CD and DVD are fragile media. A few scratches here and there and they can easily become coasters on your table. First and foremost try some software apps to make your life easier and attempt to recover data from the disc. Just insert the damaged CD, DVD, HD DVD (if you still use them) or Blue-Ray disc and the software will show you the list of files and folders found on the disc.
- CD Recovery Toolbox
- Roadkil’s Unstoppable Copier
- If you use Linux you can try ddrescue for recovery needs.
If the disc has profound scratches you can try to repair those scratches to make the disc playable again. Here’re the steps to repair the damaged CDs:
- First clean the surface of the disc with a soft lint-free cloth. You can use a gentle detergent (or rubbing alcohol) if there are some grease spots. Make sure there are no finger prints or dust particles. Don’t scrub too hard as you may do more harm than good this way.
- Now apply some toothpaste or polish on the scratched surface. It is best to start with a minimum amount of either, or else you will have your work really cut out trying to buff away the remainder.
- Now rub gently with a cloth moving from the center outwards.