong forum. I couldn't figure out where to put this, and the computer I'm using is a Vista machine so I figured that would be the closest option. Please move this if necessary, and let me know where it should have gone!

Now, to the problem. I'm stuck on dialup for long periods of time in absence of access to any wireless hotspots etc. As a result, I have been saving all of the stuff from my online writing and games on a "Windows Live File System" CD. Though I don't know for certain which format it used, my computer's default seems to be UDF 2.01 and I usually use the default. I believe that's the case with this disc. Either way, it's one of the formats that allows multiple sessions and the deletion/renaming/etc. of files as if it were a flash drive, but with the necessity of closing sessions afterward. This has worked fine on three previous discs, and seemed to be working fine on my current one. Unfortunately, not so much anymore.

I remember the last time I used my computer (about a day ago), I added a page to the disc. I can't remember with certainty whether I closed the session, but I feel as if I did. I'd say I'm 80% certain, at any rate. I removed the disc before turning off my computer. I've never had trouble with the timing of removal before, so I doubt that's the case.

Tonight, however, when I went to use the disc, my computer didn't bring up the "Open folder to view files" dialog etc. that it normally does when inserting new discs. I wondered if I accidentally set a default, so accessed it via My Computer. The disc shows up as empty when I try to open or explore it, but the data available indicates the right numbers. 478 MB used, 224 MB free. Needless to say, this is countless hours of data on dialup and I don't even know where to begin with resaving the stuff. (Copying an ever-changing disc for backup just isn't practical, sadly.)

Just to be certain, I have tried inserting another disc of the same format. It works as expected. This problematic disc, when I attempt to go to properties and 'error checking' says that it can't be checked due to not having a format. Obviously, I cancelled instead of formatting the disc.

Is there any way to restore, access, or transfer the data on this disc? If so, or even if you have a theory that might work, please help me as soon as you can. (And thanks in advance, to anyone who can help!)
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#2
Macboatmaster

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Deleting them is a well known cause of this error on Windows Live file system on the Vista O/S.

Whether or not you have done this, I recommend as a first step -

Try the CD in an XP computer frequently that will read them when Vista will not.
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#3
Macboatmaster

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Golden Butterflies

It is now some 16 days since you asked for help and you have not yet responded.

Please do respond to your topics when you ask for assistance.

Thank you
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#4
Golden Butterflies

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Eew, I didn't even realize. I could have sworn I did reply, but I guess that's what happens with poor internet. Sorry!

And thanks for the advice, as well. As it would turn out, a few days after your post I did manage to get to an XP computer with the disc and recover most of the files. I feel like some are missing, but that may just be an oversight on my part. Either way, the vast majority was able to be saved to the XP Computer then burned onto a new disc, saving me a lot of time and effort. So I do greatly appreciate it!

In the meantime, I had tried a strange, little data recovery program but it was more trouble that it was worth and didn't really keep structure or images (for saved webpages) in tact.
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#5
Macboatmaster

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Thanks for replying.
Please come back of course if you do have problems.
It is so difficult with dial-up.
Hope you can get to broadband soon.
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