How to Fix a Scratched PC Game

Written by hilarypost
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How to Fix a Scratched PC Game
Clean your scratched disks to render them playable once more. (cd on cd image by Stephen Kirkby from

PC game disks contain dense amounts of data, designed to pack as much information as possible into a small space to maximise the length and depth of games. Like with any other disks, it's possible for PC games to become scratched, making the game disk hard or impossible to play on your computer. Several methods are available to repair a scratched PC game disk.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Disk or lens cleaning cloth
  • Glass cleaner or rubbing alcohol
  • Disk resurfacing kit or paste

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  1. 1

    Clean minor marks with a dry cloth and some glass cleaner or rubbing alcohol. Wipe in straight lines across the disk, never circular motions. Many marks that look like scratches and hinder a disk's readability can be removed by this step.

  2. 2

    Apply disk resurfacing paste, either using a cloth or spindle-mounted disk resurfacing kit, to rid the disk of scratch marks that have not been removed by cleaning the disk.

  3. 3

    Remove the game from your computer. Borrow or rent a second copy of the game disk. Insert the second, scratch-free disk. Open the installation program. Choose "Full Install." This option, available on almost all modern games, means that the game can be run from your hard drive. Some games will still require you to have the original disk in the drive to start the game. However, as long as the computer can recognise the game disk, the game will start even from a scratched disk.

  4. 4

    Send heavily scratched disks away to be professionally resurfaced. Your local game or video store can advise on the best local resurfacing company.

Tips and warnings

  • Before sending a disk to be resurfaced, hold the disk up to the light to inspect the label side. Semicircular black marks in the disk's silver surface represent scratches in the data layer; these are the only scratches that cannot be fixed even by professional treatment. In this case, a replacement disk must be found.

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