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Repairing scratched CDs
greynol
post Sep 6 2006, 23:17
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Toothpaste and turtlewax gets the job done a helluva lot cheaper (and probably every bit as well).


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bhoar
post Sep 7 2006, 00:21
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QUOTE (greynol @ Sep 6 2006, 18:17) *
Toothpaste and turtlewax gets the job done a helluva lot cheaper (and probably every bit as well).


I seem to recall a serious test that used many different pastes and found that brasso did, indeed, do the best job. Just remember: only buff the read side, not the label side! smile.gif

Also, that buffing unit (shape of a portable cd player) is available for a lot cheaper under other company names, fyi. I have several, I'd have to look back through the stacks of receipts to figure out where I got them from.

-brendan


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rudefyet
post Sep 7 2006, 01:54
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I have a can of Brasso, but I can't get good results out of it for the life of me. Perhaps I'm using the wrong type of cloth.

This post has been edited by rudefyet: Sep 7 2006, 01:55
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odyssey
post Sep 7 2006, 08:20
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QUOTE (bhoar @ Sep 7 2006, 01:21) *
QUOTE (greynol @ Sep 6 2006, 18:17) *

Toothpaste and turtlewax gets the job done a helluva lot cheaper (and probably every bit as well).


I seem to recall a serious test that used many different pastes and found that brasso did, indeed, do the best job. Just remember: only buff the read side, not the label side! smile.gif

Also, that buffing unit (shape of a portable cd player) is available for a lot cheaper under other company names, fyi. I have several, I'd have to look back through the stacks of receipts to figure out where I got them from.

-brendan

I've tried Brasso Silver, but it doesn't do anything a bit of water couldn't do! My worst problem discs are the one damaged by circel scratched from my f**ing discman back then! These would immedate produce "Read error" or "Sync error" in EAC.


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bhoar
post Sep 7 2006, 08:38
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QUOTE (odyssey @ Sep 7 2006, 03:20) *
I've tried Brasso Silver, but it doesn't do anything a bit of water couldn't do! My worst problem discs are the one damaged by circel scratched from my f**ing discman back then! These would immedate produce "Read error" or "Sync error" in EAC.


Hmm, this was the "study" I recalled regarding brasso beating out other methods:

http://www.burningissues.net/how_to/scratc...ratchrepair.htm

Note: if the memorex product is the Optifix pro (they don't specify...the optifix pro is their motorized product, also sold under the aleratec and xinix labels* as well) , I am slightly surprised by the lower showing than the brasso. Perhaps they only used the polish kit? There are three sets of pads/solutions: clean, polish and for lack of a better word, grind. For bad discs, it's best to grind then polish. Or grind, grind, grind, then polish.

-brendan

* named to fix my hanging recommendation above, you can sometimes find these relatively cheap, though the memorex unit looks to be also available for an ok price.


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odyssey
post Sep 15 2006, 09:09
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I went down to a local store asking for the DiscDr. They have had the manual one, but recommended me to stay away from it, because they have had several cases for compensation due to damaged discs. I've not heard of any cases from inhere with damaged discs using this device.


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pepoluan
post Sep 15 2006, 12:52
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All: Do you think the information in this thread is valuable enough to go into the Wiki?


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Never_Again
post Oct 5 2006, 03:58
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Yes, under the "Urban folklore" heading.
Eli's thread, referenced at the end of the seond page, is the real deal that should be noted, IMO.
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teh roxxors
post Dec 27 2006, 01:46
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I apply Brasso with a piece of T-shirt. It's a lot of work, and it really only takes care of minor scratches.

I imagine there must be some type of small buffer or polishing machine that would do a better job applying the Brasso, but I'll be damned if I've found anything that works well. I've tried a Dremmel with a "buffing" wheel, but it spun too fast and burnt the hell out of the CD. I've even tried a palm sander/buffer, but even those are just too big for the job.

For really bad scratches, you can use 2000-grit or finer wet/dry emory paper (sand paper). You have to keep the CD/DVD wet when you do this! Work your way around the disc with radial strokes. The disc will turn milky-white and look totally ruined. After you rinse & dry it off, polish with a little Brasso on a scrap of T-shirt. Wait for the Brasso to dry (which can take hours), then buff with a clean scrap of T-shirt or other soft cloth. Repeat as necessary.

