OLD CD's wont release .jpeg pictures


Distinguished Member
Now I'm using Win7 PC with extra Drives, I want to get my collection of photos stored.
In the past there have ben tales of Woe over "Archiving" and I've followed these "hints" and I backed-up jpeg photos on an old USB-HDD - which appears to play.

My issue is really with the CD's - these were mostly burnt under WIn98 using NERO as there are INDEXES with NRI files stored along with the various folders of Photos.
But non-reading CD's reveal no files at all!​
When the Photos read correctly ( usually off the HDD), they are jpeg and still work in Picture Viewer and Paint-Shop-Pro . . . so I'm happy they are Good.
[ I plan to copy them into Year-Folders once I have a straight copy of the files - that way I "should" avoid Duplicates ] . . . . Oddly, the picture numbers ( given by the same Panasonic camera ), have several large gaps, often several hundreds and there is a corresponding gap in the "Properties" Date info . . . a whole month....within a HDD folder that plays OK
Missing Numbers:
However, without solid evidence, it's possible I was busy and not taking pictures, however unlikely that seems as I used the camera as a Visit-Note-Book. . . .

For now, I'm more concerned that several recorded CD's won't play. I'm considering getting a new USB Optical Drive, in case this is the problem, although the CD/DVD R/W Optical Drive in the Desktop is working OK with known-good media..... These are all home-burnt media.

I have looked for NRI file info, but this seems to confirm it's a NERO format - possibly useful to burn Covers . . . which I never did.

My requirement now is to transfer to a new HDD, to keep the pictures a few years longer. The original SD cards were re-used due to the high cost then. So only the CDs remain, along with some of the old-HDD files.
Some CD's have messages in ink on them _ "Does not verify" - and usually there is a duplicate/replacement . . . so I'm guessing they all "verified" at the time. Sometimes several CD's are copied to a DVD so that's another source for "missing files" - but I suspect the large-gaps are down to "Housekeeping" failure on my part - not helped by Nero insisting on burning an Index that I cannot Edit.... and only if I burn the Data in a specific way as I recall it was close to a nightmare since what you want is a sensible INDEX on the Disc where the data is stored - but I won't allow this...the INDEX can only be burnt onto the next-disc. Very odd.
That aside - the playable CDs confirm that they contain Photos of the years expected, it's just that some don't read at all.

Thoughts on recovering old home-burnt CD's ?



Distinguished Member
If those CD's were burned back in late 90's or early 2000's then your lucky they are readable at all. Writeable CD/DVD's are not a long term archiving suitable format.

Verify in the CD-R sense meant that after a burn the software would then read back the disc to verify the contents burned successfully which was by no means guaranteed as the quality of CD/DVD-R media varied a lot.

As for reading discs well that's the tricky part, the days of high quality CD/DVD drives went by a decade ago who's left I'm not so sure on anymore. Plextor used to be regarded as the absolute king of quality for reading but even they stopped making their own original stuff by the end. Maybe an external Plextor if you can find any, eBay would be best chance to score older gear.

The most useful thing you need is a way to limit the speed of the drive (like this), drop it to the slowest speed possible for reading damaged/degraded discs. There are CD/DVD repair tools out there like shaving tools and other crazy stuff but those are all long shots.

NRI are part of the old Nero method of burning to optical media, they aren't the actual jpg files, they were part of some crazy database Nero used back in the day for referencing files on HDD to be burned to CD-R.

As for your current backup system I would strongly recommend you make use of a cloud backup system as well, Microsofts OneDrive is an excellent solution. You can install the OneDrive client onto Windows 7 and it is built in directly in current Windows 10. The cloud backup is synced with your PC so if you delete anything on the PC from the OneDrive folder it is deleted on the cloud as well, likewise if your PC HDD and or external backup go kaput you have the cloud copy to restore from.


