Jul 23, 2013

How to repair a damaged DVD-R disc?

I have a DVD-R that has (had) some old client files stored on it, but it looks as if someone used it for a frisbee. With their dog. So now it is heavily scratched, and I get a disc read error when I try to access the data. Are there any cleaning or buffing methods that actually work? It may be beyond recovery, but I would like to give it a try.

How to Repair a DVD-RW Disc

"Discs are prone to damage, whether from normal wear and tear or mishandling. CDs, DVD-RWs and DVD-Rs are often sold in bulk, sometimes coming in a spindle-like case, in which the discs are stacked on top of one another. This manner of storage makes the discs susceptible to scratches and cracks, due to constant pressure on their data surfaces from the weight of the discs in the stack. Even when a disc becomes damaged, it can often be salvaged with the use of some common household items."

If you have a video game or used music store nearby, many of them have buffers that may (keyword = may) help. Those buffers used to be more common, but I know the local gamestop doesn’t have one any longer, so try independent shops. I have used a soft paste wax and a lint free cloth to minimize scratches on video games discs in the past, with more failure than success, but once in awhile, it did help. The big thing to remember is never to rub/polish in a circular manner, always go from center to edge of the disc. It’s usually those scratches that are essentially parallel with the disc edge that cause the read problems.

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