Some questions are really heartbreaking to read. I’m sure this is an issue that affects a lot of people and it’s a good time to warn people about making sure you have backups of important files. You think you have irreplaceable photos safely stored, but when you go to access them…gone.

Stell asked, “How can I retrieve photo from a CD?  Windows says it cannot read it because it is either damaged or files are corrupted. My grandparents grave stones are on the CD and they are the only pictures I have.

First I’d suggest cleaning the CD with a cleaning cloth, just in case the issue you’re having is caused by dirt. You might also want to try that CD in another computer.

CDs and DVDs are not a permanent storage medium , they can wear out like anything else.  If you store them under optimum conditions, they can last for years and years, but if they get too hot or too cold, they can be damaged and they are highly vulnerable to scratching and breaking.

If you have something irreplaceable on a CD, make sure you back those files up on another drive and maybe in the cloud as well.

There are CD recovery utilities you can try that may be able to retrieve files from a damaged disc. One of the more popular free ones is CD Recovery Toolbox. Whether it can find your files will depend on how damaged the CD is.

When you click on the download, you’ll see this Window.  Choose save and the file will save to your Downloads folder.


Click on CD Recovery Toolbox in your Downloads folder.


 You’ll then see this pop-up. Click Run.


After you give it permission to run, the set-up wizard will start.


Follow the steps and then click Finish.


 Put your CD in the drive and then launch CD Recovery Toolbox. Your drive should display like below:


You can then select where you’d like any recovered files to be saved.


The program will then display the files (if any) available for recovery on your disc.


Check the files you want to recover and choose Save.


Any recovered files will be saved to the folder you selected.


I can’t guarantee this will restore your files, but it can’t hurt to try.  Also, if you know a good computer tech that you trust, you could give him or her a shot at retrieving the file. It might be worth the expense if the files are precious to you.

~ Cynthia