Unscratch DVDs and CD ROMs 2006/02/20Posted by Dave in Tips and Tricks.
If you are watching a rental DVD movie and it starts acting up — or if you are installing software from a CD or DVD and it fails with the error:
‘Error reading disc. It may be scratched or dirty.’
You might try wiping it on the leg of your jeans, or even running a damp cloth over the disc’s underside. You may even have wiped it from the centre to the edge in lines — but this only works if the problem is dirt. Once a smudge or the dirty surface is cleaned off, the disc will work OK… but if it is scratched, cleaning will not help.
HOW TO UN SCRATCH DVD AND CD ROM DISKS
In this case you have a choice of two options: (a) take it to a shop that sells or rents movies and games discs — especially one that does second-hand stuff; they have a buffer wheel that polishes off the scratch, filling in the scratch so the disc can be read without the error, or (b) fill in the scratch yourself.
There are various ways to do this — I have heard of toothpaste being rubbed in and then rubbed off. More popular are products that contain some form of water-repellent — especially silicone, such as ‘Rain-X’ (for car windshields), and Pledge Furniture Polish.
This is certainly worth a try. If it fails, you can still take the disc to the shop, where the buffering will not only fix the problem but remove your pledge, Rain-X or toothpaste!
I have used the cleaner’s furniture spray and some toilet paper at work to clean an abused Windows Installation disc… and it worked — and more to the point, it allowed us to disc copy to save any future problems.
This reminds me…
Here’s a link to a website that has a download program that might be of some use:
‘ ProduKey is a small utility that displays the ProductID and the CD-Key of MS-Office, Windows, Exchange Server, and SQL Server installed on your computer. You can view this information for your current running operating system, or for another operating system/ computer – by using command-line options. This utility can be useful if you lost the product key of your Windows/ Office, and you want to reinstall it on your computer.
‘If you bought your computer with installed operating system, you may find the product key appeared in ProduKey utility is different from the product key on your Windows CD. This problem is mostly reported with Dell computers. ‘