Have you ever had a critical information CD or DVD but couldn’t access it? Does your drive have a huge scratch? Maybe it’s a little chipped or cracked? Don’t throw it away, there might still be hope!
Don’t despair! If your computer stutters on your optical media, the free tools we show you here can help you read and extract data from those scratched CDs and DVDs.
Before we look at some third-party apps, it’s worth taking a few minutes to see if a little love and care can bring your drive back to its former glory.
If you are dealing with a light scratch, you can try using a whitening toothpaste. This is not an old wife’s tale — it really works.
Apply a small amount of the paste and use a cloth to gently massage it over the scratch. It may go away completely.
You should also try to play the CD using a drive that can burn discs instead of just reading them. In general, burners are more accurate and better at seeing CD tracks.
If you’re trying to read a CD that you made yourself, you can also try using it in the same drive you used to create it. Anecdotal evidence suggests that if you do this, you will have a better chance of reading successfully. However, this may not be possible if the CD is very old.
Try third party apps
Some third-party applications can read data from a damaged drive. In my experience, the most successful is » Unstoppable copier» roadkil.
I’ll show you how to use it and then list a few options for you to try.
To get started, grab a free copy of the app from the Roadkil website. You can choose either installable or portable version.
Download: Unstoppable copier
Using Unstoppable Copier
Launch the app and accept the End User License Agreement (EULA). You will see a blank copy of the application.
Insert the scratched CD into your computer’s CD tray and wait for the device to recognize it. Then click the » Review» next to the field Source» and select your CD drive.