Recovering Data From Damaged DVDs

With cloud storage quickly gaining popularity in the last year, a lot of the information we use and save—from documents and songs to movies and photos—are stored on large webservers. But a lot of the information we have stored, especially before the rapid rise of cloud storage, was done on CDs and DVDs. 

If you have information stored on a DVD, whether it is a collection of family images or important data related to your work, it can be extremely upsetting if you are unable to access the information. There are a lot of reasons that a DVD may not be able to be read normally, such as minor abrasions to large scratches or even after a corrupt burn. 

If you have information stored on disks that you are unable to access, here is what you need to know about recovering data from damaged DVDs and some of the options that you have available to you:

Try Software Recovering Data Options :

There are a lot of different pieces of software that have been made over the years to recover information from DVDs. The way that most of these software solutions work is simple: it begins by extracting all of the data that is intact on the disk. At this point the software will try to understand what type of corruption is preventing the disk to be read and piecing that information back together. 

It is important to note that most recovery software takes a long time and is not always guaranteed to work. If you have information stored on a disk it may also be better to extract the disk image as a whole—including the corrupt data—and trying to repair the disk image that way. This will allow programs to run and repair the corrupt Twitter data without needing the DVD to continuously spin for hours at a time (which could cause further damage). 

Repair The Disk Physically :

If the reason that you cannot access data on the disk is not from a corrupt burn but actually from abrasions or scratches, you may want to repair the disk physically before waiting hours (or days) for software solutions. A simple DIY solution would be to buy a disk resurfacer and try to buff out any minor scratches. If the scratches are deep you may need to use pure, clear nail polish to fill in the cracks and continue to buff until the disk is smooth and scratch free. There are also commercial resurfacing products available that include scratch-filling solutions. These are more expensive than just using clear nail polish but they may do a better job.

Consider a Professional Solution :

If you are recovering data from damaged DVDs that is extremely important or highly sensitive, there are professional data recovery agencies that specialize in difficult disk recovery. These type of services often use a mix of proprietary software and specialized repair equipment to fix any physical imperfections on the disk and then use software algorithms to piece back corrupt data. There is no perfect solution that will guarantee a disk can be repaired, and damage to the disk’s reflective image itself may be irreversible.