Cracked DVD or Cracked CD Repair 

Is a cracked DVD or cracked CD repairable? When CDs were first introduced, they were advertised as essentially being indestructible. However, time and experience has shown us that CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs can be physically damaged in a variety of ways.

Cracked Disc Hub

One type of physical damage that may occur is cracking of the disc. The mostly likely spot that gets cracked is the hub portion of the disc. This area of the disc is subjected to a lot of stress when removed from a jewel case. 

With occasional removal from and insertion into a jewel case, the disc hub is usually not damaged, but if this is done many times and care is not taken then cracking in the hub area will occur. This has been noticed in the DVD movie rental market where DVDs are constantly going in and out of their case, often without much care. The image below is a perfect illustration of the hub cracking problem caused by the stress of constant removal from the case and re-insertion of the disc into the case. Cracks in CDs, DVDs, and Blu-rays may also occur in other areas of the disc, in particular the outer edge. This type of crack damage is likely the result of dropping the disc on its edge.

A close-up image of a DVD movie disc with a cracked hub caused by the constant removal out of and insertion into the DVD storage case.

Cracked Disc Repair

Cracked DVD and the repair of other optical discs is not really possible. There is nothing that can be done to repair the crack effectively. The best option to save the information stored on the disc is to try and play the disc and make a copy of its contents. This likely will work if the crack is minor. If the crack is more severe, the disc may not be readable because of the amount of damage, which may obscure the data and lead to read errors.

Playing or Reading a Cracked DVD or CD

Note that playing a cracked disc is risky and if attempting to play a disc that is cracked, one should be made aware of the possible consequences. Optical discs spin at very high speeds in players or drives and therefore the discs are subjected to quite a bit of force, especially at higher speeds. Cracks in the discs, even small ones, can propagate or spread under this stressful condition. The ultimate result is the disc can explode or in other words completely shatter in the drive into thousands of pieces, large and small. This not only ruins the CD, DVD, or Blu-ray disc, but likely will destroy your drive or player as well. This scenario is always possible when playing a cracked disc!

Whenever a CD or DVD is played, it is best to do a quick inspection to see if the disc is cracked or not. Look more closely at the hub and outer edges of the disc as these areas are the likely ones to experience cracks. If you need to play the damaged disc, do so in an older drive that you can afford to lose.

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