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Fixing a Scratched PS1 game

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A few days ago I bought a copy of Street Fighter Alpha 2 for the PS1, and the game isn't working. The game locks up on the 1st loading screen. Looking at the back of the disk, there seems to be a few hairline scratches that may be problem.

My question is, What is the best way for taking scratches out of a CD? I've googled the question and haven't gotten a really good answer. Can someone here give me some advice on how to fix this, or should I just buy another copy of the game?

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Generally speaking, you don't [permanently fix scratched CDs].

There are few "duct tape and bubble gum" DIY methods around that fall more into the realm of the urban legend or old wives tale, than actual workarounds.

At most, if you are talking about shallow, superficial scratches and not deep gashes, you may be able to sand them out/fill them in with suitable materials/kits, as suggested by the link, and the "fix" will only be good enough for reading off data once or twice. You really don't want polished/waxed/toothpasted discs spinning in your drive for long, and it's only a matter of time until the goo comes off.

Unfortunately (for the case at hand), the next step is COPYING THE "REPAIRED" CD ASAP with a CD player that is actually able to read it in this state into a new CD. In the case of a PS1 game, this means bumping into the copy protection, and open a whole other can of worms.

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I usually use alcohol pads (Brother was a hemphiliac and needed em for his medicine, so we literally had an infinite supply) and that would usually work/help the situation alot. If not i just use the toothpaste method.

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deathbringer said:

Toothpaste is an abrasive (minor, i agree) surely? Wouldn't that make the situation worse?

It may only remove very small superficial scratches exactly because it's slightly abrasive, and fill some other imperfections if spread out very thinly and evenly (same as wax and other such things).

However it will not help at all with fixing deep gashes such as the ones you'd make with a pen point or a set of keys. It's only intended as a stopgap measure to get the disc temporarily readable so that you can make a copy, also because once the disc is spun up, the "coating" gets spattered all over inside the drive.

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Take it to a video rental shop, they have machines made exactly for this kind of thing - polishing scratches out of DVD videos. Usually they'll try repair your discs for a few dollars.

You can also get a variety of sprays and cloths which do the same thing, try electronics shops or eBay.

deathbringer is right, toothpaste is too abrasive for the surface of a disc, I wouldn't use that.

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I actually tried the toothpaste method on another PS1 game, Moto Racer. It actually made the disk look worse than before with all of the scratches (and I purchased it like that). The game didn't run on my PS1 or PS2 before, so I figured try that, as it wasn't going to work anyway. And it didn't make a difference either.

I think I will just end up buying another copy cheap off of amazon for 5 bucks. Thank you all for the help, and I will make sure I will not try the toothpaste method again. ;)

EDIT: I tried the first part of method on Wiki-how, and it left water drops on the game. So that really gives me no choice but to buy a new one.

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Bring it to a Play N Trade if you have on in your area. I'm a manager at the one here in Orlando and we only charge $3.00 a cd. Though prices may vary since all stores are franchises.

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Once again, the best piece of advice is the one on the venerable CD-Recordable FAQ.

It's really only 4-5 paragraphs, but if you consider it TL;DR material it can be summed up as follows:

a) If you have scratches on the label side, you're pretty much fucked. Bye bye. Sayonara.

b) Minor, shallow scratches on the bottom side may be sanded/filled/polished away with a variety of methods. But....

c) ...they are only stopgap temporary solutions, meant to buy you enough time to copy off the data/disc to a new disc, and you should really stop using the original ASAP. The "fix" may wear off, spin itself off the disk and gunk your drive.

d) There's no definitive solution other than copying the data to a new disc, which means that in the case of copy-protected stuff, you're once again screwed.

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