Damn scratch! You have damaged this DVD and I can no longer access its contents. Ouch. How can I recover corrupted data? I suppose that's what you said before you founded yourself on the Internet looking for some good system to try to access the contents of that floppy disk that causes wear and tear and accidental damage and you just don't want to know anything about booting on your computer anymore. I beg your pardon? Did I see long? Well, I had no doubt. Lucky for you, you just happened to be on the right drive at the right time.
With this tutorial of mine today I want to show you how to open damaged CDs. Are you happy? I immediately anticipate that to succeed you will have to use some special computer programs, available both for Windows and Mac, very easy to use and able to solve in the best way even the most desperate situations. But let's be clear about one thing: the floppy disk now damaged unfortunately will not work again, but thanks to the use of these tools you can recover the contents and eventually burn a new CD/DVD. Not bad, right?
So? Can I know what are you still doing impaled there? Stand nice and comfortable in front of your trusty computer and start immediately to focus on reading this tutorial all focused on the topic. I'm sure that in the end you'll be happy and satisfied with what you've learned and that, even, in case of need, your friends will not hesitate to ask you useful tips on what to do, I'm ready to bet. I wish you, as usual, a good read and good luck with everything.
Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery (Windows/Mac)
The first "fix" to open damaged CDs that I want to invite you to consider is Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery. It is a resource available for both Windows and Mac that can recover lost data files from partitions, hard drives, CD/DVDs and various other storage media. In the specific case of floppy disks, it allows you to work on tracks and bad sectors without compromising data integrity or causing further damage to the media.
It is paid for but can be downloaded as a free trial version (the one I used to write this step, which works without limitations but needs a license key to proceed with file recovery). Actually there is also a totally freeware variant but it lacks some features, as in the case of the one in question.
Are you asking me how to use it? I'll show you right away. First, go to the program's download page and click on the Free Download button. When the download is complete, open the obtained .exe file and click Yes. Then click the Next button five times in a row, then click Install and then click Yes to finish.
If the one you are using is a Mac, connect to this other page and press the Free Download button attached to it. When the download is complete, extract the ZIP archive you obtained from any MacOS location, open the .dmg file that was inside it and drag the program icon into the Applications folder, then go to the Applications folder on your Mac, right click on the program icon and select Open twice in a row to start the app but bypass Apple's restrictions on unauthorized developers.
Now, regardless of the operating system you are using, insert the floppy disk you wish to act on into your computer and, from the program window, uncheck the items saved on the damaged CD that you do not wish to restore and click on the Next/Successive button at the bottom right. Then select the CD/DVD to be analyzed by checking the relevant box in the Connected Drives/Select location section and then click on the Scan button.
Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery will then analyze the selected CD/DVD and once the scanning procedure is complete it will show you a quick report of the amount of data found and recoverable (close the relevant window by clicking on the OK button) after which you can select the items to be saved through the section at the bottom right of the window and you can proceed with the recovery by pressing the Recover button, buying the product key of the program, entering it in the appropriate field and then waiting for the entire procedure to be completed.
CD Recovery Toolbox (Windows)
If you are looking for an alternative resource to the one above that is totally free but just as effective then I can only suggest you to test CD Recovery Toolbox immediately. It is a specific software for Windows operating systems thanks to which you can open damaged CDs but also DVD, HD DVD and Blu-Ray.
It is able to recover files that are no longer accessible either because of physical damage to the media (as scratches can be) or because of a write error/fault on the part of the burner. Let's see how it works right away.
The first thing you need to do to be able to use it is to connect to the Internet site of the program and click on the Free Download sign at the top left of the page, to start downloading the program.
When the download is complete, open the .exe file obtained to start the installation procedure. Then click on Yes and, in the window that appears on the desktop, accept the license by placing a check mark on I accept the agreement, click on Next four consecutive times, then click on Install and finally click on Finish.
At this point, all you have to do is to insert the CD/DVD from which you want to recover data into the CD Recovery Toolbox, wait for it to be recognized by CD Recovery Toolbox, click on the Next button at the bottom, click on the button with the yellow folder icon open to select the location on your PC where you want to save the data from the disk, click Next again, put the check mark next to the files to be recovered and press the Save button.
Now, all you have to do is wait for the end of the data recovery process and cross your fingers that everything goes smoothly. When the procedure is finished, if all has actually gone well, you'll see in the program window the message saved at the name of the recovered items and an Explorer/File Explorer window will automatically open with the recovered and saved files inside.
RoadKil Unstoppable Copier (Windows)
Another great software that you can use to open your damaged CDs is RoadKil Unstoppable Copier. It is a powerful Windows tool that allows you to recover data from corrupted disks in a flash.
It's free,the great thing is that to work you don't necessarily need to install it (it's available also in portable version, the one I used to write this step), which is why it can also be inserted on a USB stick.
To use it, first of all download the program by connecting to its website, selecting your operating system from the drop-down menu next to Choose Your Download, choosing Stand Alone Version from the adjacent menu and then clicking on the Download button next to it.
When the download is complete, open the obtained .exe file and click on Yes to accept the license to use the software. Then, in the program window that appears on the screen, click on the Browse button that you find at the Source item at the top and select the floppy disk for which you intend to act, then click on the Browse button that you find next to the Destination (always at the top) and select the location where you want to save the files that will eventually be recovered.
Make sure that in the bottom part of the program window you select the three available options (Copied Files, Skipped Files and Damaged Files) and if not, press the Copy button at the top right to start the disk analysis and data recovery process.
When the operation is complete, you'll see a warning message indicating the total number of items that could be recovered from the damaged CD and in the central part of the program's window you'll see all the data saved on the floppy disk that can be accessed again, with the degree of integrity and status in tow. To view them, go to the previously selected destination folder.
If instead what you are using is a Mac and if you are looking for a resource at no cost to the program I proposed at the beginning of the guide, the advice I can give you is to try FileSalvage. It is an application for macOS that, as you can easily guess from the name itself, allows you to recover deleted files from any drive or volume that the Mac can access. Given its capabilities, it also allows you to open corrupted CD's by going to recover inaccessible data on various external media or even on those deleted by mistake.
It is very easy to use and very effective. The only negative note, if we want to define it as such, is that it's paid but you can test it for free (as I did to write this step) and then proceed with the activation of the product at the time of the recovery procedure.
To use it for your purpose, first of all connect to the download page of the program and press the Download here button in the center to download the program on your computer.
When download is complete, open the obtained .dmg file and drag the program icon into the Applications folder to install the software on your Mac and then go to the Applications folder of macOS, right click on the program icon and select Open from both the context menu and the onscreen warning to launch the application while bypassing the limitations imposed by Apple on non "blessed" developers.
In the program window that now appears on your desktop, select the Drivers tab at the top left and then click on the floppy disk you want to act on from the list that appears, then select the Search for deleted and regular files and Search for embedded files options at the bottom to perform a full file search.
Then click on the Start Scan button, which is even lower down, type in the password for the user account currently on your Mac and wait for the scanning process to start and finish on the selected disk. When the process is finished, you will be shown the total number of items present on the floppy disk that have been found and that you can recover as well as the list of all the files present on the media.
To proceed with the recovery, select the items of your interest and then press on the Recover button located at the bottom. Then proceed with the purchase of the license then indicate the destination location of the files and wait for the saving process to start and finish.