How to Recover an Unfinalized CD

Written by greyson ferguson
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How to Recover an Unfinalized CD
You must finalise a CD to obtain the files stored on the disc. (cd on cd image by Stephen Kirkby from

When burning a CD on your computer system, you must finalise the disc. This places an endpoint on the CD, allowing other computers the ability to read and obtain the saved information. However, if you do not finalise the CD, you are still able to save additional information to the disc, but it isn't possible to recover files from the CD until the disc is finalised.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Insert the unfinalized CD into the CD burner used to create the disc. Close out the "AutoPlay" window that loads onto the screen.

  2. 2

    Open the CD burner used to create the CD. Wait a moment and the program automatically detects the unfinished CD, asking if you want to finalise the disc.

  3. 3

    Select "Yes" and the remainder of the CD is closed off, allowing you to read data stored on the CD.

  4. 4

    Click "Start," "Computer" and then double-click the "CD" icon. A window loads with all the files saved on the disc. Double-click the file you want to recover to load it onto your screen.

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