How to Fix a Scratched or Damaged Disc and Unreadable Disc Error for Xbox, Playstation, and PC

How to Fix a Scratched or Damaged Disc and Unreadable Disc Error for Xbox, Playstation, and PC
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A scratched or damaged disc can be a pain. So can the unreadable disc error for the Xbox that comes with it.

While digital downloads overwhelmingly dominate game sales, there are still a large group of people who still prefer discs, or don’t have access to internet connections fast enough to download digital copies of games.

Helping those people is our goal.

Whether you’re trying to fix an unreadable disc error, or you just want to find out how to fix your scratched or damaged disc, XboxDIY has the information you need to make it happen.

Check out our tutorial and troubleshooting guide on how to repair your damaged disc and remove the unreadable disc error for your Xbox.

Option 1: Use Toothpaste and Deodorant

An unreadable disc error is typically due to scratches on the disc that are big and/or deep enough to prevent the disc driver laser from properly reading it.

Although there is no way to “replace” the scratched portions of the disc, you can polish it with varying compounds to trick the laser in to thinking the disc is readable.

The quickest and easiest way to fix your scratched CD, DVD, or Blu-ray disc is to use toothpaste and deodorant. Sound crazy? Maybe. But it works (see the thousand of comments on our YouTube video to prove it), and we’ll show you how to do it.

What You’ll Need

  • Damaged, scratched, or unreadable disc.
  • White Stick Antiperspirant Deodorant
  • Toothpaste (Plan – without beads or additional abrasives)

Step 1: Wet Disc

Wetting an xbox game disc under the sink

The first thing you’ll want to do is wet your disc with some lukewarm water. It can be cold, but it definitely can’t be hot.

This will make applying the toothpaste and deodorant much easier in the next steps.

Step 2: Apply Toothpaste from inside out using your finger

Applying toothpaste to a scratched or damaged game disc

Using a clean finger, apply plain white toothpaste to your wet disc from the inside out. Be sure to only apply the toothpaste in one motion, from the center of the disc, to the edge. This helps prevent you from further scratching or damaging the disc.

After you have applied the toothpaste, allow it to dry on disc for 8-10 minutes. This will allow the compound to dry and harden on the disc, filling in some of the scratches that have been

Step 3: Rinse and Dry Disc

Rinsing toothpaste off a scratched or damaged disc

After you have applied toothpaste to your scratched disc, and the toothpaste has had 8-10 minutes to dry (your time may vary), the next step is rinsing off your disc.

We recommend lukewarm water, like before. Just make sure the water isn’t hot so you don’t damage your disc.

Use a clean terry cloth towel to dry the disc after you’ve rinsed it off.

Step 4 [Optional]: Repeat steps 1-3 using deodorant

Do the same thing in steps 1 through 3, but with deodorant.

We can’t cite any scientific evidence on this one, but with the numerous discs we have repaired, using both toothpaste and deodorant seemed to have had the most success.

Whether it’s the combination of the two, or just the fact that we’re applying substances twice, it seems to fool the Xbox almost every time.

Option 2: Find a Family Video or Video Rental Store

Family Video Disc Repair

Family Video and other video rental stores (yes, they still exist!) usually have disc repair machines for their own use. As a customer, you can also pay to have your disc repaired.

Typically they will charge you ~$2 to repair a single disc.

This is a more advanced process than tooth past and deodorant, but a similar concept.  It will help polish and buff out scratches in your game disc. If this cannot repair your disc, nothing will and you will need to buy a new digital or physical copy of your video game.

You may also be able to find disc repair machines at local retro game stores or game exchanges.

Click this link to open Google Maps and find the closest store to you.

Option 3: Use Plastic Polish to Buff Scratches in Your Disc


Plastic polish is a popular to method to remove scratches from your CD, DVD, or Blu-ray disc.  Not only is it easy to use, but theres a good chance you have some lying around your house.

Using a clean, 100% cotton cloth, apply plastic polish to the disc in a similar manner as the deodorant and antiperspirant. When dry, buff the disc out with another clean cotton cloth.

We Recommend using McGuires PlastX Clear Plastic Cleaner and Polish. McGuires is the absolute best when it comes to car detailing, so it’s definitely safe for your $60 disc. It’s also cheap at ~$7 as well. 

Option 4: Buy a Disc Repair Machine

JFJ Easy Pro Video Game Repair Machine

Similar to what you might find at a Family Video, the JFJ Easy Pro Video Game Repair Machine is available on Amazon for $134.99.

This is a one stop shop solution for fixing damaged or scratched video games, DVDs, and blu-rays. If you like to keep you discs clean and scratch free, this is your solution.

As we mention numerous times throughout our video and article, if your disc is damaged bad enough, nothing (including this awesome machine) will be able to bring it back. You just can’t simply rewrite data that has been forever destroyed without burning a new copy of it.

Did you fix your scratched or damaged disc?

Showing a cleaned disc that was scratched or damaged

Damaging your disc sucks, but fixing your disc doesn’t have to.

Did this work fix for you? If so we would love to hear about it.

Have any suggestion to help others fix their scratched or damaged Xbox disc? We’d would love to hear from you too.

If so, drop a comment below, visit our Contact page or head over to our YouTube channel and connect with thousands of other gamers who have had problems and fixed their unreadable disc error, scratched, and damaged discs.

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