This paper presents a novel system for automatic data recovery from damaged CD (or DVD). The system acquires a
sequence of optically magnified high resolution digital images of partially overlapping CD-surface regions. Next,
advanced image processing and pattern recognition techniques are used to extract the data encoded on the CD from
image frames. Finally, forensic data recovery techniques are applied to provide the maximal usable CD data.
Using the CD's error correction information, the entire data of a non-damaged CD can be extracted with 100% accuracy.
However, if an image frame covers a damaged area, then the data encoded in the frame and some of its eight neighbor
image frames may be compromised. Nevertheless, the effect of the frame overlapping, error correction code, forensic
data recovery, and data fusion techniques can maximize the amount of data extracted from compromised frames.
The paper analyzes low level image processing techniques, compromised frames scenarios, and data recovery results. An
analytical model backed by experimental set up shows that there is high probability of recovering data despite certain
damages. Current results should be of high interest to law enforcement and home-land-security agencies. They merit
further research and investigation to cover additional applications of image processing of CD frames, such as encryption,
parallel access, and zero-seek-time.