How to Fix Scratched DVD & Digitalize the Content for Later Play
Summary: There might be times when you fish out a stack of old but valuable DVD discs only to find some of them are too scratched to be played on your home player. Throw them away or fix scratched DVD, that is a question. To maximize the loss, you might as well read this post for the optimal solution for how to fix a scratched DVD and digitalize the content for later playback.
Do you rack your brains to find the best solution for how to fix scratched DVDs? Most of us are familiar with CDs and DVDs. Even though they are becoming obsolete as time passes by, we still have our precious collection of movies, videos, games, files, and so much more. But unfortunately, it is a physical object and a fragile one, as a matter of fact. So, it is prone to scratches, chips, and dirt build-up, which makes them useless most of the time.
That is why today we will discuss how to fix a scratched DVD. But if the DVD gets damaged beyond repair, you may lose the data. So, we will also tell you how to save all your movies, files, etc., from getting lost by storing them on your computer HDD.
Table of Contents
- 4. The Best Way to Fix Scratched DVDs
Yes, but it depends. If the scratches are light, you can simply use a microfiber cloth. If that does not work, there are some remedies that you can try to turn the tide. But if the scratches are too deep, then it is beyond repair.
There is one thing you should know before starting to fix scratched DVDs. This article will teach you how to fix scratched DVDs, but these methods are not effective against scratches in Blu-ray discs. Actually, Blu-ray discs are made of a harder coating, which makes them highly scratch-resistant. But once they get scratched, they might become unusable. You can use a microfiber cloth, but don’t expect anything good as the dense data layers will be damaged.
We will go through a few techniques that you can use to fix scratched DVDs. But before you do anything, here are some rules that you need to follow so that the entire process becomes easier, or any scratch does not happen in the first place.
- Wash your hands properly and dry them so that there is no grease or oil present in your hand. The data that is imprinted on the disc’s polycarbonate layer is extremely fragile, and any grease or dirt will cause playback issues even if there is no physical damage to the disc. You can use latex gloves for better protection.
- When cleaning your disc, always start from the center and work your way towards the edge in a straight line. This will give you a better grip on the disc when cleaning. Besides that, it will also prevent you from doing any damage to the polycarbonate layer.
- It is better to use tray-loading disc drives instead of slot-loading ones. Use these drives when you are trying to recover the data from the damaged disc so that you can lower the variables at play.
- Some DVDs have data stored on both sides. So, if you see any scratch on the label, it may be a cause for concern. So always keep your discs on well-cushioned cases or spools and always handle them using the inner ring so that you avoid damaging the data.
- One thing that you need to do before fixing a scratched DVD is to identify the depth of the scratch and understand what caused the disk to malfunction. Sometimes, it is the disk reader’s fault, so insert the DVD in another drive or insert another DVD in that drive to test it out.
When it comes to fixing a scratched DVD, the simplest thing to do is clean it with a microfiber cloth. If that does not work, here are some ways by which you can use to fix scratched DVDs.
Remove the Outer Layer of the DVD
The easiest thing that you can do when wondering about how to fix a scratched DVD is to remove the top layer of the disk so that the scratch goes away with it. You can do it by using chemicals or mechanical polishers. But make sure to follow the packet’s instructions.
You can buy any DVD scratch repair kits available at physical stores or online ones like Amazon or Walmart. They come with liquid and wiping materials that you can use for DVD scratch repair. Put the liquid all across the radius of the disk and let it sit according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
These DVD scratch repair kits try to create a uniform surface on the disk by removing one layer of the polycarbonate disk. Once done, rinse the disk and buff it with a microfiber cloth.
You can buy a mechanical scratch remover, but the cheap ones do more harm than good. You can try using toothpaste as the grit inside can be useful in removing the top layer.
Fill up the Scratches
You can use Vaseline or any other oil-based products for DVD scratch repair. They will fill up the cracks of the DVDs, and hopefully, your DVD reader will be able to process and repair the damaged data properly.
