FAQ - Answers Continued

We want you to get the best out of your Archive CD Books experience but if you have a question please look here BEFORE contacting us. You’ll get your answer quickly and we can spend more time finding new and exciting books for you.


CD Problems

Q3.1: My CD will not run
Despite the quality control in place to ensure that you get a good CD, there are rare occasions when a bad one may slip through the net. In the last 10 years this has amounted to only one CD. Other than that one a couple have obviously been damaged in the mail. The moment we determined these CDs were unusable we immediately dispatched replacements - at our cost - and we had more satisfied customers.

We do get a few inquiries regarding problems running CDs, most of which have a simple answer. These issues usually fall into one of three "camps":

The disk is brand new and this is the first time I have tried to use it. My computer doesn't recognize the disk or I can't see the disk in the drive: (We cannot guarantee "2nd hand" products.)

  1. Try a "known good" disk, in the disk drive and see if it "mounts / runs / is visible" OR gives you a message that the disk is un-mountable:
    1. If it does NOT then you almost certainly have a hardware problem and need assistance from a technician.
    2. If a "known good" disk DOES work:
      1. turn OUR disk over and examine the shiny side (KEEP YOUR FINGERS OFF THAT SIDE!!) Look for any visible deformation on ANY PART of the surface. It can be very small or all over the disk, it can be a fingerprint, appear as a dirty mark or as a scratch, anything, in fact, which looks non-uniform or out of place.
        1. If there is nothing obviously wrong with the disk then try to find another computer that you can try the disk in and see if the disk can be recognized there?
          • If this computer does not recognize it either then it may be a malfunctioning disk so contact us, telling us what you have tried and we will tell you what to do next.
          • If the second computer DOES recognize the disk then you have a disk drive which is selective about what disks it will work with. It is unclear if this is a "fault" but it IS a hardware issue and not something we can address. Again address the question to a hardware technician.
        2. If there IS damage to the shiny side of the disk contact us and tell us what you see. We will tell you what to do next.

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The disk is "mounted" and I can find it in my computer, but it will not work:

(If you are expecting the disk to "Autoplay" (i.e., starts and displays automatically) We do NOT recommend the use of this facility. This type of Autoplay was a Windows OS function on some early releases of the OS, and required a File be installed as the first file on the CD that your computer could read. Different versions of the operating systems required different files on the CDs and the autoplay function didn't work on many computers. In other words it was a very unreliable function and caused a good deal of confusion. Its use is generally NOT RECOMMENDED and we have NOT installed "autoplay" files on our "new" CDs for many years (some early issue CDs may contain an autoplay file and if you prefer to use it that is OK, but remember newer Archive CD Products will NOT autoplay!) We recommend that the "Autoplay / Automatically run a CD when mounted" function be disabled on your computer. Refer to the User instructions for your Computer and Operating system and follow them to disable this function. You may be asked by your computer what action is to take when a disk is inserted, if so, select "Display Contents" in Explorer / Finder  window, and indicate to do the same for all disks mounted. )

  1. You should be able to use your computer's directory Graphical User Interface (GUI) to see the contents of the CD.
    1. Look for a Read Me file and open it (double click it). In the displayed content of the Read Me file there will be instruction on which file on the disk to "launch" to access the content properly. Take a note of the file name and use it to select the correct file from the disk's list of contents. Launch the named file by either a double left click or a single right click and selecting your choice of PDF interpreter Apps. displayed (NB Adobe Reader IS preferred.)
    2. If your computer will NOT display the contents of the CD then take a careful note of the reason the computer gives for NOT opening the CD and contact us for further help.

