Best Free CD Recovery Utility


Unfortunately it is still common to encounter partially or entirely unreadable CDs. The causes are many, ranging from simple scratches through to partially written sessions. Important data might not be accessible anymore, reason enough to look into tools that can help with the recovery.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Audit your data.

These products deliver operational benefits beyond risk management; they reflect an understanding of both the risks in data and the benefits of auditing.

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CD Recovery ToolboxCD Recovery Toolbox supports all CD/DVD formats.  This program was designed to restore lost data due to a damaged disk.  The program interface is driven by a wizard, where the user has to perform a single action on each page.  Use of this wizard makes the tool very easy to use for beginners.

CD Recovery Toolbox finds the maximum amount of recoverable information on the damaged disk. It will show a list of all files and folders available for recovery. The user can select the files and folders to be recovered.

We should mention that there can be some information on the disk that cannot be recovered. This depends on the degree and location of the damage.


CDCheckAn alternative is CDCheck, which can scan most CDs in a few minutes to tell you if the data is OK - this way, you don't have to find out the hard way that there is a problem.

Plus you can use the time it takes for a scan to complete as indicator of the CD or DVDs overall health - even though files may not be recorded as damaged, slower results normally indicate a CD that is on the way out (expect longer times if there are more files on the CD).

If a CD or DVD is showing files with damage, or you can no longer read a file in a drive, CDCheck can be switched to recovery mode and makes a full sweep of the CD or DVD, recovering lost files along the way. When parts of a file can't be fully recovered, the program will still recover any salvageable fragments.


Unstoppable CopierUnstoppable Copier recovers files from disks with physical damage. It 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 usable even if some parts were not recoverable in the end.

The program can be used as a daily backup system using its batch mode functions. A list of transfers can be saved to a file and then run from the command line to perform the same batch of transfers on a regular basis without having to use the GUI interface. The program supports command line parameters which allow the application to be run from schedulers or scripts so it can be fully integrated into daily server tasks.

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Quick Selection Guide

CD Recovery Toolbox

Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
supports all CD / DVD / BD / HD DVD formats and all common file-systems
currently does not support Windows 7
2.34 MB
Unrestricted freeware
Windows 2000 to Windows Vista


Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
scan CD's, recover CD's, salvage fragments
This product is free to use but note: the authors state that you should request a free license from CDCheck online (you must register as a CDCheck online user, activate your account, login to CDCheck online and request free license).
1.5 MB
Unrestricted freeware
Windows 95 to 7

Unstoppable Copier

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Small program. Easy to use.
The program isn't guaranteed to recreate every piece of missing data on damaged media, but it's well worth giving it a try.
417.2 KB
Open source freeware
v5.2 released 17 September, 2010
Windows, Linux

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recover optical disc, recover cd, dvd, bd, blu-ray, hd dvd.

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CD Recovery Toolbox is now compatible with Windows 7 and 8.