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Thread: Recovering Scratched CDs

  1. #1
    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    Recovering Scratched CDs

    http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/77

    Every user has had trouble with a scratched CD. In the case of data CDs (CD-ROM), the drive cannot properly read the CD, giving rise to reading errors. In the case of audio CDs, the CD skips when we play it.

    The first thing to do when coming across a CD with a read error is to clean it, to check whether it the error is not being caused by a dirty surface. You can even wash the CD gently with a little detergent, using your fingers to clean it (avoid sponges, since they can scratch the CD). If the error persists, try reading or playing the CD on another drive. If another drive (or CD player, in the case of audio CDs) gives the same result (read error or skipping, in the case of audio CDs), it will mean that the CD is scratched.

    Looking against the light, the recording surface (the flip side of the label) of a CD with this kind of trouble will allow you to easily see one or more existing scratches. A CD's data is recorded on a metal layer inside it, a silvered layer on commercial CDs, which is usually golden on CD-Rs. This metal layer is inset in a transparent plastic covering (polycarbonate), used to protect the CD's metal layer and allow printing a label on the side not used for reading.

    A CD-ROM drive or CD player utilizes a laser beam to read the metal layer. This laser beam crosses the plastic layer and reads the metal layer. If the plastic layer is scratched, the beam will be unable to pass through it, resulting in a read error or skipping the music. In other words, the data to be read are still in the CD, the trouble lies in the layer of plastic.

    As the CD's contents are preserved, a scratched CD can be recovered by polishing its plastic surface. If, after carrying out the above cleansing, the CD persists in giving reading errors, just polish the CD with toothpaste. That's right, toothpaste. It works wonders, and you won't spend a fortune buying professional cleaning kits. Polish the scratches with a cotton swab, rubbing gently the paste-imbued swab over the scratches until they disappear or until you notice that you have removed them as far as possible. Sometimes the paste may cause new scratching, but it will be merely superficial and easily removed. After clearing the scratches, wash the CD in water.

    If there are still scratches that the toothpaste has not managed to removed, use a metal polish (Brasso) in the same way as described above. Finally, rub Vaseline on the CD, very gently (do not press hard), from moving out from the centre to the rim.

    The last step will be testing the CD. If it starts working properly, great. If not, repeat the above procedure, looking for the scratch that is causing the error and concentrating your polishing efforts on it.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Nice tips there. Indeed I never contemplated using Vaseline to remove scratches... amazing.

  3. #3
    British Stud Muffin TZ Veteran GimieGimieGimie's Avatar
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    Call me stupid but i tried this and the toothpaste just made a nasty uncleanable stain, lol

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GimieGimieGimie
    Call me stupid but i tried this and the toothpaste just made a nasty uncleanable stain, lol
    Did you give a vaseline a rub?

  5. #5
    British Stud Muffin TZ Veteran GimieGimieGimie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Booger
    Did you give a vaseline a rub?
    lol, i'll have to buy some and see what happens

  6. #6
    British Stud Muffin TZ Veteran GimieGimieGimie's Avatar
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    I haven't got around to rubbing vacaline on the cd but this thread did remind me to post about my constant problems with huge video files and cds.

    On a regular basis, (basically it's the norm), when ever i burn huge movie files such as 700mb movie files to DVD, when i play the files from DVD or try to copy them back over the HD it always results in a CRC error and every time i check the surface of the disk, it's FLAWLESS.

    I try the same disk in 3 different drives and the same result, It really gets on my nerves, the only solution i've found is to RAR up the video files, thus making them unplayable in DVD players and i'm forced to unrar the files to the desktop, then play them via S-Video to my t.v.

    Has anyone got any ideas what might be the problem?

    I've figured it might be the DVD media i'm using (8-), in that case i'll just have to keep raring them until i change my media, my other conclusion was that it might be the burning software i use but after so long i doubt i could ever part from Nero Burning Rom v6.6

    Anyone have any similar situations?
    Last edited by GimieGimieGimie; April 4th, 2006 at 20:57 PM.

  7. #7
    Friendly Neighborhood Super Moderator phishhead's Avatar
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    I think you should try cleaning the drives with KY. Its better than vaseline.



  8. #8
    British Stud Muffin TZ Veteran GimieGimieGimie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phishhead
    I think you should try cleaning the drives with KY. Its better than vaseline.
    Is that a serious comment?

  9. #9
    Friendly Neighborhood Super Moderator phishhead's Avatar
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    just think if it doesnt clean the cds then you have a full tube of KY for your personal massages.



  10. #10
    British Stud Muffin TZ Veteran GimieGimieGimie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phishhead
    just think if it doesnt clean the cds then you have a full tube of KY for your personal massages.
    Fair enough, lol

    But i want a 2nd opinion

    And KY jelly sucks btw, too sticky for *any* personal use

  11. #11
    Bronze Member bionicblond's Avatar
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    Thanks at Rik for the original post. It Really Works! My daughter tried it for one of her PS2 games that had stopped working due to how she mistreets them. She is older now and will take better care of them. She asked me to get online and tell my Techzone friends thanks
    Knowledge indeed is power;
    Wisdom is knowing whether or not to act on Knowledge.

    Speech is
    silver,but silence is golden.....
    Blondie

  12. #12
    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    excellent

  13. #13
    Silver Member cmputrskillme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GimieGimieGimie
    Fair enough, lol

    But i want a 2nd opinion

    And KY jelly sucks btw, too sticky for *any* personal use
    *AstroGlide* - very slippery and GRRRRREAT for personal use!

    Ok, I couldn't help it, you know how I am!

  14. #14
    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    oh my...

  15. #15
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    great info thanks guys

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