I have a CD which has data written to it. Note: It's not multisession.

I want to know if it is possible to make a certain subset of files on the CD unreadable using a CD-RW drive somehow. I guess hypothetically if I knew which sectors on the CD contained the files physically I could maybe scratch it out to corrupt those specific sections, but obviously I want a more controlled method, like for instance using a CD-RW drive's burning capability.

Of course the idea is to keep the remaining files readable. I am open to methods which may destroy some other files (say same sector depending on file structure) but would retain the remaining majority of files.

  • Scrape it with a knife!!! (such an old, poor question with no accepted answer :( )... – EKons Jul 6 '16 at 11:51

As far as I know this is not possible using a standard CD-RW drive. The difference between CD-R and CD-RW discs is in the type of dye that is used on the disc; the CD-RW-type dye does require a higher power to burn, but applying this laser to a CD-R disc won't render it unreadable. If you have access to a laboratory laser that can be precisely focused on the disc, it might be possible to destroy individual sectors like you mentioned, but this is probably not possible with the CD drive in your computer.

If you want to make the data inaccessible, your best bet is to physically destroy the existing disc and burn a new one containing only the data you want.

  • 1
    I agree, I've never heard of any method where you can surgically remove some files from a CD-R while leaving others intact. – slm Dec 23 '12 at 7:51
  • This is a problem that faces many companies - i.e. how to surgically age data off cd-r media without destroying other data that needs to be kept. Only answer i can think of: copy the files off the cd you want to keep onto a new cd, and shred the old one. – FreudianSlip Dec 23 '12 at 8:00

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