Sunday, November 28, 2010

Disk cleaning

If your disk is unreadable, skipping, or is slow in playback, it may just be be dirty. Even if your disk has a few scratches, a little bit of cleaning may be all it takes to make it good as new.

Required tools:

  • Microfiber Cloth
  • 85% Rubbing Alcohol

(1) Get a nice clean cloth, preferably a micro fiber cloth. Silk should also work fine. Avoid using a Kleenex, paper towel, or cotton cloth, as it may scratch your disk. Micro fiber clothes are available at most grocery stores, but if you can't find one, pick one up at any place that sells glasses.

Rubbing alcohol can be obtained at any pharmacy and 75% should still work fine. The higher concentration does work a little better, but the difference isn’t substantial. Don't substitute rubbing alcohol with Windex or other solvents, as they may damage the reflective coating on the disk.

(2) Wet the cloth at one edge with rubbing alcohol. This is best achieved by plugging up one end of the alcohol bottle with a part of the cloth, flipping the bottle over, and letting the cloth soak for a bit before flipping it back over. If done properly there, shouldn't be much alcohol spilled.

(3) Hold the disk firmly in one hand in-between your thumb and middle finger. Use the thumb of your other hand to apply pressure though the wet area of the cloth to the disk and move the cloth in and out from the center of the disk to the edge and back again. Use the index finger of the hand you are holding the disc with to support the non data side so you can apply more pressure. It may take a few tries to find a comfortable position. Continue to work the wet cloth out from the center of the disk toward the edges until you're satisfied, or until you find a spot you can't seem to get.

If you find a particularly bad spot that has a lot of dirt or grime that you just can't seem get, try getting it wet by re-wetting the cloth and allowing the area to absorb the alcohol. If that still doesn’t help, apply more pressure by using the tip of your thumb or your nail on the cloth when you're rubbing the area. Be careful when using your nail as, you may cut through the fibers of the cloth and end up scratching the disk. You should never touch the data side of the disk with anything except the micro fiber cloth.

(4) Once you've finished with the wet part of the cloth, use the dry part of it. Again, use your thumb to work the cloth in and out from the center to the disk to the edge. This is mostly cosmetic and you can skip this step.

(5) Allow the disk to dry for one to two minutes and you should be done.

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