Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Repair a scratched DVD?

Has anyone repaired a scratched DVD? I have one here that I'd like to fix, and I'm looking for the names of some products to try.

So, hit me with some products you've tried and know work well.

Gord

27 Comments:

At August 15, 2006 11:43 PM, Blogger Heather said...

You should try Skip Doctor. I just used it today to fix some cd's of mine that you can't buy anymore. It won't work on really deep scratches but it works on most of the others. There is the manual one and the electric. If you can spend the extra $ get the electric.

 
At August 16, 2006 5:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitely buy the SkipDr. They have a couple of "versions" like the DVD doctor and such but they are all the same. I'd recommend getting the automatic version cause your arm does get tired after all the cranking, depending on the scratch.

 
At August 16, 2006 7:58 AM, Blogger Film Girl said...

I concur -- Skip Dr/Disc Dr/Whatever incarnation they have now is FANTASTIC. I've been using it for six years (first the hand-crank system, then the less strenuous automatic),l and it is great. I started using it when I worked at a video game store, to fix traded in games that wouldn't play - and now use it at home.

If you have a really deep scratch, try using some toothpaste (I'm completely serious), and polish with that. The basic non-gel/non-flavored/non-fun paste works best (the Arm & Hammer baking soda paste is really good) or Brasso, the metal polish.

Sometimes it takes a few passes, but I've very rararely seen scratches so bad that toothpaste or Brasso couldn't fix. Just use a lint-free cloth to rub the paste or Brasso in a circular motion (don't apply too much pressure...but if you feel the cloth scratching the CD, that's okay) over the afflicted area. With toothpaste, rinse it off with warm water and let it air dry completely. With Brasso, wipe off the excess, let it air dry, and then wipe the disc again with a clean cloth.

I've also heard (but never tried) of people boiling discs in water for a few seconds (the water is already at a rising boil) to get troubled discs to play.

 
At August 16, 2006 10:32 AM, Blogger graham said...

i've also heard (& tried) peanut butter.....it depends on the scratch how successful it is...(generally only works on shallow scratches)...apply (obviously SMOOTH peanut butter) to the disc let it set for a minute or two so the peanut oil seeps into the indent....then wipe off with cloth or paper towel, gently....use a wet cloth if there is peanut butter remaining on the disc...& let dry...

this does only work for shallow scratches....but very inexpensive & effective on the right scratches!

 
At August 16, 2006 8:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have used Game Doctor which I got in an Electronics Boutique store. It is most likely much the same as Skip Doctor which has already been mentioned.

 
At August 17, 2006 2:23 PM, Blogger Gord Lacey said...

Sounds like "Skip Doctor" is the product to try. I was hoping I'd get a product that was the favorite of a bunch of people.

Thanks for the advice!

Gord

 
At August 27, 2006 3:22 PM, Anonymous Allan said...

Realistically a scratch cannot be repaired. A scratch is lost data, and Skip Doctor is not going to replace lost data. The reason your disk skips, or stalls, is probably because it's dirty. To clean a disk just use a soft cloth and water. Work your way around the disk, rubbing in little circles. I wouldn't use peanut butter, or any abrasive such as Brasso, this would just dammage the disk even more.

 
At August 27, 2006 4:15 PM, Blogger Gord Lacey said...

That's not really true. The data-layer is the top-most part of the CD/DVD (the one with the label on it), and the plastic, where the scratch is, is just the base. The scratch makes it hard for the laser to read the data, but the data is still intact. If the scratch can be buffed out enough that the laser can read the data, then it's considered to be "fixed."

gord

 
At August 29, 2006 1:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

best is to clean them and case them always

 
At August 29, 2006 11:33 PM, Blogger Gord Lacey said...

Right, my problem came from a disc that was scratched out of the case. I have a new set, so that's not an issue, but I wanted to use this scratched disc as a test. Every once and awhile things get scratched, though I haven't scratched a single CD/DVD myself... my friends have done it for me (which is why I no longer lend out discs).

Gord

 
At September 01, 2006 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work in a Public Library and we see lots of abuse in the DVD media. We bought a Skip Doctor and it really does prolong the live of the damaged product. These people can really abuse the product.

 
At September 07, 2006 11:42 PM, Anonymous Rik said...

If you want a perfect repair, find a CD/DVD shop that has a machine called Azuradisc (azuradisc.com). Usually non-chain used DVD stores will have one to repair their scratched discs, and will offer a service for $1 or 2 to re-surface your discs. If it's done properly, you can't tell the difference between a re-surfaced disc and a new one.

But, if you just want to play again, the Disc Dr. devices will probably work well... :)

 
At September 09, 2006 3:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This worked so well I wanted to share it with everybody!

