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Polishing scratched CDs--does it really help?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Alex Ethridge, Mar 11, 2005.

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  1. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge Thread Starter

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    Occasionally, I am asked to restore an operating system using CDs that have been used as hockey-puck substitutes by dim-wits who have no sense of the importance of the software that came with their computers. Well, I've got another one in here now and it is scracthed all to h*ll.

    I've seen machines that are supposed to polish the CDs; but, I really don't know what kind of damage they are capable of correcting.

    Does anyone here have any experience or recommendations concerning them? If they are any good, I certainly will be using it quite a bit so if there are any meaningful differences, I would like to hear about it.
     
  2. kiwiguy

    kiwiguy

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    As the data on a CD is held immediately under the label layer, there is about 1mm of clear plastic between the data and the outside world, where the laser shines in.

    As long as the scratches can be removed without impinging on the data then it should work.

    Any scratches on the label side are usually terminal, and any stress cracks that could cause the cd to shatter when spinning need to be recognised.

    For mild scratches I use toothpaste and a soft cloth, followed by a wash in warm water and dry.
     
  3. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge Thread Starter

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    I've tried toothpaste three times on this disk. It seems that it isn't working at all. I get the same read error at the same spot every time. That is why I was thinking of a machine that would do it for me as I could run it indefinitely without wearing out my arm.

    This one is obviously going to require more polishing than I am willing to spend the time to do.
     
  4. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    I've had very little luck recovering data from CD's using any cleaning method. My greatest successes, after the obvious good cleaning with Windex or mild soap and water and a gentle buffing to remove small elevations around the scratches, have been with CD recovery programs that read, reread, interpolate, extrapolate, and try various speeds in order to recover data from CD's. Some that seemed really hopeless were recovered in their entirety, much to my surprize.

    http://www.naltech.com/
    http://www.infinadyne.com/

    Some allow you to read data sector by sector with hex readers, which will do you no good when you need executables, but is great for recovering that lost term paper.
     
  5. Skivvywaver

    Skivvywaver

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    Messages:
    13,948
    I love ISOBuster. That program will recover it if the data is recoverable.

    Trust me, I have recovered a hockey puck or two with it. I destroyed a game disk by forgetting it was in the drive (cd protection should be outlawed, there are better means) and popping another cd in on top of it. I recovered it with ISO buster and was able to save the disk.
    The one drawback is that I now have to play Return to Castle Wolfenstien with the old scratched CD or one of those things we are not allowed to talk about here. I prefer to use the thing we are not allowed to talk about here on all my games anyway mostly from "CD copy protection" being a danger to my disks. I forget they are in the drive.:mad:

    There are better ways to protect software.
     
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