Thanks JohnC_21. I'll look that over. . . . . . Photorec detected my three HDD's but didn't find my DVD. Plus, that program looks like it's a bit over my head. . . . . . If I put a good DVD in the drive, Photorec will find the DVD drive, but not with a 'bad' DVD. Do you still think this linux recovery disk might work?
And for mainer21 also,
From what I have been reading, and something I had forgotten, the data on CD's and DVD's doesn't last forever. Aparently the dyes used in the disks fade after a while. Seems to me it should last 7 years though. Maybe I exposed them to too much prolonged sunlight at some time. Maybe the data has faded.
I've read that if you write the disk at a slow speed, it will be imprinted better and last longer. Conversely, I would think that reading the data at a slow speed would more reliably find it.
Problem is, my machine isn't even recognizing that these older disks are in the drive. I suppose there could be a number of reasons for this. But, if the reason is because of 'faded' data, I really don't know, but I'm thinking that if I find a program that takes control of the drive, spins it, and tries to read the disk at a slow speed, it might be able to find the data.
I don't know if that makes sense. I don't know if 'faded' data is the problem. And, I don't know if there is any such program.
Any other free programs that might help? Any ideas to try?