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CD, DVD, PlayStation and Xbox Disk Repair

To understand how to repair a CD, DVD, PlayStation Disk, Xbox or Wii Disk, it is useful to know a little about how disks are formed.

Disk Layers

CDs and DVDs are made of layers. From the top, these layers are as follows:

Printed layer

This is the layer at the top of the CD or DVD and has is usually printed with hard-wearing enamel-type ink. Contrary to popular belief, this is the layer to be careful not to scratch, as the important data layer of the disk is just below this. Deep scratches or damage to CDs, DVDs and PlayStation disks at the top layer usually cannot be repaired.

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Lacquer Layer

This is a very thin, but quite hard-wearing layer of the disk. It has been known to peel off if a CD, DVD, PlayStation Disk, Xbox Disk or Wii Disk has been left in bright sunlight. If this happens, the data layer will also be damaged.

 

Data Layer

This is a foil layer that actually contains the data on your CD, DVD or XBox disk. Very deep scratches causing damage to this disk layer cannot be repaired. With any cracked disks, this layer will be damaged and your disk will be irreparable.

 

Clear Plastic Layer

This soft plastic disk layer makes up 1mm of the 1.2mm CD, DVD, PlayStation, Xbox or Wii disk and as this layer is quite soft, it is susceptible to scratching. If this layer becomes scratched, your disk will become unplayable, or may skip. The scratch refracts the light from the laser and ‘confusing’ data is sent to the CD or DVD player, PlayStation or Xbox.  Fortunately, this layer of the disk can be repaired.

 

Double-sided DVDs

Double-sided DVDs have the data layer sandwiched in between two clear disk layers. Therefore, each layer of the DVD is thinner, thus damage to the data layer is more likely. This also means there are two of the softer layers, which are more likely to get scratched.

 

                                                  Repairing a Scratched Disk                            

Before attempting any of the suggestions below, you need to make sure that it is a scratch causing your disk to skip and not dirt or dust, which can simply be cleaned with soapy water.

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Please remember that attempting to try any of the disk repair suggestions below can make your damage worse. If you value the data on your disk, it is recommended that you use a specialist disk repair company, such as www.cd-repair.co.uk. They will use specialist equipment and if your disk cannot be repaired, you will get a refund. If your data is important or expensive, a specialist CD, DVD, PlayStation, Xbox and Wii disk repair company may be the best option.

 

To repair your CD, DVD or other disk, with damage to the soft plastic layer, you will need to polish out the scratch enough so that it doesn’t interfere with the laser’s path to the data layer. It is not always necessary to completely remove the scratch from the disk.

 

Disk Repair step 1

Firstly, give your disk a rinse under the tap. You want to make sure there is no grit or specs of dust that will make disk scratch damage worse.

 

Disk Repair Step 2

You now need to use a mild abrasive to polish out the scratch. Many people have claimed good results with toothpaste, although in this is often not as effective as Brasso or car rubbing-compound, such as T-Cut (although toothpaste smells nicer!). If the scratch is quite deep, more abrasive cleaners can be used, working toward a milder abrasive (see the table below for a review of different abrasives).

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You will need to use a soft, lint-free cloth and rub gently in a circle around the scratch. Do not press hard, as this produces more scratches, but keep going gently until the scratch is removed. Also do not use tissue.

 

Disk Repair Step 3

Rinse the CD, DVD, PlayStation disk, or Xbox disk and check that the scratch has been removed (not necessarily completely).

 

Disk Repair Step 4

Spread car wax onto the whole of the disk, with a soft, clean, lint-free cloth. Allow the disk to dry then wipe off.

 

Disk Repair Step 5

Try the disk. Return to step 2, if not fixed.

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Kits vs. Household Abrasives

The following table shows the effectiveness of different repair kits and household abrasives. It is taken from an article by Frank Hudzon for Burningissues.net. For this in-depth article, click here.

CD Repair Kits & Home Remedies

Memorex   

Maxell

Disc-Saver

Crystal-Disc

Acetone

Toothpaste

Brasso Metal Polish

Rubbing Compound
(e.g. TCut)

 Comet Cleanser

First Application

*

N/C

**

**

Damaged CD

N/C

**

**

*

Second  Application

**

*

***

***

N/A

N/C

***

**

**

Third Application

***

**

***

****

N/A

N/C

****

***

**

Rating

Good

Poor

Good

=Best

Dangerous

Useless

=Best

Good

Poor

Legend: N/C = no change; * = some improvement, ***** = total repair

If this doesn’t work

Visit a specialist disk repair company, who will post your disk back looking shiny and new.      

 

 

 

 

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