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A colleague brought over a DVD which a friend of his created as a backup from his computer, due to malware or whatever on his computer.

This is basically the ultimate fuzzy question, but here's what I know.

He used a backup program he found on his HP laptop. Since he was an idiot (I can only assume he was), he didn't write down the name of said program, nor did he check the contents of the DVD after making his backup. The laptop was then returned to the outlet for a full restore.

The DVD is a DVD+R Philips DVD. The DVD, when popped into my DVD drive, claims that there is 265 MB free out of 4.37 GB. The contents, when opened, is empty, no files (I've looked for hidden and system files as well.)

My initial hypothesis is that he's managed to write a second session with an empty TOC onto the drive, thus hiding the contents. Is this possible?

Or, he managed to not close the session. Is this possible? How would I know?

I'm basically looking for hints as to what I should look for on this DVD to see if there is any content on it at all.

Is there some software program I can use that would look at the contents in a more detailed manner? I tried downloading a program called "CD & DVD Analyzer", but it apparently won't even start the installer, so that didn't help.

I opened up ImgBurn, selected the Verify mode, and let it run a few seconds, and the info-pane contains the following, I'm afraid it doesn't tell me anything because I don't know how to interpret that information:

HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GT20L DC03 (ATAPI)
Current Profile: DVD+R

Disc Information:
Status: Incomplete
State of Last Session: Empty
Erasable: No
Sessions: 4
Sectors: 2 157 040
Size: 4 417 617 920 bytes
Time: 479:22:40 (MM:SS:FF)
Free Sectors: 136 016
Free Space: 278 560 768 bytes
Free Time: 30:15:41 (MM:SS:FF)
Next Writable Address: 2159088

TOC Information:
Session 1... (LBA: 0)
-> Track 01  (Mode 1, LBA: 0 - 1103583)
Session 2... (LBA: 1103584)
-> Track 02  (Mode 1, LBA: 1103584 - 2156639)
Session 3... (LBA: 2156640)
-> Track 03  (Mode 1, LBA: 2156640 - 2157039)
-> LeadOut  (LBA: 2157040)

Track Information:
Session 1...
-> Track 01 (LTSA: 0, LTS: 1101536, LRA: 0)
Session 2...
-> Track 02 (LTSA: 1103584, LTS: 1051008, LRA: 0)
Session 3...
-> Track 03 (LTSA: 2156640, LTS: 400, LRA: 0)

Disc Control Blocks Information:
TSSTcorp TS-L632N

Physical Format Information (ADIP):
Disc ID: MBIPG101-R05-01
Book Type: DVD-ROM
Part Version: 1
Disc Size: 120mm
Maximum Read Rate: Not Specified
Number of Layers: 1
Track Path: Parallel Track Path (PTP)
Linear Density: 0.267 um/bit
Track Density: 0.74 um/track
First Physical Sector of Data Area: 196 608
Last Physical Sector of Data Area: 2 491 711
Last Physical Sector in Layer 0: 0

Physical Format Information (Last Recorded):
Disc ID: MBIPG101-R05-01
Book Type: DVD-ROM
Part Version: 1
Disc Size: 120mm
Maximum Read Rate: Not Specified
Number of Layers: 1
Track Path: Parallel Track Path (PTP)
Linear Density: 0.267 um/bit
Track Density: 0.74 um/track
First Physical Sector of Data Area: 196 608
Last Physical Sector of Data Area: 2 491 711
Last Physical Sector in Layer 0: 0

Ok, this looks promising. I installed IsoBuster, though in free version for now, and it shows me the contents, though it won't extract any of the files without a license, so it looks like this might work as soon as I get the guy to pay for the license.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

IsoBuster has some free functionality that might be enough in your case :

If you install IsoBuster and want to make use of the free functionality only, click the "Free Functionality" button when prompted. If you run into functionality that needs to be paid for, you will be prompted.

There are also alternatives to IsoBuster:

PowerISO has a trial version.

CD Recovery Toolbox Free might also be useful.

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CD Recovery Toolbox Free doesn't seem to want to look at the disc at all, and PowerISO complains about the file format(?) not being supported. Will look for other programs before paying for IsoBuster. –  Lasse V. Karlsen Mar 25 '11 at 14:33
    
Added some more info regarding IsoBuster. –  harrymc Mar 25 '11 at 14:42
1  
I purchased the IsoBuster license, will be refunded by the owner of the disc, and it is currently copying out all the files. –  Lasse V. Karlsen Mar 25 '11 at 14:54

Status: Incomplete

The DVD has not been finalized.

State of Last Session: Empty

This is ambiguous, I would say that the state field is empty, so it doesn't know what happened to last session.

Sessions: 4

There are sessions, so there is most likely data written to the DVD.

Sectors: 2 157 040
Size: 4 417 617 920 bytes
Time: 479:22:40 (MM:SS:FF)
Free Sectors: 136 016
Free Space: 278 560 768 bytes
Free Time: 30:15:41 (MM:SS:FF)
Next Writable Address: 2159088

Correct, there is data written to the DVD.

But the last session might have not been properly written nor has the DVD been finalized,
thus there is data on the disk but it's unlikely that you can read it this way.

@harrymc mentioned software that can do this, or you can go for a hardware USB hack.

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Or, he managed to not close the session. Is this possible?

This seems most likely to me, as it's the default way windows wants to burn data DVDs.

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Without risking the DVD contents, how can I find out that this is what happened? –  Lasse V. Karlsen Mar 25 '11 at 14:10
    
I added some information that ImgBurn gave me, does that tell you anything? –  Lasse V. Karlsen Mar 25 '11 at 14:12
    
@Lasse sorry, I'm as clueless with imgburn as you, but lines 5 & 6 in that report don't look promising. You might try if an undelete utility can read it at a lower level - there are a couple questions on superuser that can point to some options there. –  Joel Coehoorn Mar 25 '11 at 14:16
    
IsoBuster shows me the contents, I don't know which backup program that made the files but that wasn't what was asked of me either, just waiting for the guy to spring for a IsoBuster license so I can use the extraction functionality and it should be OK. There is a autorun.wbcat file on the drive, so it looks like this might be just plain Windows Backup. –  Lasse V. Karlsen Mar 25 '11 at 14:24
    
@Lasse - Windows Backup would make a lot of sense –  Joel Coehoorn Mar 25 '11 at 14:27

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