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I have many old (data) CDs.

I want to copy them all to the disk, but the problem is that some of these CDs are no longer readable and it is extremely tiresome to copy the CDs one by one.

Is there some tool to expedite this process?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Do you know you can copy an entire disk as an iso file system like this:

cat /dev/sr0 > filename.iso

Other than switching disks in the tray, that makes the software end of aquiring the data pretty painless. You can the write a couple line script to loopback mount all of the iso's and copy all or parts of the data out of them. The software side of "tiresome" should involve one shell command repeated each time you load the tray and about 5 lines of code to extract everything or specific things when you are done.

The hardware part could only be automated with a multi-disk-reader, extra drives, or some kind of loader. Where you looking for a hardware solution?

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Interesting idea. Does cat or dd return correct return values when the file can't be read (and 0 when it went OK)? – Let_Me_Be Jun 27 '11 at 14:36
@Let_Me_Be: Yes, both of them do. – Caleb Jun 27 '11 at 14:37
And is there some shorthand command for extracting files from an CD image without mounting it? – Let_Me_Be Jun 27 '11 at 14:47
@Let_Me_Be: Of course. Take your pick of 7zip, file-roller, gvs-archive and isoinfo for programs that can extract ISOs without mounting them from the command line. There are GUIs like Gmountiso and AcetoneISO . You can mount with a loopback or with FuseISO. – Caleb Jun 27 '11 at 15:10

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