Best way to repair scratched CDs?
January 3, 2006 9:30 PM   Subscribe

What's the best way to repair really scratched CDs and DVDs? There are so many products out there. Which one works the best in your opinion?
posted by deeman to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
I'd take a shot at ripping a CD with EAC as a first resort.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 10:17 PM on January 3, 2006

posted by Brian James at 11:10 PM on January 3, 2006

I've used the mostly-mechanical product SkipDr from DigitalInnovations and the mostly-abrasive product SoundBoni, which I think is no longer available, but is probably similar to using Brasso.

Both worked pretty well, provided that the scratches were on the plastic bottom of the CD. The SkipDr leaves a slight skuff-mark pattern on the CD that you can see if you hold the disk at the right angle; the SoundBoni did not. If the scratches are on the top of the CD, the information is likely GONE; if you can see that there's a hole in the metallic portion of the CD, you're probably out of luck.

I believe I've gotten disks from NetFlix that have the telltale SkipDR pattern on them.
posted by IvyMike at 11:20 PM on January 3, 2006

For a cheap solution, I've had plenty of luck buffing with toothpaste and a non-abrasive, lint free cloth. YMMV.
posted by adzm at 12:05 AM on January 4, 2006

posted by Makebusy7 at 3:09 AM on January 4, 2006

I've also used car wax and rubbing compound (the kind made for car finishes.) Those are probably more abrasive but they work.
posted by thewiseacre at 5:49 AM on January 4, 2006

Try rubbing a white candle over the scratches. A friend of mine showed me this trick on a skipping CD and it worked quite well. Don't know if this works better or worse than toothpaste.
posted by justkevin at 6:04 AM on January 4, 2006

Disc Repair Pro Kit I bought one of these when Memorex was selling them under their name. Works well, doesn't clean every disc, but generally takes care of my rentals from Netflix.

A really bad scratch on the bottom (not the top) can be taken out with any kind of rubbing abrasive if you're patient enough. Depends on how valuable the disc is, and how patient you are.

As someone else pointed out, if you can see daylight through it, that bit of data is gone.
posted by inthe80s at 7:44 AM on January 4, 2006

for minorly scratched CDs I used to put them in the freezer overnight
posted by tublecain at 8:30 AM on January 4, 2006

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