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How to Repair a Disc

Some people have worked hard and come up with processes of their own - You should read them thru to get a better understandig of the process to repair your own damaged discs.

By DJ Arnoldo (Manassas, VA United States)

Just resurfaced 12 horribly mangled and unplayable CDs using the Simotech machine. The outcome was outstanding - all 12 CDs are playable and sound great! BUT... it took 8 hours and it was a little tricky; here is what I learned about resurfacing heavily damaged CDs.

1) Spacers: More than optional, these spacers are essential for generating the proper pressure to cut the required amount of plastic off the old CD surface. Starting with the yellow pads and red cream, add one clear spacer, give it 3-4 spins. If you still see deep scratches, add a green spacer, give it 3-4 more spins, etc. Keep increasing the spacer thickness and spinning until you get the desired polish. If you are doing multiple CDs (I did a batch of 12), do all the CDs with each spacer thickness. For the worst CDs (like mine), you will end up using all 4 spacers. That's OK, just leave all the spacers in as you work your way through the creams (red, yellow, and white).

With badly scratched CDs and using multiple spacers to generate the needed cutting pressure, you will have to avoid two problems. First, the motor will stall if you hit the start button with the lid shut. You will have to start the motor with the lid open, then click the lid shut once the motor spins up. Second, if you leave the lid shut between spins, the pressure will bond the grit to the CD surface leaving a dot pattern on the CD where the pads stopped. This not only can ruin the finish, it carries coarse grit to the next polishing stage and can prevent you from getting a good polish. To prevent this, count the number of seconds for each spin (about 12), and open the lid the last second before the disk stops spinning. You definitely need to let the machine cool down for at least 20 seconds between spins, or the machine will overheat and shut off. Its also better for the CD.

2) Pad changing: For really bad CDs, you will need to remove a lot of plastic, and this clogs the pads. I had to change the yellow pads every four CDs on the first pass. Once I got past the red cream, the pads lasted for all 12 CDs. ALWAYS CHANGE THE PADS WHEN YOU CHANGE CREAMS.

3) Cleaning: The polishing creams have a waxy base to lubricate the disc during polishing. I filled a spray bottle with half-diluted vegetable cleaning spray which leaves zero residue (available at supermarkets or Whole Foods). Worked great! Lay out a roll of paper towels to put your CDs on while you are cleaning them. This will blot off the water between polishing steps.

4) Sanding Blocks: WARNING - DO NOT USE THE RED OR BLACK SANDING BLOCKS. I tried to use these on deep scratches, and instead of a bunch of deep scratches, I ended up with the entire CD full of deep scratches! I found that it is much better to leave a few of the deepest scratches than be anal and try to remove every last scratch. Even the deep scratches will be lightened substantially with the normal polishing process, and will not affect the ability to read the disk. If you use the sanding block, you will not be able to polish out the resulting scratches (I tried 20 spins and could not get the sanding block scratches out!)

5) Cream: Dont use as much cream as they tell you to. Put a tiny dab on each pad each time you change the CD. Even a 1 mm length squeezed from the tube is too much. Just squeeze a tiny bit out of the tube and touch the pad, leaving a little dab. A little goes a long way!

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Just finished ripping over 400 cds to our digital collection for use on a Zune 120 GB Video MP3 Player (Black)) and found over half had bad skips scratches ect. Looking at mp3 or worse replacing cd for cd I figured if i could find a machne under 150 I was still saving lots of time, effort and money...enter this little unit. I tried other units includingPhilips Motorized CD/DVD Repair System and a couple of 40 dollar units from a box store. No luck. I found reviews for this unit online and bought through amazon seller. I am really happy. I have had scratches that were really really bad more like grooves and it cleaned them up.

So the low down..the unit includes pads, cleaning fluid, and both lighht and heavy scratch cream, it also includes sanding blocks for both fine medium and heavy scratch removal, and shims for getting a proper fit to the pad from the spinner plate. A basic set of instructions was included but here's what i learned after 400 cds....

Clean them all...the fine finish it gives makes a difference in how quickly the cd is ripped with error correction into you computer.

use the yellow pads and the red tube cream (heavy cream) the yellow is fine for general cleaning but that's it. the small bottle of liquid cream is a great buffing agent for cds that are dirty or to finfish of a newly repaired disk. yellow pars will last for 4 cds if you have heavy work or 30 if your just buffing and finishing. Basically when the surface of the pad is looking caked with cream or you can't see the ridge in the pads surface...change them already...

start with a buff with just a little cream on the pad and I mean a little goes a long way hear. then cycle the unit for one or two long passes....take a look...still scratched try it twice more...if you have lots of little surface scratches then try a shim on the table to put the cd closer to the pad and then cycle twice more...only add cream if you do not see a change in the cd...otherwise just keep spinning...up to 6 passes for light but not gouged cds...if there gouged then keep reading

gouges need some practice and some patience...first off make sure it is a gouge and not a surface material like glue ect...then wet the cd where it needs to be sanded. Use the red pad for most and the black pad only after trying the red and buffing out the area. So use the red pad in small tight circles over the gouge till it looks like it is gone...wipe the area dry...still look gone ..ok then use the heavy cream and a shim on the table and run it through three long passes...let it cool for 10 or 20 seconds.....then 3 more passes...repeat till its buffed...if after a couple of passes the gouge looks like is still there go back and use the black sand pad...and then back to the buff and wait buff and wait.

Fixing takes time...cleaning buffing or regular scratches are quick so just take your time...i do it while i am trolling or reading the news online a couple a day sometimes more...and eventually they got done...the machine works well and except for the cheap plastic top and hold down for the cd table...(which you don't need to use by the way...the cds will sit on the table shims without moving so avoid the on and off nut for the hold down as it will strip out after about 30 cds anyhow.) (the top also had little clip in the back that broke but it still stays on and opens well so i don't care and it took 300 cds before this happened so...)

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