David Copperfield? Houdini? They are all beginners when compared to the DVD player on your PC. Up until five minutes ago everything was working perfectly, then came the "magic": the CD/DVD drive has disappeared from your computer's resources and Windows can no longer recognize the floppy disks you insert into your computer. A somewhat similar situation occurred with your Mac. You have inserted the disk you wanted to read and... surprised by the surprises it doesn't want to know anything about booting.
I beg your pardon? Now will you get out and go buy a brand-new DVD player? Don't do that. You might regret it. Many times, in fact, the failure of a drive is due to the system itself and not the CD/DVD player itself. In other cases, it is the floppy disk that is ruined, which is why even if you change your optical drive you will still have the same problems. So what? How to solve such a situation? Simple, even more: by reading this guide dedicated to how to read ruined DVDs and by using the software for this purpose indicated and explained below.
I beg your pardon? Don't you think that's possible? Well, I assure you it is. If you don't trust me, though, there's nothing left for you to do but try the following remedies yourself. Well? Do you want to? Yeah? Great. Let's cut the chatter and get started right away. Of course, let's be clear about one thing right away: I can't give you the absolute certainty that at the end of the guide you will be able to access the contents of your diskettes without any problems (it depends a lot on the variables really at stake) but, as they say, trying doesn't hurt. Don't you think?
Read Burned DVDs on Windows
Are you using a Windows PC and would you like to find out what resources you have on yours to be able to read ruined DVDs? Then rely on the tools you find below and you'll see that in no time you'll be able to cope with it, or at least I hope so, taking into account what was said at the beginning.
Rizone CD-DVD Repair
Are you using a PC with Windows installed? The problem, as I told you at the beginning of this guide, could be related to the driver issue. To solve it, the best advice I can give you is to turn to Rizone CD-DVD Repair, a free program that allows you to repair DVDs, but also "normal" CDs, which do not work well, making them correctly recognized by the system. If the floppy disk is not read because the CD/DVD player has "disappeared" but is not physically damaged, with this program you will certainly be able to solve your problem. Here's how it works.
The first step you have to do is to connect to the download page of the program and click on the link that you can find under Download below. Then extract in any position on your computer the compressed archive obtained and start the .exe file inside it to install the program.
Then click on Run, then on Yes and, in the window that opens, check the box next to the item I accept the agreement to accept the conditions of use of the program, then click on Next, on Install and Finish.
Then start the program by calling it from the Start menu, click on Yes, press the Repair DVD Drives button and wait a few moments for the repair process to start and finish. Then click on the File menu in the upper left corner of the software window and press Reboot Windows to restart your computer and make sure that the changes you made are actually applied.
When you log in to Windows again, if everything has gone right, the CD/DVD players that were previously no longer recognized by the system should be back to working properly. Make sure by going to your computer resources (Start > This PC, if you are using Windows 10 /8; Start > Computer, if you are using Windows 7/Vista; or Start > My Computer, if you are using Windows XP) and checking that in the list of devices with removable archives there is the drive that was not working before.
If you're interested, please note that in addition to repairing CD and DVD players that don't work well, Rizone CD-DVD Repair also restores the floppy autoplay feature and disables it for less secure devices, such as USB sticks, which may contain viruses.
You can also disable these additional features of the program, removing the checkmark from Just Repair and then from Reset Autorun settings (to restore autoplay) or from Protect against Autorun parasites (to disable autoplay for "dangerous" devices) before clicking on Repair CD-DVD. Easier than that?
Is the problem not the DVD player but the floppy disk itself that is damaged? In this specific case I suggest you to contact DVDisaster. It is a zero-cost program no longer in development for Windows, but still fully functional, which allows you to read the damaged DVDs and CDs and retrieve the data stored on it and then save everything on your computer, in the form of ISO image, so that you can still access them. It is very easy to use, free of charge and in almost all cases it is very effective.
To use it, connect to the download page of the program and click on the I accept button and then on the Download button. When the download is complete, start the obtained .exe file, click on Yes and, in the window that appears on the screen, press the OK button to select the use of the your language, then press Next three consecutive times, on Install and to finish press Finish.
Now, open the program by double-clicking on the icon that has been added to the desktop, then insert the floppy disk whose contents you can't see in the PC player and click on the Read button on the right side of the program window to try to read the contents of the disk first and create an ISO image of it.
Once the process is complete, if no further problems have arisen, you can then create a working copy of the original floppy disk without errors. To do this, click the Create button on the right side of the program window.
Once you have completed this step, press the Repair button on the right hand side. The repaired ISO image of the floppy disk inserted in your computer will be saved in the location of the floppy disk indicated in the top left of the DVDisaster window and you can then burn it to a new disc.
Read ruined DVDs on Mac
Do you own a Mac and are you having trouble reading the DVD you put in the player connected to your computer? If so, please take the following remedies to read the ruined DVDs I have provided. I very much hope they will come in handy.
The first of the useful resources for macOS that I want to recommend you to use is FileSalvage. It is a tool with which you can recover deleted files from all the drives and volumes that your Mac can access. It is therefore particularly useful to be able to read DVDs that are now ruined as it allows you to recover the content so you can eventually burn it to a new medium or save it on your computer. Unfortunately it's on payment but it's possible to download the free trial version (the one I used) to test its functioning.
Are you asking me how to use it? I'll show you right away. First, go to the application download page and click on the Download button in the middle here. When the download is complete, open the resulting .dmg file and drag the software icon into the Applications folder to install the software on your Mac.
Once you have done so, go to the Applications folder of macOS, right-click on the program icon and then press Open twice in a row to start the application and bypass the Cupertino company's restrictions on unauthorized developers.
Once you see the FileSalvage window on your desktop, select the Drivers tab at the top left of it and press on the disk for which you want to intervene from the list that appears. Then select the Search for deleted and regular files and Search for embedded files options at the bottom so that you can perform a complete file search.
Then click the Start Scan button which is even lower down, enter the password for your Mac user account and wait for the disk scan process to start and complete. After that, you will be shown the total number of items on the floppy disk that the program was able to locate and that can be recovered along with the total list of all files.
Then select the items you want to recover and then click the Recover button at the bottom. To complete the process, all you need to do is to purchase the program's product key, indicate the destination location of the files and wait for the files to be saved on your Mac.
Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery
Another great program to which you can appeal to be able to read the ruined DVDs again by recovering the files saved on them is Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery. It is a software for macOS (actually a version for Windows is also available) used for this purpose that works on tracks and bad sectors without compromising data integrity and without causing further damage to the floppy disk. It's a paid version but you can download a free trial version (the one I used to write this guide) that requires you to enter the product key during recovery.
To serve you, first connect to the program's download page and click the Free Download button. When the download is complete, extract the obtained ZIP archive 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 launch the app and bypass Apple's restrictions on unauthorized developers.
Now, uncheck the type of files you don't want to recover from the Stellar Phoenix data Recovery window and click the Next button at the bottom right. By default, all items are selected: Documents, Email, Video, Audio and Photo.
Now select the disk for which you want to act among the devices attached to the Select location section and then click on the Scan button at the bottom. If you cannot see the disk among the devices connected to the computer, click on the directional arrows on the right and/or left in the program window.
When the scanning procedure is complete, click on OK in response to the warning that appears on the screen indicating the completion of the operation, then select from the main window of the software the items you want to recover and press the Recover button. Then make the purchase of the product key of the program, scan it into the appropriate field and wait for the recovery procedure to start and complete.