scratched/damaged cdrw disc


Act your wage.
Political User
I have a CDRW with some video files burned on it, but the drive has problems reading it and some of the files won't play. Most of the files actually do play, but about 4 out of the 11 won't. There are some light scratches on the back of the disc... are CDRWs more sensitive to scratches than normal discs? Since some of the files will play, I'm assuming that the affected files reside on the parts of the disc that are more damaged. I don't have any other copies of the clips, so it would be nice to save them if I can. Are there any methods that I can try to fix the disc? I've seen polish that is supposed to work on disc scratches, but I wasn't sure if it would be safe for CDRWs. I haven't really come up with any other ideas, so I'd appreciate any suggestions. Thanks.


You can use software..Like BadCopy...or CDR Diagnostics to exact what files you can...if the sectors or surface is damage...I dont think you can save the CDRW...only hope to exact what is saveable


OSNN Veteran Addict
Try toothpaste. Rub it gently on the scratched side with some soft(!) toiletpaper and make sure you don't use too much. This migh sound as a joke, but I saved some cd's with this method, though I must say this doesn't work with deep scratches. If it doesn't work, just wash it off with warm water.


OSNN Senior Addict
It really depends on where the scratches are.

On normal CD's, the data layer is sandwiched between layers of plastic. So scratching either side doesn't usually make it unreadable unless they are deep. Plus, the data layer is made up of a relatively hard substance such as aluminum.

On CDR/RW disks, the data layer is actually the other side of the label. The label, if you were to peel it off the CD, is a really thin "foil-like" substance. So, if you scratch the label, then the data is gone. You can prove this. Just scratch the label side of a CDR/RW you don't mind ruining and hold it up to the light. You will be able to see the light right through the scratch.

So, if the scratch is on the data/label side, you might be out of luck. If the scratch is on the read side, then repairing or polishing with toothpaste may work. It also depends on the kind of scratch. A radial scratch (the scratch is perpendicular to the data track path) is easier to read and/or repair than a concentric scratch (the scratch follows the data track path).

If the movie clips are in fact damaged, you my be able to use some type of video editing proggy (such as VirtualDub) to edit out the parts that are bad, and then rebuild the movie. The end result will "hiccup" as it plays past the missing data, but it's better than nothing I guess.


Act your wage.
Political User
Thanks for the suggestions. First off I tried out BadCopy, and it actually recovered most of each of the files, but now I've got to pay $40 to be able to save them. :huh: As for the toothpaste suggestion, I've actually heard of that working before but I've never tried it myself. I probably won't need to try that but I might in the future. I also thought about resurfacing the disc, I just haven't bothered to go find a place that does it.

scriptasylum, I wasn't aware that the data was on the other side of the label. After reading your post, I remember seeing to very small circles near the edge of the disc that were almost clear. I haven't held it up to the light, but I bet if I did then I could see right through them. That's probably a good explanation of files being corrupt.

Thanks for the input everyone, I learned a few new things on this thread. :)


hardware monkey
just wanted to give a suggestion... try a different drive. some drives do a better job of reading cd's than others.

i had an audio cd that was scratched so badly on both sides to where you could see lots of scratches and divots when held up to a light. i put it in my plextor and made a perfect copy of it.

i know yours is a cdrw, so you might not be so lucky... but worth a try.


DO NOT RESURFACE OR TOOTHPASTE YOUR CD-Rs or CD-RWs !!! scriptasylum pointed out you will be desytroying the data medium.

Grym ( and can't decide which coaster to use today) blayd


Act your wage.
Political User
Hmm... I didn't know that they made resurfacers for the consumer end. And taurus, I forgot to mention it, but I did try a couple of other drives, and they all had the same problem reading the disc. I think that the problem is pretty much resolved now though, so thanks!


I have had a disc doctor for over a year now and they work well enough on dvd and cd.

Grym ( but not on recordable) blayd

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