Rub Vaseline on the surface while making sure that you do not apply too much. After that, you can use a microfiber cloth to clean out the excess material. Use isopropyl alcohol if you cannot remove the Vaseline easily.
Since you are looking for how to fix a scratched DVD, you should know that sometimes the scratch is beyond repair. That will be a disaster since you won’t be able to recover any data, and it will be lost forever. What you can do is keep that data in a backup location so that you can get it even if you lose or damage your DVD. Thus, you shall finish this backup task before your DVD discs get scratched. We will tell you two ways by which you can do so.
One way to fix scratched DVDs is to create an ISO file of the DVD before it gets scratched seriously so that you can store the entire contents, including menus and subtitles, somewhere on your computer or a flash drive so that you can get access to it whenever you want.
A good way to do so is to use DVDFab DVD Copy, which can do this job perfectly without any loss in quality. This best DVD Copy software can copy DVD in 1:1 lossless quality via 6 copy modes including Full Disc, Main Movie, Clone/Burn, Merge, Split, and Customize.
Most commercial DVDs have copy-protection so that no one can take any illegal backups. DVDFab DVD Copy will be able to remove DVD copy protection easily, and you can make personal backups quickly. Note that it is considered illegal to make commercial backups.
Here is how you can create an ISO file using DVDFab DVD Copy.
Step 1: Run DVDFab DVD Copy and load the source DVD
Free download this best free DVD copy software and launch it to load the disk into your optical drive on your computer. DVDFab can automatically detect and read the inserted disc. By the way, if you have no optical drive at hand, you might turn to a virtual drive for later backup.
Step 2: Choose one Copy Mode and customize the output
After loading the disc, you will see all the details of the disc are showing in the window. You will find lots of customization options there like the Advanced Settings. It enables you to choose output size (DVD5 and DVD9 available) and change the file name.
Step 3: Start to copy DVD
After providing the required instructions, select the save directory from the bottom of the window. Just beside the address bar, you will see an icon with ISO written on it. Click on that icon and let DVDFab DVD Copy do its job.
One alternative to ISO files is to store DVD discs in desired video formats. DVDFab DVD Ripper is the best free DVD ripper software for that digital backup.
You will find over 600 video and audio formats to convert your videos into. Free at ease to convert DVD to MP4, MKV, FLV, MOV, and other formats, be it in 4K, 5K, or 8K for better playback. DVDFab will also break the anti-copy encryption of commercial DVDs. To make the final backup more personalized, it allows you to customize the output video via Advanced Settings (set video, audio, and subtitle parameters) and Video Edit (crop/trim/merge/rotate/watermark/brightness).
Above all, you can use Enlarger AI to upscale video from 480p to 1080p. With one simple click, the output video will be converted to Full HD, equivalent to native 1080p quality. Meanwhile, you can copy DVDs in 3 to 5 minutes thanks to GPU hardware acceleration technologies.
Here is how you can extract content from a DVD and store it in your favorite format.
Step 1: Free download DVDFab DVD Ripper and run it. Insert your DVD disc into the optical drive
Step 2: Choose one profile and customize the output video
Choose the file that you want to convert by clicking on Choose Other Profile. Select the format and click on Video. Then you will get the customization options from where you can select video codec, quality, audio channels, volume, subtitles, etc. Besides, you can edit the video as you like.
Step 3: Start to rip DVD
Once you are done, select the save directory and press the Start button to rip and convert the DVD to your desired video format.
These are the best ways to copy and digitalize DVD content for later playback before your discs get seriously scratched and damaged. Don't have thy cloak to make when it begins to rain.
That’s all you need to know about how to fix a scratched DVD. If you are lucky, you can get rid of scratches using DVD scratch repair kits or Vaseline. Else, goodbye data. That is why you should always keep a digital collection of your favorite movies, files, and other stuff. Do check out DVDFab DVD Ripper and DVD Copy as they are the best tools to do so.