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Topic: Repair CD with scratches in matrix ring? (Read 4242 times) previous topic - next topic

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Repair CD with scratches in matrix ring?
I don't think I've encountered this problem before.

I have a disc I just got today, looks very good, except there is a series of scratches toward the inside of the disc. Some of them overlap into the inner ring.
I put the disc into my PC drive to read but it can't recognize the disc (generic laptop drive). You can hear the drive spin up to try to read and then stop.
So I tried it then on my external disc drive and it does the same thing. But in my audio CD player, it reads the disc just fine. Obviously the PC can't read or recognize the disc and I believe those scratches are responsible. Is there a way to possibly "clean" the scratches or otherwise get this CD to read in a computer drive?

Repair CD with scratches in matrix ring?
Reply #1
Kids sometimes really foul up discs. Here in California some of the game stores have machines that will literally restore discs. It will not fix top damage to the reflective layer but it will do wonders to the non label side. Early machines took off a bit of the disc but the newer machines appear to add a little and buff it down. The discs look and work like new. It works with DVDs and CDs but not BluRay. Cali Games charges $5 for a single disc but the price goes down if you have more.


  • DVDdoug
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Repair CD with scratches in matrix ring?
Reply #2
Here is a similar thread with lots of suggestions.

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...a series of scratches toward the inside of the disc.
You may know this already, but a CD is read from the inside-out (the opposite of a vinyl record) and the table-of-contents is also at the beginning (near the center).

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But in my audio CD player, it reads the disc just fine.
Audio players are usually better at hiding (or ignoring) errors than data-drives & ripping software.  You can make an analog copy (digital-to-analog-to-digital), but since your laptop probably doesn't have an audio line-input, you'll need an external USB audio interface (such as the Behringer UCA202) or maybe you have access to a desktop computer with a regular soundcard.    (Beware of "USB soundcards", because they are usually just like laptops with only a microphone-in and headphone-out.)

  • mjb2006
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Repair CD with scratches in matrix ring?
Reply #3
Scratches within 26mm of the center of the hole (i.e., before the lead-in) shouldn't matter; the matrix ring / mirror-band area contains no data that would be read by a CD player or drive.
  • Last Edit: 11 June, 2013, 04:10:15 PM by mjb2006

  • BFG
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Repair CD with scratches in matrix ring?
Reply #4
Is this a professionally manufactured CD, or a copy/burned one?

I've found that my laptop is completely unable to read any burned or copied CD, but it doesn't have any problem reading professionally manufactured CDs so long as they're not heavily scratched.
My laptop also does not do well with CDs that have adhesive/paper labels.  Either one can be a sign of a cheaper CD drive, one that's been damaged, or one that needs a firmware/BIOS upgrade.

Repair CD with scratches in matrix ring?
Reply #5
This is a factory-pressed CD.

  • Porcus
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Repair CD with scratches in matrix ring?
Reply #6
If it is/were the TOC, try a ripper which is capable of ripping copy-protected CDs.

Anyway, “analog copy” is not necessary if one has a standalone CD player with digital out.

Repair CD with scratches in matrix ring?
Reply #7


Alright, so I went ahead and took a pic of the damage. And I apologize, as the poster mentioned above, I meant the lead-in and not the matrix ring.

  • greynol
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  • Global Moderator
Repair CD with scratches in matrix ring?
Reply #8
That looks pretty minor.  I'm betting there are at least some drives that will be able to read this.

If not, polishing should fix the problem.  Feel free to search the forum for previous discussions on the topic.
  • Last Edit: 11 June, 2013, 07:25:17 PM by greynol
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • maggior
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Repair CD with scratches in matrix ring?
Reply #9
That looks pretty minor.  I'm betting there are at least some drives that will be able to read this.

If not, polishing should fix the problem.  Feel free to search the forum for previous discussions on the topic.


Yeah, that's pretty minor.  The worst scratches are the cocentric ones.  Radial scratches are easily fixed with the error correction.

In searching these forums, you'll find plenty of home brew solutions for fixing disc scratches from toothpaste to metal polish (brasso).

I find laptop drives to be horrible at ripping discs and to be relatively intolerant of scratched discs.  I'd suggest trying a desktop system or an external drive (full size, not the small ones that are a laptop drive in an enclosure) connected to your laptop.

  • Porcus
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Repair CD with scratches in matrix ring?
Reply #10
If it is/were the TOC, try a ripper which is capable of ripping copy-protected CDs.


In fact, it might even be that it is not a proper audio CD. Tried the old Shift key trick?

Repair CD with scratches in matrix ring?
Reply #11
Well, I tested the disc on a desktop PC and it was able to read it without hesitation. Just shows how bad my generic engrish drives are. Ugh, well thanks alot for all your suggestions.