When the Data Dr. devices first came out, they had a good emory paper on them with a little tooth -- probably 2500 or 3000-grit. They worked great. Discs looked like hell afterwards, but the scratches were GONE. Since then, the manufacturer has made the sanding discs MUCH, MUCH less abrasive. All a Data Dr. does now is clean discs -- it can't remove scratches worth a damn.

Matter of fact, none of the various machines you buy fix scratched discs for crap. Every last one is a rip-off. They are designed NOT to remove any plastic, which is contrary to what must be done to remove scratches. In an effort to make the machines idiot-proof, manufacturers have made them entirely worthless.

This post has been edited by teh roxxors: Dec 27 2006, 01:58
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janger
post Dec 27 2006, 04:19
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I got pretty good at this a few years ago and ppl would turn up asking me to fix their deeply scratched ps1 cd's.

My father had a lambswool buffer pad that you placed in a normal electric drill. He also had an industrial drill that had a fairly low speed. I would pour some brasso onto the pad, turn on the drill and hold the cd against it, moving it around a bit. Even with slight pressure the cd would get fairly warm. After about 20-30 seconds, sometimes longer depending on how deep they were scratched, I'd slowly ease the pressure off. Give it a wash and it was ready to go. Even though the buffing was circular rather than radial, every cd worked like a charm. Slowly easing the pressure off would allow it to give a finishing polish rather than 'grind'. Although with my own cd's I'd give them a radial buffing by hand to finish off. Couldn't be bothered doing that with other ppl's because I knew they'd be back after throwing their games around the floor.
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maggior
post Dec 27 2006, 06:38
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I restored some really scratched up CDs from the library using Brasso and toothpaste. Yes, Brasso is a lot of work and only helps with the fine scratches. Toothpaste (in comparison) is a much coarser abrasive.

So, I use toothpaste to get the real deep scrathces and do the "finish polish" with Brasso and a cotton cloth or a paper towl.

I discovered this by accident because I ruined the disc first with toothpaste and then brought it to better-than-when-I-started with Brasso.
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teh roxxors
post Dec 28 2006, 22:53
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Yeah, I've "ruined" discs with toothpaste, myself. Didn't realize I could polish them back to form with something else.

I'm happy enough with the 2000-grit or finer wet/dry emory paper; it turns the disc milk-white where you sand, so it's easy to tell what you have or haven't done.
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cableguy
post Dec 28 2006, 23:22
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had anybody tried to repair dvd's using these methods?


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bhoar
post Dec 29 2006, 03:13
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QUOTE (cableguy @ Dec 28 2006, 17:22) *
had anybody tried to repair dvd's using these methods?


I used one of these successfully:

http://www.4compuelectron.com/apps/details...44644&enc=1

These units are sold under the Memorex, Aleratec and xinix brand names...perhaps others as well. Pricing varies from ~$23 - ~$40 depending on source.

The couple I have come with a few types of wheels, and a couple of solution types as well.

I did, however, have to run the disc through several times, and the manual for one cautioned to let the unit rest after using it a couple of times - I take it the motor is not heavy-duty.

Edit: Looks like there's a sale on the Xinix versions here ($16, free shipping w/ google checkout): http://www.ubid.com/actn/opn/getpage.asp?A...p;uwb=uwbc10397

Grabbed a couple more, looks like 6 left...

-brendan

This post has been edited by bhoar: Dec 29 2006, 03:19


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bhoar
post Dec 29 2006, 04:00
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Lastly, you can probably use one of these devices *with* brasso. smile.gif

Also, a green no-name version of the same device is available for ~$14 (free shipping) via ebay...but no power adapter:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...em=280063950532

-brendan


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teh roxxors
post Jan 5 2007, 00:22
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You know, you are being ripped off paying good cash for those fancy gizmos that do little more than clean dirt off the discs.

A can of Brasso is less than $3 and will last the rest of your life. A pack of 2000-grit or finer wet/dry emory paper is a couple bucks and will last you the rest of your life, if you reserve it for fixing discs.

