Data Recovery of CDs, DVDs

CDs and DVDs can be an excellent resource for people who need a cheap, effective way to backup their most important information. People commonly use these discs to store backup information for important files or special pictures that they don't want to risk losing. Once the discs are stored in a filing cabinet or other safe environment, the feeling is that the information is now secure indefinitely. The problem here is that these storage options, while simple, are not nearly as safe as many people assume they are. They can be damaged in a number of ways, resulting in the need for data recovery services to save any remaining data.

How CDs and DVDs can Become Corrupted

Unlike many other types of data storage methods, CDs and DVDs are actually much more susceptible to physical damage than they are to logical damage. Most DVDs are designed to store certain types of data, and that data is rarely ever altered or added to. Due to this, it's not very likely that new data could be placed onto the DVD that would alter the logical stability of the data enshrined there. The same can generally be said for CDs, where files are not normally transferred off and onto the CD with any regularity.

Due to the stability of the data itself on the disc, physical damage to the reading surface of the disc is far more likely. Scratches, dings, smoke and sunlight can all cause irreversible damage to a CD or DVD. Most of this is caused by the improper handling of the discs while they are out of the jewel case. People grab the reading surface of the disk with their fingers or stack them on top of one another harshly. This repeated abuse can result in damaged discs that are almost impossible to read.

Fixing the Issue

When you are trying to recover data from a CD or DVD, there are a couple of routes that you can take. Some of them are very simple and could fix the problem in no time at all. However, others are much more intensive and will require you to put a little more time and money into getting the results you want.

The first thing you can try is fixing the scratches on your disc with a disc scratch remover. Often, the problems facing a DVD or CD are due to scratches making the CD or DVD mostly unreadable to the laser inside the drive. When the laser can't read a disc due to these scratches, it's possible to make the disc readable again by fixing those scratches. Scratch repair devices, sprays and creams are all shown to have varying degrees of success. Most of the time, these simple solutions are more than enough to help make a disc readable to the drive. In other cases, these solutions may not be much help at all, and you may need more specialized help to get your information back.

Data recovery technicians have access to software and technologies that are more capable of recovering lost data than commonly-available consumer methods. By using specialized software, data recovery technicians can recover corrupted data files. They can also pull fragments of data off of discs that have suffered physical damage that has rendered them unreadable. They also have access to specialty hardware like oscilloscopes that can read data from a disc that has been significantly compromised. In many ways, this is the same technology they would use to look into the disc of a damaged hard drive to pull information off.

The amount of information that can be saved will depend largely on the extent of the damage to the disc or the files on the disc. While some problems may be fixed in a relatively short amount of time with minimal resources, greater levels of damage will require more intensive recovery measures. Aside from the more intensive measures required to pull data off of severely damaged DVDs and CDs, you should also realize that less data can be pulled out during these issues. When there is severe damage to the disc, you may only be able to pull of fragments of files if you can recover anything at all.

Weigh Time, Effort, Cost and Gain Against Each Other

In many cases, the information lost from a DVD or CD is of more sentimental value than monetary value. However, it is also common for people to keep very important tax information and other valuable data on these discs. When weighing your recovery options, it is always important to look at the decision before you as a simple evaluation of the cost versus potential gain. When you look at it objectively, you will be able to make a more educated decision on whether the expense is worth it or not.