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Software Verification


Glenn9999
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I ended up with some aftermarket software I'm thinking of flipping.  Problem is it looks like CD-R discs (and even a disc 2 that's reads as blank in my drive).  Seems shady, but I'm wondering if software companies went ahead and used CD-R instead of paying a company to press discs eventually before they went all Internet?  Any thoughts on this one, especially since I'm not seeing a real good way to verify whether this stuff is legit or not?

Edit: Also ended up with a couple of WII discs in the same batch of stuff which won't read in my drive.  Any good way to verify those as good outside of having my own WII unit?

Edited by Glenn9999
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There are certainly some instances where a small company may have made a run of discs themselves and used CD-R and then put a label on it, I have seen it before. There are also times where a contracted company may have used CD-Rs in order to send media to companies, contractors for large companies who could afford pressed discs like Sony. The main issue with CD-R is that they do not stand the test of time as the organic dyes will degrade after many years, so it is not uncommon to find 20 year old CD-R not readable in a drive. But also consider that CD-R from that long ago used to have issues with how they were "mastered" or created that could effect how they could be read. The primary example was that sometimes CD-R could not be read in a CD player outside of a computer, but I do recall some other instances where some CD-R could not be read on a computer that didn't have (for example) Adaptec EZ CD Creator installed.

I have never tried a Wii disc in a computer.

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1 hour ago, Tripredacus said:

There are certainly some instances where a small company may have made a run of discs themselves and used CD-R and then put a label on it, I have seen it before.

I have never tried a Wii disc in a computer.

FWIW, the company in question is Roxio.  Distributed in DVD style cases.  Legit looking cases, very nice looking printed labels.  But quite obviously CD-R or DVD-R if you inspect the discs.  Which is kinda throwing me.  Discs are readable, save that Disc 2 I referred to, which reads as a blank CD-R.  Roxio Creator 2010 and Easy Media Creator 10 Suite.  I heard Amazon distributes CD-R discs themselves for music now (burn a copy, send it out), which basically makes that junk media in my view.  So had to wonder if the trend carries to all physical media or not in trying to figure out if all this stuff I ended up with is legit or not.

As for the Wii discs, figured out they're a totally different format the PC doesn't understand, so I'm likely out of luck verifying those are still good.

 

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Pressed discs are rare to show up as blank in a PC CD drive but there are reasons for it. Primary is any CD that has a "rot" issue, such as some damage to the reflective layer in just the right spot may lead to a disc being unreadable. Another possibility is that if the disc is "Enhanced CD" but the data portion is not compatible in some way. Since on a PC, it will try to read the data content before audio content in Explorer. Then there are discs that are just bad altogether, it is rare and I'd say you're more likely to run into this than incompatible Enhanced CD discs.

I also just looked up Wii discs, it seems concensus is that they are based on DVD format, not CD and the filesystem used isn't something Windows can recognize. There have been some advancement as now there are PC emulators for Wii so someone must have come up with a way for a standard DVD drive to read that kind of disc. In the early days of Wii, you apparently needed some specific LG/Hitachi DVD drive in your computer to read them normally... or say like how you can see what is on a PlayStation disc anyways.

For the Wii discs if you are going to move those, just note that they are untested. There is even a market for defective game discs (on any system) for some reason, but "untested" games is common to see.

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Do you see any tracks on the blank disc with a CD ripper or programs that support browsing many file systems such as IsoBuster? Or Nero InfoTool? Does the disc have a physically visible ring of data on it?

Good CD-R discs last a long time. My oldest disks are about 20 years old by now, and work fine. Several CD drives I owned had failed though, and they refused to read RW, then R, then any pressed disc. Usually when a disc is bad, the drive would spin and seek over it a long time before giving up, instead of reporting it as blank. Could be that the second disc wasn't written to by mistake.

As for verifying the program code, use the same common sense as with downloads from the internet. Always disable AutoRun on the computer. Look at the files, if their size matches the supposed function, try to unpack them with an archiver to look inside, then use an online virus scanner.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/15/2021 at 3:52 AM, j7n said:

Do you see any tracks on the blank disc with a CD ripper or programs that support browsing many file systems such as IsoBuster? Or Nero InfoTool? Does the disc have a physically visible ring of data on it?

 

No on all of those.  Tossing those two simply because it still looks pretty weird on the face of it to me for a major software company to distribute with CD-R or DVD-R.  Course, there's probably no real solid way of verifying it's legit and not a counterfeit, so there's that too.

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