I saw this tutorial over on What and thought a lot of people could benefit.
In this tutorial I will show you how to repair scratched CDs that are giving you errors such as Mismatching CRCs, Read Errors, Sync Errors and Suspicious Positions.
When repaired properly, your scratched CDs should give you perfect rips with matching CRCs. Even badly-scratched CDs can be repaired as long as the reflective layer (label side) is not damaged.
Before you attempt to repair an original disc, I suggest that you practice on an old, badly-scratched CD-R first.
Whatever you do, do NOT buy a CD repair kit. They are far more expensive than this method, yet yield inferior results.
When you are done repairing, you will see light scratches on the CD. Do not worry, the blemishes are too small to affect playback or ripping. If you would like to get rid of them for aesthetic reasons, you can use finer grain sandpaper.
For this tutorial, I used a CD my girlfriend brought from work and wanted me to repair: "This Is Tom Jones" by Tom Jones. It is actually a boxset where the 3 CDs were extremely scratched; they would skip like crazy when played in the CD player and were impossible to rip. After repair, all 3 CDs (74 songs) are ripping perfectly with matching CRCs.
I used EAC V0.99 prebeta 4 on a TOSHIBA ODD-DVD SD-R6372 drive. Rip in Secure mode, proper Read Offset Correction, Test & Copy. High error recovery quality.
What you need
- 1 scratched CD
- 3 to 10 minutes
- A bottle of Meguiar's PlastX (clear plastic cleaner & polish)
- Emery paper: 1500 or 2000 Grit (I use the 3M Wetordry Automotive Sandpaper)
- A piece of cloth (I use an old scarf; you can use an old t-shirt, sock, towel, etc.)
- A piece of paper towel
- Warm water
You can find the emery paper and the PlastX bottle at your local auto supply store. I purchased my materials at Canadian Tire and paid $10.49 for the 296ml PlastX bottle and $2.99 for five 3.66-inch-by-9-inch sheets of emery paper. That is enough to repair over one hundred CD-ROMs.
First, cut a small piece of emery paper (a 1-square-inch piece will last a few repairs.)
Soak the paper in warm water, and lightly wet the CD-ROM with your finger.
Start sanding the CD in the motion shown below. This is for a badly scratched CD; if there are few blemishes you do not have to sand the entire CD, only where the scratches are.
Apply a small amount of pressure while sanding. When you think you are done and the scratches are gone, continue sanding but do not apply any more pressure. I use the 1500 grit for sanding with pressure, and the 2000 grit without pressure.
Rinse the disc with warm water and gently dry it off with a paper towel.
Next, put a few drops of PlastX on the CD and polish it with a small piece of cloth until the PlastX is absorbed by the cloth. To polish the entire surface of the disc I used about 6 drops, which is more than enough.
Once again, rinse the CD with warm water and gently dry it off with a paper towel.
The metallic side of your CD should now be shiny again. Carefully inspect to see if there are any scratches left. If there are, you did not sand enough; repeat sanding and polishing.
The CD should now rip properly.
The pictures below show a badly-scratched CD-ROM before and after repair.