IsoBuster

Despite the mental image of Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray hosing down poltergeists, IsoBuster 2.7 isn't a disc wiping utility or some such, but a recovery program that can retrieve data from damaged or accidentally reformatted CD/DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray discs. Success will vary with the problem (the disc must be at least readable by the drive), but I did manage to grab some data from a deliberately reformatted CD-RW. IsoBuster supports ISO9660, Joliet, UDF and even the Mac HFS/HFS+ systems.

IsoBuster's other claim to fame is its ability to read and extract data from a large number of image formats (images are the contents of an entire disc or partition written to a single file). Supported formats include Mac .dmg files and those from most of the big vendors, notably Nero's .nrg. Check the Web site for a full list of supported formats.

If you need to recover data from an optical disc that Windows or other programs won't recognize, IsoBuster is definitely worth a shot. It's an affordable gamble and doubles as a handy image reader/extractor (though if that's all you need, the free Daemon Tools is a better bet).

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