A Windows admin's guide to removable media storage

CDs and DVDs don't last forever. If something goes wrong on such a disk, you'll want to know about it -- or, better yet, be able to recover the data if possible. We've gathered this collection of tips and advice to help.

CDs and DVDs are much more reliable than floppies, but they don't last forever. Even under the best environmental conditions, some writeable removable media storage devices only last for a few years. Magnifying the problem is that the Windows operating system has its own way of handling CD and DVD media, which makes data recovery all the more difficult.

In this guide, you'll find troubleshooting advice for these removable media storage devices, as well as recommendation of freeware that can help ensure that data on these devices can always be retrieved.


Removable Media Storage Fast Guide

  Introduction
 CD/DVD cleaning discs may do more harm than good
 Data recovery freeware works on CD and DVD media
 Recover data from unreadable CD/DVD-ROMs
  CD/DVD drives slow down after consecutive read errors
 Troubleshooting compact discs and CD drives
 Blocking use of CD drives in WinXP for security reasons
 Troubleshooting CD/DVD-ROM devices in Windows
 Hybrid CD/CD-R technology offers on-the-fly encryption

This was first published in August 2006

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