Scratch damage can cause playability issues on all types of optical disc including games, movies, music and data. These scratches divert the path of the laser, preventing it from reading the data stored on the disc.
The good news is that this damage can almost always be repaired and discs can play like new again. All we need to do is remove the scratches.
Most machines operate by gently polishing the underside of the disc, removing a thin layer to reveal a new smooth surface underneath where the scratches were. The end result is a disc with a mirror finish that looks and plays like new again, with no affect to the actual data.
A variety of repair machines on the market use different methods to achieve a scratch-free finish. Disc repair is an important business tool, creating valuable stock out of damaged discs.
It’s important to understand that scratches are not the only damage that discs can suffer from and that the other faults are generally irreparable.
Anything that directly affects the data layer is irreversible; spotting this before attempting repair will save you time and money. Cracks, splits, heavy denting, warping and ‘top scratches’ are all pretty much fatal.
There is a variety of methods to repair discs. They can be sanded, polished, buffed or a combination of the three.
Each process has its own advantage and it’s important that you choose the right one for the type of repairs you need to do.
Sanding removes material quickly, but leaves a rough finish; polishing is slow but really effective and buffing is fast and clean, but typically limited to light damage.