I'm trying to recover music from some pretty scratched CD's and DVD's, in both CD audio and MP3 format. Windows copy is not my friend here, because often the read process will hang indefinitely, so I have to cancel the whole copy etc. I'm looking for something that will just get all the files it can get off a disk, and graciously time out or just plain skip files that can't be read.

All suggestions are welcome.

  • If you are willing to give linux a shot for this purpose, then ddrescue is a good tool. Also keep in mind that you can frequently buff out the scratches depending on how bad they are. – Zoredache Jul 25 '11 at 2:00
  • I'd be more than willing to give Ubiuntu a try, but the download speed and size are literally prohibitive, for any distribution in fact. – ProfK Jul 25 '11 at 7:15
  • You don't really need a full install for this, in fact a full install actually would be more trouble then it is worth. Ideally you would be just using a LIVE rescue image like sysresccd.org – Zoredache Jul 25 '11 at 7:23

Chances are that simple Windows-based tools will not do what you want.

Why? Because they have no idea you're using them on a CD! If they hang, they'll all hang.

IsoBuster is pretty much made for what you want: optical disc file recovery.

It has a bunch of options (e.g. the number of retries) where you can fine-tune between accuracy and speed, and it bypasses Windows' mechanisms entirely.

There's not much more for me to say about it; just try it and see.

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  • Could you please provide a bit more info than just a mere link? That isn't very helpful. – nhinkle Jul 25 '11 at 6:25
  • @nhinkle: Sure, 1 sec... – user541686 Jul 25 '11 at 6:25
  • @nhinkle: Yup! Thanks for being an awesome mod! :) – user541686 Jul 25 '11 at 6:49
  • I have the free IsoBuster version, but it seems very crippled. Maybe I just need to spend more time with it. – ProfK Jul 25 '11 at 19:34
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    Thanks @Mehrdad, but I've come right and it was working nicely last night. isoBuster is the way to go here; it puts Teracopy and Robocopy to shame. – ProfK Jul 30 '11 at 11:35

Robocopy is a built in tool in Windows that can be configured (via various switches) to copy, ignore errors, and essentially duplicate a directory structure.

Teracopy is a similar tool that has a graphical interface and I believe can also be told to ignore errors or at the very least can tell if a file has already been copied and to skip those files.

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    +1 because Robocopy is short for "Robust File Copy" :) – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jul 24 '11 at 20:53
  • +1 because Robocopy is built in and I never even knew about it. – ProfK Jul 24 '11 at 21:55

I haven't used Windows for years but in old days, cdparanoia (you can use this in Windows with CDex) was the best solution for to rip a scratched CD audio. Both are open source. Anyway the process will take hours :)

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