I have a corrupted CD from which I want to copy files. The problem is that the default Windows 7 copy utility gets completely stuck when it encounters a corrupted sector of the CD. Can you recommend utilities with an option to manually skip certain files on-the-fly, or with option to specify a time out for every file copy?


Robocopy, which is built into Windows.

To copy files from a CD-ROM, assuming drive D:\, you'd do something like this:

robocopy D:\ C:\ThisIsTheTargetFolder /MIR /R:1 /W:1
  • D:\ means the source, which in this example is the D: drive.
  • C:\ThisIsTheTargetFolder is obvious, but you need to set the correct target path.
  • /MIR mirrors the folder structure.
  • /R:1 means retry once for each file. You can change this.
  • /W:1 means to wait 1 second between retries. You can change this too.

Type robocopy at the command prompt to see more options. You would be interested in the Exclusion List options, which are /XF and /XD. Very powerful stuff.

Hope this helps!

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  • 3
    My experience indicates that when robocopy encounters a difficult to read file, it's output includes a percent complete, but it still "hangs" for quite some time before it moves on, even with /R:0. – Dale Oct 5 '15 at 21:35
  • Warning: before transfer it will delete content of C:\ThisIsTheTargetFolder if any exists – Wakan Tanka Jul 18 '16 at 22:31
  • I can also confirm that Robocopy still hangs on the problematic files: 0.0% New File 6.2 m 20170921_130000.jpg – Tony Sepia Mar 6 '18 at 7:41
  • But I am definitely upvoting this for the /XF option - I can iteratively exclude the ones that get stuck by adding them after the /XF flag – Tony Sepia Mar 6 '18 at 7:57

Teracopy may be worth a look.

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  • to add, this'll skip bad files, iirc prompt, and carry on – Journeyman Geek Apr 27 '12 at 1:37

You could also try RichCopy

RichCopy is a free utility that comes to us from Ken Tamaru of Microsoft. The tool was first developed in 2001 and has been updated regularly to keep pace with evolving needs. Trust me when I tell you, this is the answer to all your file copying needs. What you'll find most striking the first time you take RichCopy out for a spin is that it's a multithreaded copying tool. That means that rather than copying one file at a time in serial order, RichCopy can open multiple threads simultaneously, allowing many files to be copied in parallel and cutting the total time required to complete the operation several times over. You can also pause and resume file copy operations, so if you lose network connectivity at any point, you can just pick up where you left off.

It is like a super-charged GUI for Robocopy if you don't want to dig into the command line.

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Try Unstoppable Copier

Recovers files from disks with physical damage. Allows you to copy files from disks with problems such as bad sectors, scratches or that just give errors when reading data. The program will attempt to recover every readable piece of a file and put the pieces together. Using this method most types of files can be made useable even if some parts of the file were not recoverable in the end.

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"CBD (Copy Bad Disk) - like Unstoppable Copier" was offered as an 'answer' designed to test whether reviewers were paying attention, I failed because it seemed to me worth mentioning at least: (i) that is not free, though a trial is here and (ii) seems to be relevant to HDD only and (iii) some details.

BUT I would agree, it would have been an answer to a (slightly?) different question! (Isn't that often the case on SU?)

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Another simple utility is CopyFile: http://yurichev.com/copyfile.html

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