How to Repair a Broken DVD

Written by todd bowerman
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How to Repair a Broken DVD
Unfortunately, not all discs can be saved. (CD image by Ricardo Bego Mantoan from

While the invention of the compact disc is arguably one of the most important innovations in home entertainment, it has also come with its own unique set of challenges. Because DVDs can hold far more data than VHS tapes, films have higher audio and video quality, and also have unique bonus features and easy navigation options. Unfortunately, this convenience comes at the cost of durability--one good scratch and your DVD could be toast. Though not all broken DVDs can be repaired, you may be able to salvage yours with a little delicate handiwork.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Model glue
  • Clear Sellotape

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  1. 1

    Hold the disc up to a light in your home to locate the crack.

  2. 2

    Assess the crack for severity. If the disc is cracked all the way through or has a deep scratch, it may be beyond salvaging.

  3. 3

    On the label side of the DVD, apply a small amount of glue to the scratch or edge of the crack. It is important that as little glue as possible is used to prevent the disc from spinning off balance.

  4. 4

    Spread the glue into the scratch or along the crack using a toothpick, and use a paper towel to immediately wipe the disc clean.

  5. 5

    Let the disc dry on a smooth, flat surface. Allow the disc plenty of time to dry to ensure the safety of your DVD player or game console. Once dry, load the disc and hope that it will work--if so, make a copy of the disc immediately.

  1. 1

    Place the cracked disc label-side up on a soft cloth.

  2. 2

    Lightly squeeze the outer rim of the disc to apply pressure to the crack and push the disc parts back together.

  3. 3

    Place the tape over the crack, and lightly press down to seal it.

  4. 4

    Clean the disk surface with a soft cloth, and load it into your machine to see if it works. If it does, immediately make a copy of the disc.

Tips and warnings

  • Sellotape and super glue are two methods of fixing a cracked disc, but they are in no way guaranteed to work. Contact the manufacturer or purchase a replacement disc if you are unable to get your disc playing again.
  • If your disc turns out to be unsalvageable, consider taking it to a disk repair company. These businesses often have professional equipment that can fix many of the most badly damaged DVDs.
  • As a last resort, contact the DVD manufacturer to see if the company will send you a replacement DVD at a reduced price.
  • Beware of playing discs with large cracks, even if they have been fixed. Broken discs can injure your system, and should be played only long enough to make a replacement copy.
  • Always use a plastic-safe model glue such as Zap a Gap or Testors--other glues may damage your disc.

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