Can a scratched CD still work?

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Amos
No, I would hang them on the Christmas tree!
High speed
These things are made of polycarbonate. The plastic can be polished again with a lot of effort. It is better if you try to make a copy with a PC. Such a PC has a lot of possibilities to correct reading errors.
007Klausi
You can buy tools that you can use to repair CDs, such as a fix paste or adhesive. Of course, this does not guarantee that the data will still be legible and complete. In general, a scratched CD is badly damaged.
KALLEPOWER
As far as I know, scratched CDs are no longer easy to repair, even if there are supposed to be repair kits. But: Some CD drives are more sensitive to scratches than others. So you could try the CD in different drives and if you are lucky you could save the data and burn it onto a new CD.
Tobi_G
It all depends on which side it is scratched! If the label side is damaged (i.e. the printed side), then you hardly have a chance of saving the CD. Otherwise, the rest of the tips here like repair kit and PC drive are imho good.
elmo
CDs are pressed in mirror image. The user data is on the label side. If this side is not damaged and the scratch on the other side is not too deep, you can with luck repair the CD with toothpaste. Audio CD players usually have good error correction, i.e. you hardly hear anything afterwards. Data CDs are more sensitive.
Gerdd
Polish, yes, but better not with toothpaste; Copying to PC can also work, but not bypassing the copy lock! Hanging in the Christmas tree - that can confuse the children, who then believe CDs grow on Christmas trees ...

Years ago they had software in the computer magazine c't which exploited the fact that a CD with reading problems on different drives is sometimes still partially readable. With this software, you could collect data from the CD in one file on several PCs and then burn the result onto a new CD at the end. This can be combined with polishing if necessary. First try unpolished, then polished, and in the end you have got the most out of it.
bh_roth
A CD has the music data stored digitally. These are just strings of numbers. At the end of a block of numbers there is always a checksum. If a number in such a block can no longer be read, the gap can be closed by the checksum. What does that mean in practice? a few small scratches all over the CD usually does not matter. In the case of long, deep scratches, electronic "repair" is no longer sufficient at some point. The CD is then partially or completely no longer readable
I would try to copy a scratched CD in a PC with a good copy program, so maybe some songs can still be saved.
As an aside: It means scratched, not scratched.
sitchin
Home remedies such as toothpaste or the freezer only help for a short time, if at all. You can get a proper repair for little money from a disc repair service. Repair CD and DVD repair to the highest standards. That means the CD or DVD is like new afterwards.