Is It Even Scratched?
Well, first and foremost, just because your Xbox machine spits your disc back out at you and informs you that it is unreadable, does not mean it has become inflicted by an irreparable scratch. It could simply be a dust build up on the shiny side of the disc that the machine's laser reads. This can be easily sorted by grabbing a clean, dry cloth and wiping the disc, starting from the center and working your way out until you've wiped the whole thing. Be sure not to wipe the disc in a circular motion, as it might be tempting to do so at first, as this may scratch the disc further and lead you to more problems.
So I've Wiped The Disc Clean, But It Still Doesn't Work!
If, once you have done this, the disc STILL doesn't work, then it is probably best to take your game to the nearest video game outlet. Sure, there's plenty of crackpot ideas to found on the net about smearing toothpaste or Coca Cola all over your discs, but to be honest, this will almost certainly bring about more problems than it solves.
Most retail outlets that deal with video games will have a disc cleaning service, and while you may have to pay a little extra for the privilege (it will only be a couple of dollars or so, not much), this is the safest and surest way of making your once beloved games playable again.
But, of course, you'd never have this problem in the first place if you were able to prevent scratching from appearing. Well, this is very easy to do and there are a lot of steps you can take to make your games last just that little bit longer.
So What Steps Can I Take To Prevent Scratches In The Future?
- Take good care of them. When removing them from the boxes and putting them into your disc tray, be sure to only hold them by the edges, and try to avoid touching the shiny underside of the disc, as this delicate side houses all the data your console needs to read to play the game. When not playing your games you should always keep them in the corresponding box as well, and not just leave them lying around all over your bedroom floor!
- Another common cause for scratches appearing on discs, especially with the Xbox 360, can be prevented by not moving the console while a game is playing inside it. This is one of the most common causes for the famous circular scratches appearing on the discs, and this is because moving the console while the disc is spinning at a high speed causes it to wobble, scraping up against other components in the machine and scratching it heavily.
- Another step you could take to prevent something similar to this happening even further would be to install as many of your games as you can to your Xbox 360's hard drive. Once the game has been loaded up from the hard drive, the disc stops spinning, and so the capacity to scratch is drastically decreased. This will also keep your console in general happier, as it is not putting as much physical stress on the hardware.
If you are looking to get technical help exchange or refunded then describing the scratch as a perfect circle sets you up to fail, as the perfect circle scratch signifies that you have repositioned the disc whilst it was still in the machine, and as that is not the fault of the disc or the Xbox you won't get any help or compensation.
There are a few things you can do though: If it is an EA game then they run a service where you can get scratched discs exchanged for a minimal fee. You need to include the scratched disc obviously and they will compensate. If you find that you cannot look after your discs very well then you may find it a good idea to invest in a disc recovery tool such as www.oemailrecovery.com/cd_recovery.html
A CD recovery tool restores damaged files by recovering the data from them. It scans the disc revealing all the files and folders that can be recovered. It doesn't always manage to recover all the information, that will depend on just how destroyed your disc is, but it finds the most amount of information. This may not be ideal for a games disc but it does reduce the risk of data being lost.