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Got a comment or problem regarding the cover disc?

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Cover Disc

Postby tyronet2000 » Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:09 pm

Will not play in any of 4 different dvd drives. Have sent an email to services etc. This is the first of my new subscription under the 5 @ £5 so its not looking good for taking a full subscrition. If the disc is representitive of the disc format that is to be used.

Very Disappointed :(
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:59 pm

Possible reason and fix for cover disk errors

Postby mabloom » Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:00 pm

I've just had the same experience with coverdiscs that others have reported. Unfortunately, I could not get a replacement, as the amount of time that it takes for PCPro to get to U.S. news stands is sufficient for the stock of replacement discs to have been depleted. So I started experimenting.

I extracted ISOBuster manually from a "bad" coverdisc, and used it to examine the DVD.

I had several interesting findings. First, all of the unreadable sectors were all very high numbered sectors, near the edge of the disc. Second, the PCPro.exe application occupied *the* very last sectors on the disc.

Deciding to visually examine the disc, I noticed that a thin silver ring near the edge of the disc was visible on the label side. This is from the reflective layer within the disc. I also noticed that the ring area appeared to be much more translucent than the rest of the reflective layer. This was because the label area was fairly opaque, but had a slightly smaller diameter than the silver area.

On a hunch, I bought a gray permanent marker pen (brand name "Sharpie"), which I took to the label side of the disc to extend the label area to fully cover the silver ring. After I did this, Isobuster found only thirteen files containing bad sectors, versus the one hundred thirty five files previously found. I was also able to run PCPro.exe, which I had previously been unable to run. (As to why there were still 13 bad files, my guess is that it is because a "Sharpie" is not the the most cutting edge technology).

My suspicion, with no basis in fact, is that the reflective layer in ecodiscs is thinner than on regular discs, and relies on the label providing an opaque backing (not entirely unreasonable, as these are intended as commercially stamped discs and the author has control over the label, unlike with writable discs), much like the backing on some mirrors.

So, I see two possible fixes: A) Make the label be slightly larger, so that it will fully cover the reflective layer, or B) slightly reduce the data content of the disc (my guess is by about 7%) so that the highest numbered sectors can still use the label as a backing layer. (My preference would be the latter, as it also reduces vulnerability to near-edge damage from handling, being forced into a tight sleeve, etc.)
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:31 am

This is PC pro's problem

Postby gbswales » Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:07 am

I just wish PC Pro would stop trying to blame user PCs for the issue when it is becoming clear that these flimsy discs are not fit for purpose. My drives are able to play all normal discs fine and so I should not need to mess around with firmware. (the latest disc wont work properly on three different drives in two different computers)

These are like the new Tesco carrier bags - a step to far and not fit for purpose.

If PC Pro really wanted to save the planet then they could just make the software downloadable in the first place :roll:
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:39 pm

Postby Cecil_EPU » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:34 am


Posts: 394
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 9:10 am

Re: Please read if you encounter an error when using our dis

Postby bertrambassett » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:17 pm


I get 'not a valid etc' on PDF's created by my employer, and our ICT bods rolled me back to an earlier version of adobe reader, problem solved.

And no I dont get any problems with the ecodisc, cept not being sure if its in its wallet or not.

maybe its just me being unlucky and not anything to whinge about.
Buy an Apple every day
just to keep Jobs in pay



Bertam Bassett
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:45 am

Re: Please read if you encounter an error when using our dis

Postby beecee » Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:24 am

Never has a problem with the DVDs come with my sub. This one when I load tells me 'Cannot instantiate Internet Explorer object. Please install Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher'. ? I’m using, IE9 on Win 7 64 bit. BC
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 2:56 pm

Re: Please read if you encounter an error when using our dis

Postby nickrh » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:08 pm

The error with August 2013's cover disc is that its gone virtual. Slow download speeds in some parts of the country mean that this withdrawal of the service, for which my very recently renewed subscription was stated to be for, is an error in marketing, the subsinfo site did not tell the truth about what I would be getting.

I respect the truth, PC Pro's error in not being upfront and telling me I'd not get what I was being offered is that I won't renew my subscription unless this is reversed. I'll also spread the word to avoid Dennis publications.
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:43 pm


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