How to dump Microsoft "Confidential" burnlab discs

Discussion in 'Dumping and Backing Up Your Games and Prototypes' started by dsasmblr, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. dsasmblr

    dsasmblr Member

    Jan 13, 2018
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    If you've ever tried to read alpha/beta/prototype game data from Microsoft Confidential burnlab discs to no avail, instead of the data being corrupt, chances are, the disc has a gold alloy layer (instead of silver) and you're trying to read it from a DVD or Blu-ray drive.

    The problem has to do with the reflectivity of the gold metal layer of the disc. Long story short, most DVD drives and likely all Blu-ray drives simply cannot read the information on gold alloy discs due to the disc surface not being reflective enough to have its information read. DVD drives tend to yield the most deceptive results, because they can sometimes read some of the information, thus making it appear as though the drive works fine but the disc has corrupted data in spots.

    Solution? Pick up an old CD-R/CD-RW drive! The model I use is the HLDS GCE-8400B. There are usually plenty of them on eBay which you can nab for between $10-$20 (including shipping).

    I realize this is a fairly niche "problem," but figured I would share in the event that it helps someone! :cool:
    Xzx123, sa1, WorldGenesis and 4 others like this.
  2. Stipo360

    Stipo360 Dead Rising & XDKs

    Feb 11, 2014
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    Awesome, thanks.
    dsasmblr likes this.
  3. davesandell

    davesandell Rising Member

    Oct 2, 2012
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    Certain retail CD-Rs of the same sort of time period (late 1990's) also have the same problem...
    I was using Kodak Gold Ultima and TraxData Gold as my goto choice back then, and while the data can still be read perfectly fine on my old Pentium based Windows 98 PC - pop the CD in anything modern and it treats it as a blank or un-readable CD.....
    Xzx123 and dsasmblr like this.
  4. ma777

    ma777 Peppy Member

    Jan 15, 2008
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    That makes perfect sense. The reflectivity of gold is excellent in the IR region. CD drives used IR at around 780 nm. DVD drives used red light at 650 nm and blu-ray uses 405 nm. Shorter wavelengths mean the dots can be closer together, hence more data. Actually, I think it is an aluminum layer, not silver?

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