Distinguished Member
Thanks for that . . . having spent the day trying to pull files I've got over 100 from about 2010 ( Date under Properties ), although I suspect this is the copy to PC date; as several Photos from different days have the same Date.
Oh dear I didn't think they were selling me 100% duff optical-media - surely these are the same media that was supposed to last...forever, nearly!
- But I guess you are right - Oh deary . . . . the odd thing is the HDD files also appear to have gone bad . . . I'll try to see if it's the same file-numbers . . . wouldn't that be thoroughly bad-luck.

I may try removing the Optical Drive from the Old PC and convert it to USB, it will be IDE, so I might be able to stuff it into the Win7 PC MBO as an Extra - a lot of work though!

Oh for the days when I kept the B&W negatives.... I still have roll-film negs from 50 years ago. Should we take some 35mm B&W as LT backup, I wonder? Only a month ago I was given a Canon AEI, with 50mm lens - and I still have 35mm neg film in the fridge.... I should shoot a test-roll... as I also have my darkroom set-up ( Full of old clothes, presently)...... and dry chemicals in the cupboard, never been mixed.
+++ "RealPhotos" suddenly have a Come-Back.... Yippee!
( Although I do like the convenience of Digital ).

Certainly of interest to children ( now ) who will see all manner of file corruption.
Whilst "The Cloud" appears to be the answer,( thanks), my gut feeling has been that "something" will fix it - so it fails - Hackers for a start! Also I don't really like the thought of them all going there!

Thanks for yr reply..... keeps me sane
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Distinguished Member
Whilst "The Cloud" appears to be the answer,( thanks), my gut feeling has been that "something" will fix it - so it fails - Hackers for a start! Also I don't really like the thought of them all going there!

Just use a normal backup then. You said yourself you'd taken the risk to keep only one copy because you felt the cost was too high to buy new SD cards.

The risk didn't pay off, but storage is cheaper these days so there's less reason to take it in future.


Distinguished Member
Thanks EW - in those old days of Win98SE - SD memory was Whoah! Expensive . . . . and so was HDD which was not particularly reliable Long-Term.
Also, we'd been fed the notion that Audio CD's were unbreakable . . . and whilst that was because of their double-storage arrangements, it did appear that home-produced CD's were pretty good . . . and not expensive.

I've been through the many photo-CDs ( Not the Kodak, kind I appear to have put them somewhere very safe! ) . . . and am now storing the readable* pictures on internal 4Tb HDD . . . they don't take up much space even though I'm listing them under their assigned file-numbers, for convenience.
Some older photos don't appear to have this numbering ( P.... from the Panasonic Camera ), so I'm tempted to believe these were the "better" images off Kodak Photo-CDs . . . and some that were made by Camera-shops that would process 35mm colour films and give me a CD as well as prints.... this allowed me to software-Edit the images, whilst keeping the Nikon cameras until I moved into "Digital".
You will recall that even 10Mpx cameras were at very high prices and their facilities were not up to good SLR's, esp when one had built-up a lot of accessories.

For now the issue is sorting out the CD images - I'm copying the few Photoshop ones as well ( but can't read ), in case they are at a later date.....
I shall either - Buy another HDD as back-up, using USB3 ( now I have a suitable interface card) . . . OR I may try one of my lesser-HDDs which have become full ( and copied-over to larger drives )..... since about 1Gb may suffice for the "old images" - because having 35mm film limited the number of photos-per-year.

I don't think my 2012-on pictures ( ie Sony upgrade above 10Mpx and using Movie-mode ), have the same urgency....These are already stored in several places on HDDs . . . being too large for CD . . . and a real pain to Burn to DVD for movies that are HD, when DVD is so obviously a lower quality and takes Ages to burn. ( Only used as gifts to folks that can't read anything else ).
Drives S (USB3) and W (eSata) - are for Duplicates, but I will admit I lag behind when it comes to copying-over - sometimes weeks go by....

* readable pictures... I panicked when a few CD-discs didn't play, hence the Thread . . . although now in Indexed-lists, there are only a few gaps . . . the CD-files were in a terrible muddle AND I have lost ( mislaid), the Master-Binder with colour Thumbnails, which should contain Copy-CDs in the plastic sleeves..... that's only as I remember I did.....

Many thanks for your suggestions . . . .

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