Scratched DVD I need files from

Posted on 2012-08-27
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-09-04
I have a CD-ROM that someone sent me that I'm having trouble copying the files off of.  I tried copying the DVD and the Roxio software returns an error.  There are some scratches on the DVD.  Is there any way I can determine from the CD-ROM which files are accessible?  There are no backups so I have to use this DVD.
Question by:ghost-hunter
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Expert Comment

ID: 38337275
Software based dvd recovery tools essentially tries to read sectors off the disc over and over again, skipping the files that failed, and saving the ones that succeeded. They differ from a traditional copy utility in that a normal file copy operation only tries to read the sectors once, and when it fails usually the entire copy operation fails.

There's lots of "DVD Rescue" tools out there if you google for them. I've used "unstoppable copier" in the past which comes on the UBCD4WIN live CD.

But none of these tools will help you if the DVD is actually damaged with scratches - which will prevent the files from being read every time.

If the scratches are superficial on the plastic side, sometimes DVDs can be repaired by buffing and polishing out the scratches on the disc. There are some commercial products that do this, but there are also numerous DIY guides on how to use household ingredients as the polishing compound - toothpaste, brasso, or some other kind of very mild abrasive polishing cream, and a paper towel or a microfibre cloth. The technique, materials, and duration is important since doing it wrong - or too much - can permanently damage the disc. If the data is important to you, a commercial product specifically designed for buffing scratches out of the disc would be the best way to go.
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Expert Comment

ID: 38337383
In some cases the result of reading a scratched DVD can be improved by painting the rim black, as that absorbs unwanted reflections. If you do that, be careful not to paint into the disc itself - only the rim. This cannot harm the DVD short-term (it could long-term, depending on the color material used).
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 38338108
I recommend InfiniDyne's CD/DVD Diagnostic.

Also, be sure to try the DVD in a few different drives. Possibly the one you're using needs its lens cleaned.
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LVL 41

Expert Comment

ID: 38338209
In addition to all the above, IsoBuster can sometimes be used to help with damaged disks.  Also, using copy utilities such as xcopy with the /C switch, robocopy, or Ycopy will allow you to continue copying files even if you run into trouble.
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Accepted Solution

jcimarron earned 2000 total points
ID: 38339056
ghost-hunter--For what it worth
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Expert Comment

ID: 38342186
So, which part of that fixed it for you?
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Expert Comment

ID: 38365996
Did this article say ANYTHING that I didn't already go over in my very first post?

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