Don't be duped into buying fancy repair kits. Brasso alone will fix most scratches. Use it with the wet/dry emory paper, and you can fix nearly anything.
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cableguy
post Jan 5 2007, 03:48
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I tried repairing a lightly scrached dvd this evening with Brasso to no avail. sad.gif


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krabapple
post Jan 5 2007, 07:33
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QUOTE (teh roxxors @ Dec 26 2006, 19:46) *
I apply Brasso with a piece of T-shirt. It's a lot of work, and it really only takes care of minor scratches.

I imagine there must be some type of small buffer or polishing machine that would do a better job applying the Brasso, but I'll be damned if I've found anything that works well. I've tried a Dremmel with a "buffing" wheel, but it spun too fast and burnt the hell out of the CD. I've even tried a palm sander/buffer, but even those are just too big for the job.


You can buy a benchtop 2-wheel grinder/buffer/sander at Home Depot for around $40. That's what i use.
When I'm not using it it goes in a box in the closet . Cloth buffer wheels cost about $2-5 depending on diameter. And in terms of being able to sell my unwanted CDs at 'like new' prices at my local used CD shop, it's already paid for itself.


QUOTE
For really bad scratches, you can use 2000-grit or finer wet/dry emory paper (sand paper). You have to keep the CD/DVD wet when you do this! Work your way around the disc with radial strokes. The disc will turn milky-white and look totally ruined. After you rinse & dry it off, polish with a little Brasso on a scrap of T-shirt. Wait for the Brasso to dry (which can take hours), then buff with a clean scrap of T-shirt or other soft cloth. Repeat as necessary.


Brasso should not take hours to dry, unless you've really glopped it on, or are in a really humid/cold environment.

Automotive polishing compound should work as well. If you really want a perfect finish, follow it with some scratch/swirl remover.

This post has been edited by krabapple: Jan 5 2007, 20:27
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bhoar
post Jan 6 2007, 19:36
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QUOTE (krabapple @ Jan 5 2007, 01:33) *
You can buy a benchtop 2-wheel grinder/buffer/sander at Home Depot for around $40. That's what i use.
When I'm not using it it goes in a box in the closet . Cloth buffer wheels cost about $2-5 depending on diameter. And in terms of being able to sell my unwanted CDs at 'like new' prices at my local used CD shop, it's already paid for itself.


Interesting...

I'm curious about your technique for using the buffing wheels. How do you (safely) hold it in place? What speed do you use for how long? Etc.

-brendan


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Eli
post Jan 6 2007, 20:24
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As I stated in my other thread (link above) the Disc Dr works VERY WELL. If the scratch is to deep they have a scratch pad that is more abbrasive. Not abbrasive enough for you? What I would like to do is get some abbrasive papers of varying grits with adhesive backing and cut it into strips and put in on the Disc Dr wheels to keep recycling them and have wheels from coarser to finer grits for better results with multiple passes.


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krabapple
post Jan 6 2007, 23:20
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QUOTE (bhoar @ Jan 6 2007, 13:36) *
QUOTE (krabapple @ Jan 5 2007, 01:33) *
You can buy a benchtop 2-wheel grinder/buffer/sander at Home Depot for around $40. That's what i use.
When I'm not using it it goes in a box in the closet . Cloth buffer wheels cost about $2-5 depending on diameter. And in terms of being able to sell my unwanted CDs at 'like new' prices at my local used CD shop, it's already paid for itself.


Interesting...

I'm curious about your technique for using the buffing wheels. How do you (safely) hold it in place? What speed do you use for how long? Etc.

-brendan


The Ryobi wheel I use has only one speed. I just hold the CD by the edges (with light pressure from a curled finger behind the disc) and push it gently against the outer rim of the buffing wheel, after smearing some polish on the disc. The direction of buffing is radial , as it should be for buffing CDs , and I move the CD from side to side against the buffer wheel from as many times as needed to visibly buff away the dry polish, then rotate the disc to do the next sector (if I'm buffing the whole disc, which i usually do). if the scratches aren't gone I add some new polish and repeat. The only thing to watch for is leaving the disc stationary for too long -- it heats up fast. When the scratches are minor, it takes only seconds to remove them. Depending on the aggressiveness of the polish I used to remove the scratch, I may finish with a very fine polish to bring up the mirror shine. And i usually rinse the CD with warm water and pat it dry with soft towels to remove polish residue.

