I have some optical discs that are sorely scratched. I've cleaned the discs, but they still have trouble reading. When trying ddrescue to backup the discs, it will read up to X bytes, and fail on all bytes after that (because the drive needs to be ejected before it can resume from the read failure).

Is there any good software specifically for the purpose of copying scratched optical discs to an image file?

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    To clarfy, ddrescue works horribly on optical discs, because it is unable to read any portion of the disc after a read fail. The only way for ddrescue to read beyond the point of a read fail is eject and reinsert the disc. – Sepero May 17 '12 at 3:30


sudo apt-get install safecopy

safecopy is a data recovery tool which tries to extract as much data as possible from a problematic (i.e. damaged sectors) source - like floppy drives, hard disk partitions, CDs, tape devices, ..., where other tools like dd would fail due to I/O errors.

Safecopy includes a low level IO layer to read CDROM disks in raw mode, and issue device resets and other helpful low level operations on a number of other device classes.



I would recommend creating an image of what is actually good in the CD. Tell dd to keep on going even on a read error. a basic example would be:

dd if=/dev/cdrom of=cd.iso conv=noerror

you might need to add the sync and notrunc flags there if the above does not work as you wanted for a very horrible state.

dd if=/dev/cdrom of=cd.iso conv=noerror,notrunc,sync

Tne important thing here is noerror which tells dd to keep on going even when something is bad.


Use furniture polish on the discs to fill in the scratches. Alternatively you can try buffing the scratches down with toothpaste.



Use cdrdao tools to create a BIN file, then use iat to convert it from BIN to ISO.

$ sudo apt-get install cdrdao iat
$ sudo cdrdao read-cd --source-device /dev/sr0 --datafile data.bin toc.txt
$ iat data.bin data.iso

Adding to old posts:

I see toothpaste and furniture polish mentioned; I have an alternative that has worked a lot better than toothpaste for me: rubbing compound for car paint - here is a google search for that.

Tip: http://vileda-professional.com has a product named wettex, (direct link as of this writing). I had one of these properly moistened and then wrung out, placed on a flat surface, the CD/DVD with optical side up on top of it. Then I ran a hand drill with a polishing wheel and rubbing on it. Care has to be taken to not overheat the CD/DVD plastic - add water as/if the hand drill works hard.

Under any circumstances this is part of a data-salvage operation, the CD may work well after rubbing - but should be considered scrap.

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