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Archive for January 2010

making backup copies of damaged dvds using ddrescue

with 5 comments

I would normally use AnyDVD (on Windows) to take a backup of a DVD with copy protection, but is doesn’t seem to handle read errors very well (e.g. discs have small scratches) and copies fail.

GNU ddrescue (gddrescue, ddrescue, NOT dd_rescue) on linux is supposed to be better at handling small errors and is designed to handle read errors.

Using ddrescue

So far I have found that the best way is to take an quick(ish) initial copy;

ddrescue -b 2048 -n -v /dev/sr0 image.iso image.log

This reads the whole disk once, marking any bad blocks as “non-trimmed”. It then reads again in the other direction retrying any bad blocks. Any blocks that still fail are “trimmed” then marked as non-split. There is no further processing after this because of the -n option.

If there are any read errors do another pass using the direct option (-d). You must also specify the number of retries that bad sectors get (-r), otherwise they will be ignored;

ddrescue -b 2048 -d -r 3 -v /dev/sr0 image.iso image.log

… if there are further errors then you can use the -R (retrim) option to retry full sectors (taken from Forensics Wiki). This will try the any bad sectors in a different order which might help read some (according to the ddrescue documentation, see link below);

ddrescue -b 2048 -d -r 3 -R -v /dev/sr0 image.iso image.log

I have yet to investigate using different drives to read the disc for another pass, but this might also help.

Other Notes

I don’t think this method (using ddrescue)  removes any copy protection.


Full manual for GNU ddrescue;

Reading discs might take a long time;–td21461792.html

Good documentation about Data Recovery and ddrescue;


Written by sumofungus

January 19, 2010 at 2:07 AM

Posted in Uncategorized