This post has been edited by krabapple: Jan 6 2007, 23:22
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bhoar
post Jan 8 2007, 08:13
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QUOTE (krabapple @ Jan 6 2007, 17:20) *
The Ryobi wheel I use has only one speed...


Thanks, very useful!

-brendan


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mynamehere
post Mar 5 2007, 19:39
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Just to let people know there are CD and DVD repair companies that repair disks mail order. Here's a CD & DVD repair company in the UK.
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sephiroth56068
post Nov 5 2007, 05:18
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i figured out a way to fix cd's and cd roms that others might have luck with. It is a three step process that involves useing common household items.

what you will need

childrens/toddlers tooth paste (either fluridated or non fluridate should work)

soft cloth (I use a cloth babies diaper)

aim n flame (you know, that thing you use to light your self on fire when you BBQ)

terry cloth (optional, but you might really want to reconceder not useing it)

kitchen sink, (yes this method dose include a kitchen sink, ha ha ha, but really any faucet would work I suppose.)


step 1. apply tooth past to diaper cloth, and use it to rub tooth paste on cd in a circular motion all the way around the disc, (like you apply wax to a car.

step 2. rinse the cd under a water faucet till all the tooth paste is off the cd

step 3. blot dry the disc with either a seperate terry type cloth/diaper,(i recomend this) or you could use the diaper that you used to apply the tooth paste, but you want to make sure that you don't get the tooth paste back on the cd you just rinsed.

step 4. with dry cd in hand, pull out the mighty aim and flame, and pass the flame over the cd surface in quick back and forth motions all over the surface of the disc, remembering not to leave the flame in one place for more that half a second. (you don't want to litaraly burn the disc, the smell is terrable, not to mention the fact that at that point the disc will neaver work again.you want to save the cd burning for music pirateing)basicly what i am saying it that too fast over the cd with the flame is waaaay better that too slow, don't incenerate the de, unless you don't care about it, in that case you could skip steps 1-3 and go striate to 4.

you may have to repeat thes steps once or twice depending on how bad the disc is dammaged, but it worked for me, so you could give it a try.
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teh roxxors
post May 29 2010, 22:06
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Well, I can't seem to edit my old post, so I'll add this new one:

Fixing Scratched CDs, DVDs and Game Discs

Some folks will swear by retail repair kits, commercial repair systems, Brasso, or even common toothpaste. I have tried them all, and nothing takes the place of a few scraps of sand paper and some inexpensive liquid polishers.

In 2008, a company called ViaMarket came up with Scratch Out!, a liquid abrasive designed for CD and DVD repair. The stuff is wonderful. A 3.5 oz. tube sells for $6, and lasts months, if not years. Get some. Also, pick up a bottle of Meguiar's PlastX Clear Plastic Cleaner & Polish. I buy Scratch Out! from my local Staples office supply store. Meguiar’s products are found in automotive supply stores.

The liquid polishers repair most mild scratches. For severe scratches, I generally use 3M wet-dry emery paper in a number of grits, from 1000 to 8000. 3M has micron-graded emery papers that are of especially high quality, and I'm using those now to great effect.

You will quickly learn which scratches can be repaired with liquid polishers, and which ones require sanding the disc. Whenever you’re not sure, try liquid polishers first—you can always go back and sand the disc later, if needed.

The WORST scratch I've EVER seen was made by an X-Box 360 on my kid's Gears of War disc. The system has a known flaw whereby the laser lens can come into contact with a spinning disc. If I can fix an X-Box 360-scratched disc, I can fix almost anything. I also get a lot of CDs and DVDs from the local library. Many are scratched too badly to play or rip. I'm always able to fix them myself.

Let’s assume you have a badly scratched disc, and liquid polishers alone won’t fix it.

Sanding is done with nearly perpendicular movements and increasingly finer grades of emery paper. You sand in one direction with a rough paper, then sand in a roughly perpendicular direction with a finer paper, repeating this until you've got the finish you desire. On a CD or DVD, you might follow pattern A with 2000-grit, pattern B with 2500-grit, pattern A with 3000-grit, pattern B with 4000-grit, and so on.



Because of the way data is encoded to and read from an optical disc, radial patterns A and B are best for sanding. Sanding in other directions may leave behind small circumferential scratches to interfere with the normal operation of your CD, DVD, or game player.

