Optical discs are a great way of storing digital content but they are also highly sensitive and we often find ourselves with a pile of scratched CDs and DVDs and no clue on how to get our precious files back. There is no 100% effective solution, as sometimes disks can present too much damage but in most cases the situation is not that bad…..and yes, there is hope.
IsoBuster is a small yet proficient CD/DVD data recovery program designed to retrieve contents from damaged CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs in an effortless manner so basically anyone can benefit from this amazing tool.
Installation & Requirements
IsoBuster’s install process takes just a bit longer than it took me to write this sentence. All you have to do is choose file associations and the basic stuff (such as shortcuts). In just a few seconds IsoBuster is ready to start doing its job. No sneaky adware, toolbars, browser homepage changing or similar annoying windows.
IsoBuster is a Windows-only application and is compatible with all operating systems from Windows 2000 up to Vista and 7. Hardware requirements are not worth mentioning since this utility was designed to work on any computer that can read optical discs.
The appearance of IsoBuster can’t be classified as stylish but it is very easy to comprehend, although you need to have a basic understanding of CD and DVD types and image file formats. The interface has the Windows Explorer look and feel, making it very easy for Windows users to familiarize with it. The program automatically detects if you have a disc inserted in any of the computer’s CD or DVD-ROM drives and will display all the contained files and folders in the two dedicated areas.
The top menu is composed of only 3 categories – File, Options and Help – but that pretty much all you’ll need. From the File section you can click on any of the inserted CDs or DVDs and access all the actions you can perform on them such as creating an image file and save it on your hard drive, view folder tree and file information, verify if all the files on the disc are physically readable and find missing files and folders. A large number of settings are available in the Options submenu, and you can tweak all the program’s aspects including supported image files extension, actions and GUI.
The Help menu, well… we all know why we click on that: IsoBuster provides guidance through a manual but you can also contact the support team through an online form on their website.
– Small and very easy to install program.
– Clean Explorer-like interface created for functionality.
– Supports all CD, DVD, Blu-ray (BD and HD DVD) formats.
– Checks discs for errors.
– Can read and find missing files on many file systems, including ISO9660, Romeo, Joliet, Rock Ridge, CD-i, UDF 1.02 up to 2.6, FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, HFS, HFS+, IFO/VOB.
– None worth mentioning.
In case you were wondering, you can download IsoBuster for free and use the basic version, or choose to upgrade to Pro and get a few more extras. However, competition does exist and the software industry delivers a few other utilities for CD/DVD data recovery that are worth checking out.
CD Recovery Toolbox is a free application very similar to IsoBuster and equipped with a wizard-style interface. Non-technical users will probably consider the step-by-step interface of this Windows program to be a simpler way to get things done.
CD/DVD Data Recovery is a commercial recovery utility, featuring extensive support for many types of optical discs, and is capable of recovering corrupted files, scan disk sectors, rescue damaged files and the list goes on.
Since all of these programs are highly qualified recovery tools and share many similarities, choosing one comes down to a matter of personal taste.
IsoBuster is one of those programs that truly does what it says it can, and even if you will use just the basic free features, it can still work miracles with damaged CDs and DVDs, without having to experience nagging pop-up commercials and other types of adware.