How to Play a DVD That Freezes the Computer on a Laptop

Written by james clark
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How to Play a DVD That Freezes the Computer on a Laptop
Cleaning and buffing scratched DVDs can solve many playback problems. (dvd image by dinostock from

A DVD can freeze up on your laptop computer for two main reasons, either accumulated dirt or scratches that prevent the DVD-ROM laser lens from reading disc data accurately. The computer gets stuck trying to read data blocked by dirt or a scratch and the images freezes when the laser lens is unable to move on. Try cleaning the disc first to solve the problem, then advance to more vigorous buffing to remove scratches on the DVD surface.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Clean towel
  • Glass cleaner in a spray bottle
  • Lint-free cloths
  • Metal polish

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  1. 1

    Place the problem disc label side down on a towel.

  2. 2

    Spray glass cleaner on the shiny disc surface to dampen the DVD and wipe clean with a lint-free cloth. Wait a few minutes for the residual cleaner to evaporate before inserting the disc in your laptop.

  3. 3

    Test DVD playback in the computer. If it still freezes, move on to buffing out the scratches.

  4. 4

    Pour a few drops of metal polish on a clean, lint-free cloth and buff the shiny disc surface using a zigzag motion to remove scratches.

  5. 5

    Wipe off excess polish and spray again with glass cleaner to remove any residual polish on the disc surface.

  6. 6

    Air dry the disc before testing playback. If the DVD continues to freeze on the computer, the disc scratches may have penetrated the clear, protective layer and corrupted the data underneath. This almost always means the disc is ruined and should be replaced.

Tips and warnings

  • Don't polish the disc in circles as this can make the scratches worse.

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