I like to sand discs on a smooth, clean countertop, as in a kitchen or bathroom. I clean my work area off, then wet it (the water protects the label side from scratches). I run water over both sides of the disc, and set it label side down on the wet surface. I wet my emery paper before using it. Everything needs to stay wet. Try to keep water on the disc as you work.

A 2000-grit emery paper will remove most bad scratches, but especially horrid ones may require the use of 1500 or even 1000-grit paper. I do not recommend using anything more abrasive than 1000-grit paper.

Start with 2000-grit and evaluate the results. If scratches do not quickly vanish, consider using a coarser grit. Slowly rotate the disc with your off hand while sanding back and forth, making a few full rotations.

After working the scratches out with the rough paper, switch to the next finer paper and change the angle of your sanding, switching to pattern B, above. Repeat the process using progressively finer grit emery papers for the best results. Usually, I work all the way up to a micron-graded 8000-grit paper. I rinse and dry the disc when finished. Sanded discs are going to look hazy. This cloudy haze will prevent the disc from being read, so the next step is to remove the haze.

Scratch Out! is the best thing for removing light hazing. Do not follow the bottle’s printed directions—follow mine, instead. The printed directions instruct you to wipe the disc clean, presumably with a dry cloth, as if you were waxing a car. This only causes a lot of extra scratching and hazing.



Use the liquid polishers at a dry work area. I like to put the disc’s label side down on a clean sheet of paper near the edge of my desk for the next procedure. Apply a fairly generous amount of Scratch Out! to the disc and polish with a clean scrap of cotton cloth, using the elliptical pattern shown in figure C (work in the opposite direction if you are left-handed). Slowly rotate the disc with your off hand while you work. You can use heavy pressure to start, and gradually relax with subsequent revolutions of the disc. Do not continue polishing if the compound begins to dry on the disc surface! Polish only while the compound remains moist! Before it dries, wash the compound off with soap and water. Dry the disc with a clean towel.

Scratch Out! removes the haze left behind from sanding, but leaves light scratches you can still polish out. For that, you will use Meguiar's PlastX Clear Plastic Cleaner & Polish. Return to your dry work area and apply several drops of Meguiar’s to the disc. With another clean scrap of cotton cloth, polish the same way (figure C) as before. You don't have to leave the Meguiar's to dry on the disc—it's not like waxing your car. You basically polish until your cloth has absorbed all the excess goop and the disc is bright & shiny, which doesn't take long at all. Get a good polish on your discs, all the way out to the outermost edges. Buff away any residue with yet another clean scrap of cotton T-shirt when finished.

Your disc should look really, really good—not brand new, mind you, but good, nonetheless. Discs do not need a mirror finish to function perfectly. They need to be free of haze and reasonably free of errant scratches. If it won’t play or rip, you may have to repeat some or all the steps, above. With experience, you’ll tend to nail it the first time. All this may sound like a terrible bit of effort. In reality, it's only about five minutes per disc, depending upon how bad the damage is.

While there are a couple of good (and expensive) commercial-grade disc polishers out there, none of the retail machines you’ll find can do what you do with your own two hands in just a few minutes. Serious scratches require more abrasive action than is available with any retail product. Honestly, every last one is a money-wasting rip-off.

A bottle of Scratch Out! costs six dollars. The Meguiar's costs just a few bucks and lasts years. 3M wet-dry emery paper is very cheap, so don't settle for generic brands, as the abrasive may come off when the paper gets wet, which defeats the entire purpose of wet sanding, doesn't it?

Auto supply and other retail outlets carry the coarser emery papers, while extremely fine emery paper is sold by outfits that deal with jewelers and other artists, such as Rio Grande and Micro-Mark. You may even find it through Amazon.

CDs, DVDs, and console discs are all the same when it comes to fixing scratches. If you can fix one, you can fix them all.

With audio CDs, scratches on the data side (the shiny, reflective side) aren't as serious as scratches on the label side. You're able to sand the working face of a disc because it’s a rather thick layer of plastic. In an audio CD, the actual data layer is closer to the label than the other side. For this reason, a good scratch on the label side can permanently destroy a disc.

That's everything I can think of. By sharing my experience, I hope to save you time and money should you ever need to restore your own DVDs, console, or audio discs.

So go fix some scratches already!
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