How can I extract unfinalized videos from a mini DVD created with a Sony Handycam?

Rahul Singh Rathaure April 25, 2010
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I have a Sony Handycam, it also captures some videos and I saved one to a miniDVD, but forgot to finalize it (setting in Sony Handycam). Unfortunately, now I don’t have a Sony Handycam.

When I play this DVD in my PC it shows “Empty” but in “Nero” it shows size about 1.3 GB. So, I think my videos are alive on the DVD, but I am unable to read/see them.

Please someone tell me how can watch this DVD?
How can burn it to another DVD?
How can I finalize a Sony Handycam without a Sony Handycam?

Please help me!

Thanks in advance!
Rahul Rathore (INDIA)

  1. David
    November 28, 2011 at 4:42 am

    - Copy and paste the C code portion of my comment into a Text Editor
    - Read C comments on how to compile and use this program
    - Save the C code as: dvchop.c
    - Compile dvchop.c
    - Put the dvchop program binary where it can be conveniently executed.

    - Use dvdisaster or readcd to perform the unfinalized DVD recovery
      (note that an unfinalized DVD is not mountable)
    - Use dvchop to extract .vob Titles
    - Pick the .vob files you want to keep.

    The purposes of this program are to:
    - produce clean .vob files for editing recorded video.
    - extract contiguous VOB sectors from an .iso copy of an unfinalized DVD.
    - recover DVD video without re-encoding, decoding or muxing.
      (note that the produced output files may be rejoined to reproduce
       the original input file)

    If you want to make One title from several, use the following type of command:
    cat movie_002.vob movie_005.vob | ffmpeg -i /dev/stdin -target dvd -vcodec copy -acodec copy test.vob

    #include <stdio.h>
    #include <stdlib.h>

      Compile as follows for > 2GB file access
      gcc -Wall -D_FILE_OFFSET_BITS=64 dvchop.c -o dvchop

      License: GNU LGPL, version 3
      Version: dvchop [November 23 2010 r2]
      Copyright 2008, David Savinkoff

      This program reads concatenated .VOB files or an .iso file
      from stdin and makes less than 402 files using the output
      filename provided on the command line.
      When an output file ends with .vob.j, it is not recognized.
      Note that this program will not recognize anything if the
      file input doesn't start on the first byte of a sector.

      usage: cat filename(s) | dvchop output_filename
      usage: cat VTS_01_?.VOB | dvchop dvd
      usage: cat unfinalizedDVD.iso | dvchop movie

    void exit4error(char *string)
    { fputs(string, stderr); exit(1);

    int main(int argc, char *argv[])
    { FILE          *fd1;
      void          *buff1;
      char           OutputFileName[255];
      unsigned char *chk;
      double         SCR, prevSCR;
      int            SubFileNumber=0;

      if(argc!=2) exit4error("usage: cat filename(s) | dvchop output_filenamen");
      if((buff1=calloc(512,4)) == NULL) exit4error("calloc errorn");

      snprintf(OutputFileName, 64, "%s_%.3d.vob.j", argv[1], SubFileNumber);
      printf("processing: %sn",OutputFileName);

      if((fd1=fopen(OutputFileName,"wb")) == NULL)
        exit4error("output file errorn");
      prevSCR=2576980377600.0; /* 1.0 greater than largest value */
      { if(fread(buff1, 4, 512, stdin) != 512)

        /* MPEG-2 Program Pack == 0x000001BA */
        if(chk[0]==0x00 && chk[1]==0x00 && chk[2]==0x01 && chk[3]==0xBA)
        { SCR=300.0*((chk[8]>>3)+chk[7]*32.0+(((chk[6]&~7)>>1)+(chk[6]&3))*8192.0+
             + (((chk[9]>>1)+(((unsigned)(chk[8]&3))<<7)) % 300);

          /* Note: maximum allowed interval between SCRs is 700ms */
          if((SCR <= prevSCR) || (SCR > prevSCR+18900000.0))
          { fclose(fd1);
            if(SubFileNumber++ >400)
               exit4error("too many output files generatedn");
            snprintf(OutputFileName, 64, "%s_%.3d.vob", argv[1], SubFileNumber);
            printf("processing: %sn",OutputFileName);
            if( (fd1=fopen(OutputFileName,"wb")) == NULL )
              exit4error("output file errorn");
          { fclose(fd1);
            if(SubFileNumber++ >400)
               exit4error("too many output files generatedn");
            snprintf(OutputFileName, 64, "%s_%.3d.vob.j", argv[1], SubFileNumber);
            printf("processing: %sn",OutputFileName);
            if( (fd1=fopen(OutputFileName,"wb")) == NULL )
               exit4error("output file errorn");

        if(fwrite(buff1, 4, 512, fd1) != 512)
            exit4error("output file errorn");
    return 0;

  2. Jacklimbu
    November 21, 2011 at 7:05 am

    I have a similar problem. I have finalized the video from Sony Handycam. There is mark in the disk which indicates the data. I can play that video back in the Handycam itself but when I put into the computer the disk is empty. If there would have been a file of any format visible, I could have extracted.  How can I make this work?

    • Tina
      December 2, 2011 at 9:28 pm


      if the advice found in this comment thread does not help you, I recommend that you submit a new question via MakeUseOf Answers. You will receive an answer within several hours.

  3. Johnathan TheTool Lane
    May 1, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    One way to do it is to extract the data to a .tao file using the free version of ISOBuster (expanding on what souheil1337 said), and convert that to a format your computer can play. You might want to split it into individual programs, so I'd demultiplex, edit and re-multiplex. I'd then use VOBEdit to demultiplex, though MPEG StreamClip might also work.


    Try to copy the unfinalized DVD using Alcohol 120%/copy wizard/copy-on-the-fly. The copy made using Alcohol 120% should play perfectly on your computer or other device.

    Hope my research has helped!

  4. Johnathan TheTool Lane
    May 1, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    If the above comment worked you may also use VLC to transcode the video into another READABLE format. Of which you can then convert back to DVD and put on a regular DVD if you so choose.

    I'll do more research, but thats I'll I have for now.


  5. Anonymous
    April 27, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    You may try Isobuster,
    This program will read the dvd's content and show that in the explorer, you can copy the content to your desktop and watch the dvd using VLC player (the player is able to play damaged files.)

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