I’ve just spent the past few hours ruining a CD. All in the cause of science mind you, and to make it more pleasurable it was a detestable AOL sign up disc. I was testing out this here Skip Doctor which the company claims is ‘scientifically proven’ to repair CD, DVD and optical media, as long as it isn’t warped, the gouges aren’t too deep and the damage is not label side – which they say is inoperable.
So of course I sneered, as you do, took a penny coin and scored around 9, not deep but definitely not nice, scratches on said disc, humming all the while. Put the disc into drive and pow, major PC hang as the drive tries to cope with the disc from Hell.
Eventually recover disc from sulking PC, insert it into Doctor device, moisten with special fluid and hand crank – quite tiring – to gently ‘grind’ off the scratches. Then a dry and buff up with small felt pad. Back into drive. Hmmm, still no joy, but the disc was readable enough not to hang the machine. So following instructions again, I took it out and gave it another grind and buff. Bingo! Amazement. Sure the drive was really having to work the error correction full time to load the directory but it did it after three minutes. And I could read a file off the disc. A miracle.
So friends, if you ever tragically suffer the loss of your favourite digital photo disc this could be your answer. It won’t return them to new, but it may do enough to let you transfer the data onto another disk at least. Pros – works, Cons, you have to keep replacing consumables – the grinding belt lasts for about 50 discs though, which is not bad – it is a little fiddly and it does need some serious elbow grease. Priced here in the UK at £35.00 from Innovations.
As well as offering motorized versions for the lazy, the Chicago based company is apparently also working on a product to repair severe damage, but if you need help in the meantime over here you could always try fucd.co.uk which will repair discs for £2.99 each.