Friday, July 13, 2007

CD Recovery

We had a customer last week who was recently back from a gap year travelling the world and had received a CD from a travelling companion which contained photos of their travels in Australia and New Zealand. Unfortunately she couldn't access the files. We tried the disc in a number of CD drives and we had the same problem. Even our recovery software couldn't access the files. Examination of the CD showed the surface to be covered in a myriad of tiny scratches - obviously this CD had had a rough life. Time for a radical approach.

We had read on a tech forum some time previously that a remedy for scratched CDs was - wait for it - toothpaste! With nothing to loose we squeezed a small amount of toothpaste (with whitener and added fluoride!) on to a cotton bud, added a little water and proceeded to rub the paste onto the CD in a radial fashion. After about 5 minutes the whole surface of the disc had been treated and the CD was rinsed under cold running water to remove all traces of the toothpaste. Examining the surface of the disc after the treatment showed all the scratches still to be present, so it was with little expectation that we popped the CD into a CD drive. But, suprise, suprise, the CD was immediately recognized and all files were present and correct. Now we only recommend this treatment when all else has failed, but when you have nothing to lose...


Lifetheuniverseandeverything said...

The stuff that is used for cleaning silverware (is it Brasso?) also works extremely well, but its probably more abbrassive and so a definite last resort...But I've rescued several CD's using that.

PC Medic said...

Hi Fred,

I'd heard about Brasso befoe but never had the nerve to try it. As you say, one for the last resort.