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I have used this disk before and it was OK then.:

(Since you have used the disk before there are really only two logical reasons why it would not work again now:)

  1. The disk has been damaged
    1. Although optical disks are quite surprisingly rugged it seems that quite limited damage can sometimes make them unusable.
      1. Holding the CD by the edge ONLY, flip it over so you can look at the "shiny" side. Reflect a diffuse light source (a window?) in the disk's surface and carefully examine the surface. Look for scratches, pits, dirt, fingerprints, or anything else which might obscure the data imprinted in the reflective layer of the disk. Scratches are almost certainly beyond repair. Dirt or other contaminants may, possibly, be successfully removed but great care is urged so as not to cause further damage to the optical surface. We have no recommendation as to a best method to clean a disk but keep the method simple and use only soft, non abrasive materials and fluids which are absolutely pure, i.e., distilled water NOT tap water! Also keep in mind that the disk is a layered structure and you DO NOT want any fluids getting between the layers at the edges. In other words, keep away from the edges! Make sure the disk is absolutely dry before retrying it and if it still does not work then I'm afraid it is probably beyond repair.
      2. If you are comfortable finding software to download & install from "the net" there are free utility Applications which will run tests on your disk and provide you with a measure of how well the disk / disk drive combination is working, but this is ONLY for an experienced computer user and they would probably not be reading this anyway.
    2. The disk reader is degraded or not working
      1. There is at least one vital component in an optical disk drive which noticeably ages with use causing it to become unreliable and eventually unusable. This is particularly true if the drive is used, a lot, for "burning" disks.
      1. The outward signs of this aging generally exhibit as the disk being "fussy" about which CD it will read and which it refuses. Occasionally just ejecting the disk and reinserting it will allow the disk to be read, but "the writing is on the wall" for this disk drive. Replacement disk drive units are quite inexpensive and, in normal use, they can be expected to last for about as long as you would keep the computer anyway. If you feel competent, you can buy a replacement and fit it yourself, otherwise it is time for a visit to you computer repair company.

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Q3.2: Questions about Reading PDF files & Acrobat Reader
  1. Searching for words and names in a PDF file
  2. Bookmarks and navigation
  3. I don’t have Acrobat Reader on my computer. How do I get it?  Answer: Click here

Using Adobe® Acrobat Reader™ to read your Digital Book reproduction.
NOTE: Our Digital book reproductions may also be viewed using any other application which can interpret and display Portable Document Format files, for instance the Apple Preview™ App. (using OSX), but we cannot guarantee the degree of compatibility, especially in indexing and bookmarking, which we actually create with Adobe Acrobat™. We are unable to provide detailed navigation instructions for every available Application so we are providing those appropriate to Adobe Reader and assuming that other equivalent Applications will be sufficiently similar that the similar functions can be easily found.

Bookmarks and navigation in Acrobat Reader™
There are two ways that our CDs can be navigated to view the pages and sections on the CD:

from a front page menu

by using Acrobat Bookmarks

We have used one or the other. The way to use both types is described below:

From the Front Page Menu:

In some cases, opening up a CD will display a "contents page" with clickable links on it to go to the various sections or files .

By Using Acrobat Reader™’s Bookmarks:

In other CDs you will see a contents page but without the clickable links, in other words, it is simply a page which shows what the contents are. In this case, we have used the "Bookmarks" feature of our production software, which is actually rather neater, and the correct way of doing things with PDF documents. The later production CDs will see the use of "Bookmarks" more often.

To view the bookmarks we have defined in Acrobat Reader™:

On the top menu line, click on "Window" and "Show Bookmarks" (or press the F5 key on the keyboard).

A window will open on the left hand side of your screen showing the bookmarks which we have defined for this particular CD.

Just click on a bookmark to go straight to that file or page. It is as simple as that.

Some bookmarks may have "sub sections" to them, and will display a little + symbol (or a triangle symbol on a Mac). Clicking on those will expand the list of sections, which are also bookmarks. Think of the main heading as being a category, for example "Maps", and then under that will be each of the maps on the CD.
If a bookmark opens up a different PDF file on the CD, then that file will have its own bookmarks, one of which will be "Contents" to take you back to the main contents page.
So to navigate the CDs, just get used to tapping the F5 key to display the bookmarks.
In some cases, we have also added "thumbnails". They also appear in the "bookmarks" window pane, but click on the tab at the top labeled "thumbnails".

