Re-surfacing CDs So They Work Again.

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Introduction: Re-surfacing CDs So They Work Again.

A simple way to remove scratches from a cd so you can get your data back off the disc again.

Step 1: Gather Required Materials.

First gather the following materials.

- Paper towel (softer is better)
- Polishing cloth (eyeglasses cloth will do fine)
- CD scratched beyond playability (Easy to find)
- Can of Brasso Metal Polish.

Step 2: Add Brasso and Start Polishing!

Take some of the brasso and pour it onto the CD. Please be careful with the Brasso, and only perform this in a well ventilated area. I was making this guide at at the office, and forgot about the fumes. I had to polish the CD in the stairwell as I would have fumed out my co-workers otherwise.

Use the paper towel pieces to polish the CD. Polishing is ideal in straight strokes from the center of the disk to the outside so you polish perpendicular to the tracks on the disc. Because I was short on time, I used small circular motions similar to how I'd polish a car. Take your time with this. Add Brasso when it dries or gets pushed off the CD. Continue this process for about 15 minutes.

You should feel the abrassiveness of the Brasso on the CD as you are doing this. If not, then use a different papertowel. The brasso is removing part of the plastic from the disc not adding to it. You are actually scraping away part of the CD which makes the existing scratches smaller.

After 15 minutes or so, Rince the CD off under water and check the CD. The brasso will have left small scratches on the disc as it wore down the CD. Keep going until the deep scratches are gone, and all that remains are the marks from the brasso. (they will diminish as you continue and get an even surface again).

When done, rince the disc, and wipe it with the soft eyeglass cloth.

Step 3: Insert CD Into CD-ROM Drive and Test.

Take your polished, rinsed and dried CD and test it in your CD ROM. If it still doesn't work go back to step #2.

As you see by my example, I was successful at pulling the data off my CD-ROM.

I have not attempted this on DVDs or video console games. Please do this at your own risk. results will vary on your patience, and polishing technique.

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175 Comments

I have over 1500 CD's (music) and an unknown number of DVD's. I bought them all new. I have 2 questions - 1. How do the discs get all scratched up? I take the disc out of the case and place it into the CD player. When I'm done, I put it back in the case. This way, no dust or scratches. I have 2 discs I bought that had scratches on them when I first opened them.. I should have taken them back...but that was a long time ago.
2. I'm worried about using any of these products recommended on these scratched discs. I have a top end CD player that cost me $7000.00 - (crazy expensive but the sound is as good as it gets on disc). I don't think I want anything like Brasso, Vaseline or toothpaste anywhere near my player. Am I paranoid? I don't think so, but...?

Hey guy, check out my reply. Works great. I use Maguires all the time on guitar finishes. Great stuff!

Take the disks to a store, that does disk repair! Failing that,try searching for a special cd/dvd scratch repair fluid.

Usually it comes with a polishing spray for shining the disks up after repair!

I would not recommend solvents or harsh chemicals, which are not supposed to be used for cd/dvd repair.

Toothpaste and vaselene do not work! You need the right tools for the job basically!

The idea is, you'll be cleaning off all of the Brasso when you are done. None will be left to somehow drip into your fancy player. You're using the components of the Brasso to scratch up the surface of the CD--you'll be creating more scratches, not less. It doesn't fill the scratches in. It is sanding it down. A splinter on a wooden handle makes the handle useless--but if you sand the handle down, you can touch it again no problem without injury. The laser reading the disc is doing the same concept here. Don't leave the brasso on forever or anything, but polish out the deeper, bigger scratches causing the disc to skip. If your disc has a scratch but is not skipping, then it is fine as is and does not need repair.

what do you clean it off with when you do not have brasso???

Hey, thanks for the great idea. I started digging around and found some Maguires Plastic Polish and Cleaner. Just very mild abrasives that really do the trick.

Polish - clean - rinse - PLAY! Works great!

HOLY CRAP! the circle my xbox carved in to my GTA4 disk is gone! aweeesome

Take it to a shop that does disk repair! They will resurface the disk for a small fee It should come up as good as new or almost. Failing that, if it doesn't work allthough it should, you will have to buy a new one however it should work fine!