Sony Handycam DVD Not Finalized

"My Sony HandyCam recorded DVD was not finalized, now i don't have the HandyCam. How can I recover the data from the camcorder DVD?"

There are two types scenarios where DVD camcorder disks are not finalized. The easy one is you simply forgot to finalize the disk. The slightly more challenging scenario is that the camcorder failed to finalize the DVD. Depending on which scenario you have I recommend a slightly different course of action.

Forgot to finalize DVD Camcorder disk

If you have the camcorder, the easiest thing to do is to simply reinsert the disk and follow the steps on the camcorder menu to finalize the disk. Since you do not have the DVD camcorder, another easy solution would be to go to a store that sells the same model Sony Handycam and simply use their demo model to finalize the disk. I have done this at a Best Buy store in the US when I needed a camcorder in a pinch.

If you don't want to go to a store, you can often simply put the disk in your computer's DVD drive, browse the disk using Windows Explorer, and copy files from the camcorder disk to your computer. The files you want will be in the Video_TS folder on the camcorder DVD. Look for any file with a .VOB extension and copy them to a folder on your hard drive. From there, you can rename the .VOB file to .MPG and edit the .MPG file in any video editing application.

DVD Camcorder Disk Failed to Finalize

If neither of the above options work, or if you run into a situation where your camcorder failed to finalize the disk, you'll need a more serious intervention. When the free options fail, it's time to call in DVD data recovery software. When you need to recover data from a camcorder DVD, I recommend you download ISOBuster. If you install the free trial, you can see whether ISOBuster actually sees any data on your disk before you purchase, so you won't spend any money if it can't recover your movie. You do have to register the software in order to make the recovery, so I'll leave it up to you to decide if the video is actually worth spending a few dollars to get back.