How to recover data and files from a damaged CD / DVD

Do you have a CD or DVD that suddenly starts to give reading errors? Can a scratched DVD be repaired? Can files be saved from a disk that can not be read? We teach you to recover files on a damaged CD or DVD.

It has happened to all of us more than once. A CD or a DVD of music, video games, personal files, suddenly starts to fail. The reader gets stuck and refuses to read the content.

Maybe the CD and DVD is scratched . Or maybe, due to its low quality, the magnetic layer has deteriorated. Before throwing it away, there are a few things you can do to try to recover the data from the CD or DVD . Do not panic!

How to recover files from a damaged disk

When a CD or DVD fails or fails , it is due to one of three causes: The reader lens is dirty, the disc is dirty, or the disc surface has been damaged. Let’s start at the beginning …

Dirty disc

If a disk can not be read, the most common cause is that it is dirty. Dedadas, dust, liquids … The first step is to clean the disc with a cloth or a specialized cleaning brush . Wipe with a cloth from top to bottom, that is, from the center to the edges, in a straight line. Do not make circles

If the dirt is very stuck, we will use warm water and a little neutral soap or baby shampoo, and wash the disc with a cloth. Yes, you can wet it with water, but when drying it you have to leave it in the air, do not rub it with the cloth.

Problems with copy protection

Sometimes the copy protection of some discs causes reading errors in overly sensitive readers. This is quite common with some Blu-ray movies , but it also happens with games.

If it only gives you a problem and seems to be fine, start suspecting. Sometimes it is solved by updating the firmware of the Blu-ray player, or that of the console. If you keep giving problems, you should go to the store where you bought it and have it changed, or try it.

Reader problems

If the disk is clean and has no marks, but the reader does not read it, we should not rule out the possibility that the reader will fail. The key point is to see if only one or more discs fail. If there are several, it is most likely that the lens is dirty, because some dust has entered. You will have to use a cleaning disc, but beware, there are CD / DVD and Blu-ray cleaning discs , they are different.

It usually comes with a cleaning liquid that is placed in a head on the disc. It is introduced into the reader and left a couple of minutes. Not all readers are the same, so any cleaning disc does not work. In the case of consoles you have to make sure that it is compatible.
If the cleaning disc fails to fix the problem, the reader will have to be fixed.

Damaged disk

When the disc has a mark or wound, cleaning it is not enough. Both CDs and DVDs have a layer of protection on top of the data layer, which is what is often scratched. If we reduce the damage the reader will ignore that tear, read the data and we can recover files from a damaged CD or DVD . Blu-ray discs have a stronger protective layer so they are more difficult to damage, but the data layer is closer to the surface: if they are scratched it will be very difficult to repair them.

There are many homemade tricks that work. We recommend using them only as a last resort, when the rest fail. They only work with CD / DVD, not with Blu-ray, which as we said have a different protection layer.

The protective layer is made of polycarbonate, and if it scratches it can deflect the laser’s reflection, that’s why reading errors appear although the data is fine. But being a plastic you can use substances that repair that layer.

  1. Repairing liquid : It is a special paste that is applied with a cloth, filling the scratches. In this link you can see an example. There are people who use non-granulated toothpaste instead, butter, car polish wax, even a banana … Dense liquids that contain some type of oil but do not scratch, to fill the damaged area and allow the laser to reflect in her when she reads the data. It is risky but if you are desperate … At the end you have to clean the disc with water and a cloth and let dry in the air.
  2. Magic sponges : There are magic cleaning sponges that clean surfaces without using products, you just have to wet them and drain. They work well with discs, but you have to make sure they are soft, and that they do not contain any products. If you use them … you do not have to rub hard .
  3. Heat : If the rayon is small, a good trick is to apply heat to the protective layer of the disc. The polycarbonate becomes moldable very fast, so you have to light a bulb for a few minutes until it is hot, and then bring the disc about 15 or 20 seconds. Hopefully the damage will be diluted, but if you pass you will load the disk.
  4. Polishing machines : These repair machines smooth the protection layer lightly, softening the scratches. But they are only profitable if you spoil many discs. If it is not of quality it can produce more harm than good. There are music stores that allow you to use your professional polishing machine for little money.

How to recover data from a damaged CD or DVD

If the previous methods fail and the disk still does not work, it’s time to use software to try to recover what we can. This works well with discs recorded by us. If they are professional discs with games, music, or are encrypted, it will be much more complicated.

When saving data it is better to use a DVD burner, they are more accurate and recover faults better than readers.

There are many programs to recover files from a damaged CD or DVD , but most of them are paid, or have not been updated for years. That is why we have chosen CD Recovery Tool Free . It is free, it is kept up-to-date, it works with CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays, and is capable of working with files of more than 4 GB.

You have to download and install the program. You will see that it is very easy to use. Just insert the damaged disk into the reader. It will detect the CD / DVD / BD drive that you have installed:

Then we will choose the hard drive folder where we will save the recovered files. CD Recovery Tool Free will try to read the disk and access the files. It may be stuck for a while in damaged sectors, you have to be patient. In a few minutes, the files that you have been able to recover will appear on the screen:

We mark the files that we want to save, and press the Save button to save them in the folder we had chosen in the previous step:

If you can not recover all the data with CD Recovery Tool, try other programs such as Recovery Toolbox for CD Free , IsoBuster or CD Roller . Luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *