How to make a scratched game disc to work again

Not open for further replies.


As a mother, I am telling you
Valued Senior Member
In this thread I am going to share my experience with a scratched game disc for educational purposes.
So let's say you have a Xbox 360 game what you paid a full price of $60 for and you managed to put scratches on the disc so it doesn't play anymore. What to do now? Are you suddenly out of $60?

Well, luckily, there are a few options, but first let's make sure the scratch is on the right side. It should be on the plastic side where you can see it. That is the protecting coat and it is possible to buff the disc (works with music CDs too) back to life if the scratch isn't too deep. If you scratched the label side (what is actually hard to see) you most likely damaged the data already and you are out of luck.

So options:

1. Using toothpaste or brass cleaner you can actually smooth the smaller scratches so the computer/consol can read the disc again. Go to Youtube type in fixing a scratched disc and you will see instructional videos how to do it.

2. There are actually online services that do this for you (some local stores too) and for only $5 or so you can send the game to them and hope for the best. Google for such websites...

3. The maker of tha game is willing to exchange the bad disc for a new one although the fee is a bit hefty. For Modern Warfare 2, Activision charges $20 for Xbox 360. But if you look at a $60 loss, you might don't mind to spend an additional $15-20 (depends on the consol/pc type), to save it. Some companies might exchange it in 90 days or less for free from purchase, if you have the receipt to prove it.

..and the easiest way to get it work again, and this is what I eventually did:

4. Get the same game from a friend (or if you don't have one you can rent it from Blockbuster for $8) and install it to the HD and you can play from it using the still scratched disc. Since it is only used for checking copyrights, chances are that the consol will read and recognize the game and play it flowlessly from the HD.

This trick did it for me, although I tried the toothpaste method first. First I did manage to make the disc more readable, but eventually I think I overdid it and I had a circular deep scratch anyway, what is hard to smoothen out...
Last edited:
I see you got the most important part of the post, good for you. Not to mention made me to go back and correct all the misspellings...

One extra thing to mention is that when you install a game on the HD it 'sticks' to the consol and can be used only with that consol. Just in case you have more than 1 consol...
I haven't watched the Youtube vids but what I do is use Mother's Brand aluminium polish first let dry and remove. It has a slight abrasive. Next I apply turtle wax and let dry. Remove turtle wax and then apply winshield washer fluid (methyl alcohol) and wipe clean.

With each application I wipe from the center out in straight lines. I've brought back some pretty bad discs like this.

The turtle wax fills the scratches and dries clear. This lets the info transmit through them, IOW.
I made the mistake of picking up and turning over the Xbox while the disc was inside spinning, thus making a pretty deep full circle sratch on it. No material would fill that one...Luckily it was on the outer rings and disc are read from the inside, so the beginning and the copyright part got unharmed, thus my trick is still working...
This is why I get my consoles chipped. If my discs give out I just burn a copy. :)
I'm not a big Live player anyway. I wouldn't know if I've been banned.
Didn't MS banned those consols from Xbox Live?

They always attempt to generate new updates to identify consoles that have been chipped. There are some devices you can get though that fit between the hard-drive and the console that can be turned on and off if you want to use live. I've never tested these personally, I've always been a legitimate user.
Sounds like having your licence pulled for modding your own car!

More like having a Licence pulled for Modding a car that you own, but you pay a fee to use it on the road and it requires to be a particular specification.
Not open for further replies.