This article originally appeared in the Chicago Tribune on March 25th, 2002.  It has since been removed from the Chicago Tribune public archive, so we have captured it here.  Please note that the articles refers to CD-ROM Productions, the parent company of InfinaDyne.  InfinaDyne has since moved to Grayslake, IL from Lincolnshire.

James Coates

James Coates
Diagnosis good for recovering lost data on CD
Published March 25, 2002

Q. I recently e-mailed you about a problem I had in opening a CD-R after I had added to it, and only the added portion would open, thus making it impossible to access a very large collection of personal genealogical data on that disc.

Anyway, I received an e-mail from Paul Crowley with CD-ROM Productions advising me that they had seen what you wrote and advising me that they had what I needed to open the malfunctioning CD.

Making a long story short, after running a demo they e-mailed me, I bought and downloaded the full program, and it works like a charm. It will save me many hours of going through my old WWII pictures and others, scanning and tweaking them.

The cost of under $50 was well worth it even if I never have to use it again. Thanks again for all of your help.

-- Jim Meeks, Tampa, Fla.

A. We're both lucky to have heard from Paul Crowley, Mr. M. CD-ROM Productions, which changed its name to Arrowkey on March 1, is based near Chicago in Lincolnshire, and, as we both discovered, the company has become Johnny on the spot as untold hordes of consumers are horrified to fall into this trap of ruining CD-R discs just as they are about filled up with treasured data.

Apparently, a great many CD-R users encounter this problem when they use their CD-burning software to close off a CD and later mistakenly write another session onto the same disc. When this is done, the second session overwrites the directory for data on the first session, and computers can't find the earlier data.

Crowley's software displays icons for all of the files on one of these fouled-up CDs and lets users recover data by dragging the icons for each file onto the desktop.

It's not exactly a cakewalk using this recovery software, called CD-R Diagnostic, but it's well worth the added effort when valuable data is at stake. I almost was as delighted as you must have been to see the program ferret out lost data on CDs.

The company's Web site (www.cdrom-prod.com/) should be in the bookmarks of everybody in America with a CD-R drive on their PC.

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Contact Jim Coates via e-mail at jcoates@tribune.com or via snail mail at the Chicago Tribune, Room 400, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago IL 60611. Questions can be answered only through this column. Add your point of view at chicagotribune.com/askjim.

Copyright 2002, Chicago Tribune