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3.3 Acrobat Reader™ won't open the files on the CD at all

The answer to this one is very simple,either:

"The disk has been scratched and damaged,"
or, much more likely
"Your copy of Acrobat Reader™ may have been damaged or is corrupt."

You should download and install the latest version of Reader compatible with your computer. Acrobat Reader™ is free software, and you can download the latest version from here (the website identifies your operating system and should provide you with the appropriate version automatically.) New "personal" computers almost all come with Acrobat Reader™ ready installed.

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4. Book Indexes

Q4.1: Do books have Indexes?

There is, unfortunately, no straightforward answer because some books do, and some don't. Further some books have Indexes while others have Tables of Contents, some books have both a Table of Contents AND an Index and worse, some older books had a table of contents which also listed all the topics discussed in each Chapter but without page numbers of where the topics appeared!

And, as if all that wasn't enough, new terminology connected to the digitization of books uses the term "index" to describe a software list which the computer uses to look up where a word appears on a page. This, of course, is approximately the function of the traditional index but doesn't allow some of the secondary purposes an old-fashioned Index could be used for.

SO: in terms of the original books, you need to find out about each individual book, on a case by case basis.

In terms of our Digital Books Reproductions we always try to include at least a form of Table of Contents, called "Bookmarks," but usually we also make the book fully searchable, which provides a function which is much better than a traditional index in many ways. To make a traditional index, the author, or his editor, selected certain key phrases, names, or word combinations which indicated the subject being discussed at that point in the book, and listed these - usually in order of appearance - together with the page on which they could be found - in the Index pages. In some cases there would be several places where a name, etc. had appeared so there may be a long list of page numbers to be remembered. The shortcomings of such a system are easily seen.

When a computer Search / Find function is used, EVERY occurrence of the search term is found and displayed, in turn, to the user. (Not only is this far easier for the reader but it is almost ALWAYS a more complete review of ALL the occurrences, because the manual indexers may have considered some occurrences of the term not worth indexing!.)

When the original book does have an index

Where the book does have an index, then that index will appear in the Digital reproduction and can be used as originally intended. This is made easier with the Archive CD Books Digital Reproductions because we make sure that the page numbers displayed (individually) by the Reader application actually matches with the original's page numbers! (No need to apply some variable offset in order to get somewhere close to the desired page!)

When an original book has a Table of Contents we generally attempt to show it in the Digital Replication as a series of "hyperlinks" so that simply clicking on the Bookmark causes the referenced page to be displayed. We also try to include a Bookmark for the Table of Contents itself so there is a link that can be followed back so another choice can be made.

Where the book does not have an index

Where we have made the Digital Books Reproduction searchable then the "Reader" like Application's Search / Find functions can be used exactly as if there was a printed index. Failing the presence of a computer search-ability function then we have probably provided a set of Bookmarks to help you find, and navigate, your way around the book and these should bring you to within (at worst) a chapter of where you want to be.

If the Digital Book Reproduction is NOT searchable and does NOT have Bookmarks then you are no worse off than if you had an original copy of the book (other than the much higher purchase cost and the need to now maintain a valuable old book.) In general this situation will only occur where the book is "self indexing," such as in a Dictionary or a Book of Names for instance. But in books like this navigation is quite simple.

There are less than a handful of such books in our entire Catalogue and we will have tried to make sure the Digital Reproduction's description includes this information.

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Q4.2: Some CDs have a link to a downloadable index but it doesn't work.
There were a few very early Digital Reproductions which were published while a short lived scheme was in progress whereby volunteers began indexing whole books, each of them doing a small part. It worked well while it lasted, but unfortunately interest in the scheme didn't continue. I'm afraid the brief results of this scheme are no longer available so the links are "orphaned."

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