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DVD Repair, Scratched DVDs and Unfinalized DVDs recovery tips and tricks.  by: Lance Carr 
Simple and (hopefully!) free procedures to handle unsuccessfully finalized DVDs, damaged DVDs or DVDs that have not been burned correctly by a video camcorder, recorder, or burner and has some corrupt data.

It is a good idea for you to first consider other possible causes of what appear to be DVD errors such as a dirty disc surface, a dirty lens in the DVD reader, or other software and hardware related problems. Prior to embarking on any of the following you need to eliminate all possible causes for having trouble with a DVD.
Check to see your DVD burner has the latest firmware by going to the manufacturer's website. Check to see if the media (brand and type) is compatible with your DVD burner/reader. Once you are certain that you have an unsuccessfully finalized DVD or a corrupt DVD you can get started.

Scratched DVD Disks

A simple visual inspection of the surface of the disc will tell you straight away whether your first problem is physical damage to the disc. If you can see a scratch or scratches on the surface then this may need to be addressed first. I say "may" because personally I use DVDFab to check to see if the disc will copy before I embark on any other course of action. DVDFab can read through a lot of surface errors because of its superior algorithms so I always take the lazy route and see if I can simply make a new copy.
Failing that, you could go online and buy some expensive DVD scratch repair kit. Or you could do as I do and go to your local hardware store or even your own garage! All you will need is a bottle of any neutral colored (clear) car polishing product. Turtlewax happens to be the one I use. Take a VERY soft cloth (NOT paper towel), apply a little polish to the surface of the disc and GENTLY (remember, it's not a car!) rub the disc. Use straight strokes from the centre of the disc to the outer edge and continue to do this until you can see the scratch either disappear or reduce noticeably. Then using the same motion and fresh cloth buff the disc back to its original shine.
Now try it with DVDFab. If you are still unsuccessful, repeat the process until you can be certain, again by visual inspection, that the problem is now not coming from a damaged disc surface.

DVD Data Repair/Recovery

The software you can use for this are DVDFab, Nero 8 (trial) and Isobuster. In the case of Isobuster you can try the free features first but failing that the full featured version needs to be purchased. A straight search of Yahoo or Google will find you the relevant sites.

Put the problem disc in the DVD drive of your computer then:

1. DVDFab. Try to use DVDFab first, as it has the best algorithms for reading anything on a DVD including how it integrates with the DVD drive; honestly sometimes I think it would read a bagel if you put it in there!

Select "DVD to DVD." DVDFab will now try to read the contents of the disc and, if it can, write the contents to a folder on your hard drive. It is as simple as that. It is either going to work or not! If it does do it then the copy you now have on your hard drive will be fully repaired and you can then burn a new copy.

Failing that:

2. Isobuster. Using the free functions try to make a disc image file and burn to another DVD. Isobuster has three alternate methods of dealing with data corruption. It can replace the corrupted area with nothing, with fake data or with a series of zeros. It will give you the choice and just select them in order to try each until one works. Isobuster will not create the disc image file unless it knows it will be successful. If Isobuster has created the file (note where it was going to put it first!) you will have to re-name the extension to .iso.
Use the disc image file to burn a new DVD disc. At this point, if you now have a new disc, you need to check that new one carefully. There is always the possibility that Isobuster has just made a perfect copy of your faulty disc! So now you have a brand new faulty disc!

Failing that: You will need to pay for the full version of Isobuster but ONLY buy it if you got this far. If Isobuster free couldn't even read the disc then don't bother.

From this point forward the best you can hope for is the extraction of the MPEG video files or data files on the disc. You ARE going to lose the video menus and you may lose some of the video or data.

a. Start Isobuster then load the disc.

b. When Isobuster has detected the files on the disc run the "Find Missing Files and Folders" option under the "File" menu.

c. You will now have an entry on the left hand column of "files and folders found by their signature."

d. Select that, then go to "File," "Files found via their signature" then "Extract files found via their signature." Choose a location and let it run.

Now you will have all the files where you selected them to go. The ones with the extension .VOB are the MPEG files from your disc wrapped in the VOB container. They can then be imported into a video editing program using the "Import DVD/VR" function or can be read by most DVD burning software.

Unfinalized discs

If at all possible try to get the original device used to create the disc to finalize it. If this is not possible or the original device is failing to successfully finalize the disc, you may have to resort to the Isobuster routine above.

If you have been left with an otherwise perfectly good disc, but unfinalized, do the following.

This requires Nero 8 (Trial version).

Go to the Nero website, download and install Nero 8. (Yes, it's big . . . sorry!)

Place the unfinalized disc into the computer DVD tray.
Open Nero 8 StartSmart.
Click "create and edit" at the top of the screen.
Click "author, edit and capture video." NeroVision 5 will start.
Click on the disk tools drop down menu then click "finalize disk."
In the option box that appears choose "no menus" and let it run.

