Reclaim lost data on CD?, Part 2

Dennis Faas's picture

Recall - -

Last week I talked about a utility called ISOBuster, which is able to retrieve data from stubborn DVD and CDs. Unfortunately I wasn't 100% correct when I reported that ISOBuster is freeware. To better explain ISOBuster's 'freeware' functionality, the author of ISOBuster (Peter Van Hove) emailed me the following message:

" Dear Dennis,

I saw in today's newsletter that you mentioned ISOBuster which is GREAT! And you're right, ISOBuster is ideal for data recovery from CD and DVD -- especially for getting data back from CDs created with DirectCD, Drag 2 Disc, InCD, DLA and other similar programs.

Besides a well meant 'thank you' for mentioning ISOBuster, I also wanted to let you know that IsoBuster is not 100% free as you mention. I just thought I'd let you know because (and speaking from experience here) I'm guessing you will be receiving messages now saying ... 'Hey, despite what you said, this software is not free!'

That is because ISOBuster is part freeware and part shareware. A part of the functionality is entirely for free (no nags or anything) and you may use ISOBuster for years and never notice anything. But another part of the functionality needs a valid registration. There are no hidden features but if you run into functionality you need to pay for you get a message saying, "For this functionality you need to register."

OK, so what does ISOBuster do that is free?

All functionality related to the ISO9660, Joliet, Rock Ridge and CD-i file-systems, and everything related to Video CDs etc., and all image-file making functionality. So finding data, extracting (copying) files of this nature will work (which also accounts for the bulk of CDs and DVDs out there).

What needs to be paid for: the actual extraction of files *if* the files come from the UDF or HFS(+) file-systems [macintosh]. So, all functionality is present but if you actually want to extract (copy) a file from the UDF file-system you need a valid registration.

UDF is used by the drag and drop applications that you mentioned. So, DirectCD writes data in the UDF file-system (e.g. before it converts everything to an ISO9660 file-system on CD-R) and hence ISOBuster is not free for recovery from these types CDs and DVDs.

One more remark, a registration (license) for ISOBuster costs 25.95$ US and is deliberately kept low to be able to offer a solution to everybody who needs data recovery from their CD or DVD. Before ISOBuster was created, prices for CD / DVD data recovery went through the roof! In fact, I have seen CD data recovery advertised at up to 2000 $US per disc (can you imagine?).

In closing, I would like to say that I develop software to make a living and with all this free stuff and low prices I realize I will never be rich and be able to afford grand luxury; however, ISOBuster helps to put a roof over my head and brings food to the table. And best of all, I get all this wonderful feedback from people who were able to get their data back ... which makes it all worthwhile!

Thanks again for mentioning ISOBuster in your newsletter. "

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