Cannot read file from CD: cyclic data error

OK, hope you guys can help.

First off I’m trying to read a self-extracting zip (it’s an .exe) from a cd. The file is around 310mb.

I first tried doing this in my laptop. After about a minute of chugging away and not doing anything, my laptop refused to recognize my CD-ROM drive. It’s icon just dissapeared from My Computer. Granted it’s a removable drive and I fixed the problem by restarting, but this seemed like an odd way for Windows to solve a problem.

I next tried the disk in my desktop. Here I got a cyclic data error. I have no idea what this means.

Upon taking a close look at the CD i noticed a few small scratches aligned in the direction of travel on the CD surface. I fear this is the problem…

Can someone help??


Hi there!

You probably got it very right: the disc is physically damaged, causing this problem to happen.

Is the disc totally unusable? Maybe not! If you have a very good reader, it might still be possible to copy the zip from the disc. Try to use a burner to read the disc, as these sometimes handle scratched media better.

Good luck and report back when (un)succesful!


I tried reading the CD with my burner… No luck.
I should have mentioned that my desktop is reading with a DVD-ROM drive. I don’t think that makes a difference. Any other fixes? I downloaded some app that would read through the missing bytes and try to recover the whole file but the result was unusable… Ho hum.

how brave are you? have you considered cleaning the disc? if all other options have been exhausted, sometimes cleaning the disc will make it readable again. My favorite cleaning method is toothpaste (seriously). there are some very good posts on our forum about it - and how it will remove part of the cd’s protective covering, including the scratches that are preventing it from being read.

just use our search function in the top toolbar :smiley:

That’s right… we even had a frontpage article on this restore method, but I can’t seem to find it anymore. Anyhow… I’ll see if I can dig it up!

Laptop drives unfortunately suck at reading any type of CDRW, if that is what it is, of particular disgust are the matushita / panasonic drives, which also don’t even come close to detecting most CDR!

Try using a Phalocyanine type cdr (clear dye) with a silver backing, which is the closest you can get to a pressed cd.

Once the cd is detected Ok, copy the file from the CD to the HD.
Don’t try to extract the files directly from CD. You are just asking for read issues to turn up :frowning: