Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Repairing disc scratches

As a result of having to move all the old rubbish for the new central heating, I discovered a box of audio CDs I've not seen for years. I decided to rip them all to my PC so I can actually listen to them occasionally! However, some of them would seem to have divorced their protective cases and had a bit of a party in the box. This meant they were badly scratched rendering them unreadable. That made me quite sad because although I hadn't listened to them in a long time, I'd spent quite a bit of money on them and I had some good CDs amongst the casualties!

As it happens, I was browsing through Maplins today when I found a little disc repairer from Procare, imaginatively titled "Compact Disc Surface Scratch Repairer". It cost £24.99 and as my damaged CDs would have cost considerably more to replace I decided it was worth a shot. Here it is repairing one of the naughty little discs:

It's mains powered and is a two stage process, first it rubs down the disc with two rough pads. Then you swap them for two buffing pads and add some magic fluid that buffs it up and gives it a protective coat. You can see two of the pads here:

I must say, I've been very impressed so far! I've fixed three CDs that refused to be recognised before and a couple of others that constantly skipped. One of them had a deep gouge in it and although it hasn't got rid of that, it did fix it enough for me to copy the CD to my computer!

I even dared to try it on a video game, I've got a copy of Wii Play that always crashed when selecting 2 players. I was never really sure why it did that, there were no obvious marks on the disc. But a quick run through the machine and it worked flawlessly, amazing!

The whole process takes about 4 minutes and the pads are supposed to be good for 50 repairs, replacements can be obtained but I don't know how much they are. I'll be fixing more CDs tomorrow, I haven't had any fail yet so it looks like I may get all my discs back! YAY.

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