CD Data Recovery Tools Overview

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 4, 2009
Updated • Oct 26, 2009
Data recovery, Software, Windows, Windows software

Experienced PC users who have been working with computers for ten years or more will eventually run into partially unreadable CDs or DVDs that they have created in the beginning days of their computer usage. Read errors become more common with age which can lead to data loss in the worst case. It is however not always the disk itself that is causing the problems; There are other possibilities from mundane causes like fingerprints or dirt to scratches on the disks surface.

The best practice in the beginning is therefor to clean the disk properly. One could start with a quick dusting using cloth that has been ideally designed for that purpose. This wont remove fingerprints and other dirt though. To tackle those you use liquids to clean the CD. This can again be done with specialized expensive solutions or some warm water and mild soap.

Sometimes the best CD cleaning efforts do not have the desired effect. If data on the CD is unreadable so called CD data recovery tools come to use which try to recover the data from the CD.

CD Recovery Toolbox

The data recovery tool has been specifically designed for CD, DVD and HD-DVD and Blu-Ray disks. The application has been streamlined for ease of use as the recovery process can be initiated with just a few clicks. It will display the contents of the selected media giving the user the option to select specific files - or all - for recovery.

developer link

Iso Puzzle

Iso Puzzle creates an ISO image of a selected CD or DVD flagging good and bad sectors at the end of the process to give the user an overview of the situation. It will also create a file on the local disk detailing the bad sectors that could not be read. The unique solution by this software program is to utilize different CD or DVD drives to read those bad sectors as error correction differs widely among drives.

iso puzzle

CD Check

CD Check can recover unreadable files from disks. What makes it unique is the ability to create hashes of those files at the first startup. Those hashes can be used to compare the states back then with the current state of the disk. It does come with the means to recovery unreadable files from those disks.

developer link

dvd data recovery software

Copy Cat and Unstoppable Copier

Those two tools are copy software programs that try to copy files from a selected location to another one. They have been designed to use various reading techniques to copy files even from scratched or partially readable media.

developer link 1 link 2

dvd recovery

Do you know of additional free tools to recover CDs or DVDs? Let us know in the comments.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. VivekM said on April 6, 2009 at 10:45 am

    More softwares worth mentioning here —

    JFileRecovery –
    Isobuster –
    BadCopy Pro –

  2. BalaC said on April 4, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    I use BadCopy Pro for this purpose.But, it is not freeware

  3. Martin said on April 4, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    I did have some good results with Iso Puzzle though but it was mabye 2 years ago or so since I last had use for a CD recovery program. And yes, they do have their limits ;)

  4. Rarst said on April 4, 2009 at 11:31 am

    My use of optical discs gradually declined in recent years. When I did I mostly used Unstoppabel Copier.

    Simple and efficient. From my experience utilities claiming superior algorithms and all that stuff can only bump copying time to multiply hours without much recovery imporvement. If disc is scratched – it is scratched. :)

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