How Do I Repair a Broken DVD?

By Nathan E. Baker

You can use wax and polish and sometimes glue and tape to repair a scratched or broken DVD. Deep scratches may not be repairable, and may require professional help. Discs broken into two or more pieces are generally not repairable.

Things You'll Need

  • Super glue for plastic or plastic model glue
  • Scotch tape
  • Spray furniture wax or automobile wax
  • Polishing compound or similar product
  • Toothpick
  • Polishing cloth

Repairing Minor Scratches

Step 1

Apply wax or polish sparingly to the scratched area. Spray furniture wax like Pledge seems to work best.

Step 2

Hold the disc firmly and use a polishing cloth (not a paper towel, napkin or tissue paper) to buff gently in a back-and-forth motion. Avoid using a circular motion or you may make the damage worse.

Step 3

Let the disc dry completely before you try to play the disc.

Repairing Deep Scratches

Step 1

Carefully apply modeling glue or super glue, using a pin or toothpick, to the damaged area. Apply only to the damaged area.

Step 2

Allow the glue to dry completely. Time will vary depending on the glue.

Step 3

Try to play the disc.

Repair a Cracked Disc

Step 1

Apply a tiny amount of plastic glue to the crack, using a pin or toothpick. Try to work the glue into the crack, if possible. Wipe away excess glue.

Step 2

Give the glue ample time to dry. Time will vary depending on the glue.

Step 3

Try to play the disc.

Repairing a Physically Broken Disc

Step 1

Align the broken parts of the disc.

Step 2

Apply light pressure with your fingers to make sure the pieces are contacting each other, and then apply Scotch tape to the label side of the disc to hold the pieces together. Try the disc. If it fails, go on to the next step.

Step 3

Tape the disc together as described above, and then, using a toothpick, apply plastic glue sparingly to the crack on the label side, next to where the tape is holding the pieces together. Try to work the glue into the crack, but not completely through it.

Step 4

Give the glue ample time to dry. Time will vary depending on the glue

Step 5

Carefully remove the tape and then try the disc.

Tips & Warnings

  • Immediately copy or back up your disc if it can be read.
  • Professionals use a disc cleaner/polisher that spins the disc, cleans it and polishes it. You can purchase one of these devices from a variety of sources.
  • Professional services can be found that offer disc resurfacing, for a fee. Send them the scratched disc and they will resurface it. They will not accept cracked or broken discs.
  • If the disc can not be fixed and you need the data, a data recovery company may be able to provide a copy, for a fee. Like a resurfacing service, you must send them the disc.
  • You can find downloadable programs on the Web that might provide you with a recovery option. Success, again, depends on the damage to the disc.
  • When applying glue to a disc, do so sparingly. Excess glue must be removed carefully, following manufacturer's instructions.
  • Discs rotate at high speeds inside the DVD/CD drive, and if they are unbalanced they may not play properly or might damage the drive. If tape is used, try to make sure the tape is balanced evenly over the label side of the disc.