How to fix a scratched dvd or cd.

Use car wax and make sure you wipe it of from the center out, not in a circle.

A friend who works with computers told my husband this, so I got some and tried it on our worst scratched movie that we haven't been able to watch in a long time, Finding Nemo, and we watched it completely through with perfectly! I couldn't believe it, I am so happy.

Pass it on to all your friends!

 
At September 16, 2006 4:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You commented that:
"The data-layer is the top-most part of the CD/DVD (the one with the label on it), and the plastic, where the scratch is, is just the base."

That is true of a CD. I give the "The label side is more prone to damage than the bottom and is NOT repairable" lecture whenever I see someone laying a CD upside down on a surface. About 3-4 times a month...

HOWEVER, a DVD is constructed differently. The section containing the data is actually in the CENTER of the disk between 2 layers of polycarbonate. The disk is a sandwich with a polycarbonate top, a middle data layer which can be a single layer (a DVD-5) 2 layers on a single side (a DVD-9) or a "flippy" (a DVD-10). The label is on the polycarbonate top which makes this side impervious to damage as far as the data is concerned (unlike the CD which can be destroyed by a scratch on the label side). It would take a very deep scratch to damage a DVD on the label side enough to cause harm to the data between the layers.

 
At October 29, 2006 11:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try Turtle Wax. I'm serious--this is an old trick that's been kicking around the geek world. It dries to the same index of refraction as plastic. Wipe on, let dry, wipe off.

 
At December 08, 2006 7:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When using the turtle wax/car wax method, how do you apply/remove?

 
At December 09, 2006 6:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Repair is a matter of either filling-in the scratches or, if not too deep, polishing the entire area so that the surrounding area is brought down to the level of the scratch.

Turtle Wax will work, on smaller scratches, by filling in the scratches. It is not because it is the same refractive index as the polycarbonate protective layer. It is because it is simply clear enough for the laser to pass through uniformly. Using a wax, such as this, works on many clear plastics such as polycarbonates and acrylics.

Toothpaste works (and probably Skip Doctor) because you are, essentially, sanding-off that surrounding area making the region uniform to the laser.

I would definitely start with the Turtle Wax (follow the directions). If that doesn't work, then try the polishing tactics. It is better not to remove the surface area if possible.

DVD 9's and 18's are dual layer (those with no labels on either side) so the data is in the center. However, DVD's with a label do have the data just under that label, the way CD's do. If the scratch is through the label, then the data itself may be lost.

 
At January 02, 2007 8:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My three year old son is constantly damaging his dvds. I have tried a Memorex machine, tooth paste, etc. I have even tried the disc skins/protectors, but my player won't register the disc. Can someone please tell me an alternative method or how to copy these to generic discs so they won't be damaged?

 
At March 17, 2007 5:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a thought: Don't let a 3-year-old child play with DVDs.

 
At April 07, 2007 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At first I was sceptical but I tried the "Peanut Butter Method" and I've been raving about it ever since. It is quick, easy and inexpensive. All you have to do is rub a thin layer all around the DVD and then lightly rub it off.

 
At May 14, 2007 9:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tryed the penut butter trick, it made it run a little smoother, but it still had trouble. Then again we had some deep scratches in our DVD. So now I need a cheep (but effective) way to sand down the scratches.

I also tryed toothpast but that didn't work.

 
At June 12, 2007 9:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This topic seems old, but I'll comment on it anyway.
(BTW, this came up with searching Toothpaste DVD)

Anyway, I went to buy a old Ps2 game at my local independent game store and he usded a big blue buffer to clean it. I checked when I got home if it worked and it did.

 
At September 23, 2007 6:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

none of those cheap gimmicky machines are any good, and can actually cause more damage... www.discstation.com.au has a free report on how to best repair scratched cds, and I use their disc go pod machine in my video store, as I have to get around 50 discs per day fixed, what a pain, but the discs are worth saving!

 
At January 26, 2008 7:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have tried toothpaste, pledge, and i even rubbed a banana all over my dvd and none of this crap worked!

 
At January 26, 2008 8:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

omg! None of this crap works! We tried for 2 hours to get the scratches out and it didn't work so we ended up watching Olympic figure skating!

 
At July 27, 2008 8:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i tried using the toothpaste and baking soda and it just made my disk even worse.... i would not recommend using any abrasives at all

 
At October 12, 2008 5:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

IT WORKS! I used Arm & Hammer baking soda toothpaste on my XBOX 360 game. Just put a little bit all over the disk then gently rub it in let it sit about 2 or 3 minutes. I used an old T-shirt to clean the toothpaste off.

 

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