Tips and Tricks on How to Open your Backup CD

Shirleylou from California writes:

I had a problem with my Dell desktop. My IT guy took it back to original default. He made a backup CD before doing this. I cannot open it although he said he did so on his own computer. Is there a trick I don’t know about? I lost a lot of important information. Help me if you can. Thank you.

You need backup CDs or DVDs in order to ensure that you have your previous files saved before a system reboot. A reboot may have be caused by a lot of causal factors such as virus infestation or system upgrade for faster performance. The bottom-line is: without backup, you’d start from square one again.

First, try asking your IT guy what type of backup recovery CD or DVD did he use to put your old files in a secure place while reboot is happening.  

If it’s a normal CD/DVD, make sure that you’d get more than 3 copies since system and partition takes more than 2 DVD backup storage.

Is your DVD drive properly working? A registry tinkering may help you with this and it will depend on what OS type you’ve got. 

Once you’re inside the “regedit” portion enter this registry sub key:


Then click UpperFilters.

For hardware problems, use troubleshooting options in BIOS and follow on-screen prompts leading to Main then System Summary (wording for BIOS in different laptops may occur). Under that, you should have CD/DVD Rom listed in the IDE. If you don’t see it, then this is another underlying problem needing more expert hands.

Some other tips include:


Contact an IT professional that can help reinstall the operating system for you

In this case, your IT guy. But before doing so here’s a trick: If the backup CD cannot be opened, restart the system and then press F3 for several times. Locate the default settings and restore.

Perhaps the CD is damaged?

If CD does not play automatically, restart your laptop, and go to the BIOS screen as prompted. This can be usually done by pressing an F command before the actual startup happens. If recovery console does not load after the boot sequence menu you followed, restart it again. If you see a text in the bottom or top of the screen which indicates the boot menu, open it and find an option with the “Windows  Recovery Console” label, but only if its present. The second attempt at boot menu may be really fast so numerous attempts at restarting may happen. 

~ Cory Buford


One thought on “Tips and Tricks on How to Open your Backup CD

  1. I found your answer confusing and she has a desktop, not a laptop. Rather than giving her a registry tweak for her optical drive right off the bat, why not just have her try to open some other CDs first to see if her drive is OK?

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