Hopefully you now have a fully finalized disc that is readable.

Hope this helps!

Lance Carr


About The Author

Lance Carr is not very good at writing about himself in the third person. He is an ex-patriot Australian living in Taiwan running a business consulting company. His grasp of the Chinese language ranges from poor to laughable and in most circumstances his actual use of the Chinese language results in laughter. The silent conversationless world in which Lance lives leaves him plenty of time to research things and that is what he does well. He is particularly good at finding out how to do stuff and relating it to others who are also not necessarily experts in that specific field.


How To Quickly Fix Nagging DVD Drive Problems
 by: Otis F Cooper 


You really enjoy those DVD movies and games and the last thing you need or want is to experience problems with your DVD drive.


To prepare for the possibility of having your DVD drive fail one morning, we will dicuss problems that may cause dvd failure as well as the procedures you should take to correct these problems. 


As with all drives, be sure to double check the failure. If the DVD drive will not read the DVD, try running another DVD in the drive. Make sure the DVD has no scratches and is clean.


Visually inspect the drive if the drive is external and if the drive is enternal, check the computer. Check to see if the computer has good ventilation to help keep it cool. Here are the common dvd problems with their solutions.






First.. For external drives that have no power, first check to see if anything or anyone has caused the power cord to become unplugged. Rule out the wall outlet by plugging in another device such as a radio and see if it plays.


Second... If you've proven the wall outlet to be good, but you still don't have power, check the surge protector for any signs of damage. If the surge protector is good, check the cord.


Third.. If you're certain the surge protector or wall outlet is providing power, double check the cord by plugging it in a few times. If no power is present, you will have to replace the cord or the drive itself.


Internal DVD drives receive their power from the connector from the power supply. Try another connector to the drive. If the internal DVD drive still does not receive power after using another connector, the drive is faulty.






You may experience the tray failing to open. Should this happen, press the button a couple times to see if it will open. If the tray fails to open, reboot your computer and try to open the tray.


When rebooting the system, notice the monitor to see if the drive is recognized by the computer. Some systems will not display

Use something like a long paperclip to insert in the pinhole to open the tray. 
installed hardware during bootup. If this is the case, you will have to access your BIOS to check if the dvd drive is being registered.


You can also try the manual eject button on the drive to get it to open. Use something very small but firm to press in the pinhole in front of the drive to open the tray.


Shut the computer off and unplug it. Use something like a long paperclip to insert in the pinhole to open the tray. The tray may open a couple inches and you can grab it with your fingers to open it completely.






Be sure the Windows operating system is recognizing the drive by clicking on My Computer. Windows XP will show "drives with removable storage". If your drive is present, highlight the drive, right click and select properties. Click on Properties and you should see "This drive is working properly".


If you see another message such as "this drive is not working properly", you may be able to update the device driver. If the drive is not present in My computer, reboot the computer and access the cmos setup.


In the CMOS setup, the DVD drive should be present. The drive may not be properly installed or one of the cables have become disconnected if the drive is missing.


If you check the drive cables and are certain they are connected correctly, it may be that the data cable is faulty and the drive controller may be at fault. And we can't overlook the possibility that the drive itself may be bad.






First.. try another DVD since a dirty or scratched DVD may not play. If the new DVD fail to play as well, check to see if the operating system is recognizing the drive.


Click on My Computer and highlight the DVD drive. Right click and select Properties. The statement "This device is working properly" should be present. If not or you see another message, try to update the device driver.


In the My Computer screen, highlight the DVD drive, and select the Properties screen, select Drivers, and then select "Update device driver".


Another cause may be the Windows Registry is corrupt. You can use software utilities such as PC Bug Doctor to repair your registry. Download this free repair utility at


To make a backup of your registry with Windows 98, just go to Start, select Run, enter scanregw and click OK. This will run Scanregw.exe.


Restore your registry in Windows 98 by typing scanreg / restore at the DOS Prompt. You can also use Winrescue XP at is a neat little utility for backup and restore of Windows XP.



The DVD drive or writer is an awesome storage and data backup drive. Use it to the fullest to enjoy music, video, audio, and more. Understand everything about this drive before something goes wrong.



Should your audio die on you, check the DVD to be sure it is not dirty or damaged. Look at the audio cable for signs of looseness. Inspect this cable to be sure it is inserted in the connector completely and that it is indeed inserted in the correct connector.




If you have a DVD drive, take the time to visit the support web site and download the latest device drivers or patches to keep your drive running at peak performance.




About The Author

Otis F. Cooper is solely dedicated to boosting the knowledge and confidence of every computer user that is serious about knowing computers.Use his informative articles and videos to understand every aspect about the PC. Read more about his formula for pc training at