Lost files when burning to CD-R

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stoo_pid | 18:10 Thu 11th Aug 2005 | Technology
3 Answers
Just spoken to a friend who had been copying files from their HD to a CD-R.  The first 2 CD's apparently copied fine. The 3rd CD seemed to go through the burning process OK but when completed the CD was blank apart from one folder (this was confirmed on a separate PC).  Also, the original files seem to have gone from the HD.  The trash can is apparently empty & a search of the HD for the named files / directories came up with no results.

All I know is its a new Dell PC using XP Pro & the CD-writing software is XP.

Anyone have any ideas what may have happened?


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Should have said that these were 3 separate transactions, with 3 different sets of files & folders.  The files associated with the first 2 transactions are still visible on the PC.
Well, I'll start by first saying that the in-built CD burning functionality of WindowsXP is utterly pants, and if you want to transfer inmportant information onto discs, you or your friend should really use something better, like Nero or, if you don't want to pay anything, CDBurnerPro XP, which is freeware and very comprehensive at that.

An empty disc following a seemingly successful write session is usually the result of a high level of PI errors. Essentially, the CD-ROM ISO standard allows for a certain number of errors when burning. In fact, almost every time you burn a disc, there'll be minute errors on it. If they are within the tolerance level of the burning standard, then error correction will nullify them and make the data perfectly readable, if not, then upon inserting the disc into a drive, it'll either stay in a constant phase of "data scan" or just show it as being empty.

Proper programs like I've mentioned actually allow you to "verify" discs and check them for error before finishing the session by comparing the data on the new CD to that which it was written from, and then alert you of any non-matching files.

As for why the data has been lost, that's a bit of a mystery to me. When writing a CD, the software usually doesn't write it using the actual files, but rather a copy of those files that it makes temporarily, often known as an image. So, technically, it shouldn't have done anything to the original data. Is it possible your friend could have mistakenly deleted the original data when he thought the CD had been burnt successfully?
Question Author

thanks Mobius1.  I was also confused why the files from the HD had gone missing.  My first thought was that they had dragged & dropped the files into a different directory.  4 problems though:

  1. They said they hadn't D&D'd but had right-clicked on the folder containing the files and selected the 'Send To' function
  2. The window confirming the CD writing process, complete with progress bar, had come up for the files
  3. A search of *.* (including hidden files) didn't show the missing files
  4. The recycle bin only contained previously deleted items (so they hadn't even somehow deleted them & then emptied the bin)

I'm at home to day so I'll have a dig round the microsoft site for any helpful KB articles.  Til then if anyone has any additional input I (& my rather frustrated friend!) would be most grateful.  Oh, it turns out it's not a Dell, they think it's an HP but I'm assuming at this stage it's more likely to be a software issue than hardware.

p.s. Apparently they already have Nero so I'm told that will be used from now on...

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