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How to repair scratched cd's cheap!!!

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  • How to repair scratched cd's cheap!!!

    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.


    Specs
    -----------------
    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.


    Repairing
    -----------------
    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.


    Example
    -----------------
    The pictures below show a badly-scratched CD-ROM before and after repair.

    Last edited by lastop41; December 19, 2011, 11:34 PM.

  • #2
    Excellent tutorial I actually have a few cd collections that are damaged the body and soul collection from times so this will come in handy

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    • #3
      Nice tut! Though in my experience just a quick wash under tap water is enough. Haven't really tried on a really badly scratched CD because usually I'm able to take care of my discs so they don't get scratches in the first place.
      I don't actively visit this forum anymore, but you'll find me at #torrent-invites on T-I IRC

      They call me the Count because I love to count things...

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      • #4
        Thanks!

        This is going to come in handy when I find my old stash of CDs ):

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mate88 View Post
          Nice tut! Though in my experience just a quick wash under tap water is enough. Haven't really tried on a really badly scratched CD because usually I'm able to take care of my discs so they don't get scratches in the first place.
          Yeah I hear that. Water and a soft cloth always does the trick for me, but that only works if they're just dirty. I generally take very good care of my cds so I've never had to resort to this. I'm tempted to mess up a disc just to try this. Who would have thought that sand paper would be the cure for a scratched cd lol.

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          • #6
            I always use water and soft cloth. First time to find that sandpapaer can be used also. Will try later. Thanks a lot for your post.


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            • #7
              I'll have to give this a shot. I tried the finger and toothpaste method without luck.

              All of my cds are relics from high school. My idea of organizing my cds was to stack them by genre, sans cases.
              My Invite Threads: 33% 55%

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              • #8
                I just realized you spelled cheap* wrong

                Just needed to point that out LOL.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Moonstone View Post
                  I just realized you spelled cheap* wrong

                  Just needed to point that out LOL.
                  Lol I had it spelled like that first and it came up wrong in the spell checker so I changed it. I didn't think "cheep" looked right.

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                  • #10
                    Excellent tutorial. The one I needed.

                    I always tried to clean the scratch CD by using Toothpaste and Towel. It was not working. Will now definately try this tactic.

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                    • #11
                      Good job pal.. knowing stuff like these will definitely help in future if not now.. Thanks

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                      • #12
                        I usually prefer to wash my CDs with a light detergent and some water.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by zonked View Post
                          I usually prefer to wash my CDs with a light detergent and some water.
                          Me too, but if cds are badly scratched water and soap won't help.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by lastop41 View Post
                            Me too, but if cds are badly scratched water and soap won't help.
                            the kind of pics which u posted for a worn out CD, it seems the CDs were collected from a recycling bin or something. LOL.
                            On a serious note, your post is really helpful. I will try your method on some of my seriously damaged CDs.

                            thanks.

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                            • #15
                              Excellent mate, will help. But at my place they have something called locally as a "buffering machine", so all they do is "sort of grind the scratches out to some extent".
                              In this method the data gets lost
                              1) because of the heat created by the contact of the 2 surfaces (buffer brush and disk under surface)
                              2) There is a limit to this as the cd/dvd ain't all that think ,so some scratches are bound to be left behind especially the deep ones.
                              3) The media disk goes "off balance" -- some parts thicker then others leaving the disk "unreadable".

                              Cheers mate
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