HOW TO FIX YOUR CDS FROM CD ROT
If a disc suffers from CD Rot, your first plan of action should be to demand from the manufacturer a replacement disk. CD Rot is rare on CDs but is present on older a few early discs. It is essentially a flaw in the manufacturing process and as such should be replaced.
You can carry out some repairs at home that may well solve your playback problems. To do this you will need the following:
Find a table or similar flat steady surface. Put a tablecloth over it, or lay some soft tissue down, and make sure the surface is clean. Yes, little bits of dried cornflakes can scratch CDs. Lay the CD silver side up on the soft surface. Make sure the CD surface is clean by using wet tissue paper or baby wipes, wiping in straight lines from the inside of the disc to the outside. (BTW, this cleaning may make your CD work now if it was just dust/dirt causing the problem). I heard somewhere that some solvents can damage the CD, but I never had any problems with metholated spirits. However, wet tissue works well anyway.
1) Find the scratches. If it’s not obvious then follow this step. Hold the CD to the light so you can all those little scratches on the surface clearly. The sort of scratches that you’re looking for are those deep enough to be easily noticeable and often run in the direction with the track on the surface (parallel to outside edge of CD). If the disc has taken on a cloudy appearance cause by many fine scratches follow the next steps using only a smooth cloth (unless the scratches just aren’t shifting) and rubbing across the sections of scratches, working in straight paths from the centre.
Try to estimate through use of the CD where the scratches are likely to be (i.e. If the skipping of an audio CD is in the first couple of tracks, or the game can’t get past the loading stage etc. then look for scratches in the centre of the disc). Now you’ve found what scratches you are going to deal with, move on to the next stage.
2) Get a small amount of toothpaste on the rough cloth (if the crack is not very deep then the smooth cloth might do)
3) Rub the cloth firmly over the scratch. This needs to be firm enough as you feel is appropriate for the severity of the scratch. However, if you rub too hard you thumb will hurt too much to continue long enough to achieve anything, and if you rub too lightly then you’ll be there all day. This may take a few minutes depending on the scratch, just keep topping up with a little toothpaste (not too much or there’ll be no friction). New scratches may appear as you are rubbing, but as long as they’ll only light scratches this won’t matter, and we’ll be smoothing these off later. When the scratch has nearly gone, or doesn’t seem to be getting better, move on to the next step.
4) If you used a rough cloth for the last step, move on to using the smooth cloth. Just do what you did before, until you’re bored or too tired to continue. Clean with water and tissue. Then move on to using the soft cloth with some metal polish like Brasso. This should smooth out some of the extras scratches you made, but may not be noticeable, so just work at that for a few minutes.
5) Next, clean the CD again using water. Then get a small amount of Vaseline on the end of your (clean) finger, and smooth across the scratch, rubbing it in a bit. It may help just going over any other scratched regions you see on the CD like this, as it will improve reading of your CD, especially on a console with a weaker laser like the PlayStation. Using some tissue or soft cloth rub the Vaseline off of the CD (in straight paths from the centre). Do not do this too vigorously or the Vaseline will be rubbed out of the scratches.
Now to test your CD. If it still doesn’t work, try again from step 2).