How bad are light scratches on a dvd?

I let people borrow my dvd-r’s to watch movies, and sometimes they get returned with a couple light scratches on them. Should I back them up, or just let them be?

If the DVDs are important to you, you should back them up, or give your friends a backup. If those DVD are not unique and can be obtained elsewhere, then no need to worry, worst come to worst you can get new one. When a DVD is away from “home” it may get damaged in other ways than just light scratches, albeit, we do rent DVDs from Blockbuster type stores or libraries with no problems, most of the time.

Anyway, light scratches do not make the DVD unreadable. They may collect some dirt, but this can be washed or lightly polished with a little toothpaste. Scratches that go radially from the center to the edge are less problematic that scratches that go across.

Scratches on the back side are no big deal. Scratches on the burn side are not good, and can cause problems. DVDR’s are much more sensitive to reading through scratches than CDR’s are.
If ya want to check them out, run an error scan, and/or CDSpeed Transfer Rate Test to see if they have any reading issues.

Hi, rbpk
I’ve managed sometimes to mask light scratches with car polish but choose a really soft cloth to do so and remember to always polish from the center to the edge.
But if you borrow the same disks over and over they might get deeper scratches with time. I know about it as i rent DVD. Now i’ve no problem with the rental company i’m in, but the former company i had choosen seems not to check discs before sending them again to another customer and over a year i received 2 or 3 discs with reading issues, but again it’s commercial DVD, not DVD-R/+R.

Else like Goudo i can only advise you to backup the DVD you borrow, for this you have 3 solutions :

  • use cheap, yet reliable media and back them all.
  • use more costly DVD-R TDK Scratchproof for all your new discs.
  • buy some DVD+RW TDK ScratchProof and use them to borrow with your friends (you keep the original unscratched disc and give them the almost unscratchable disc).

See this thread for more about most durable media :

Certainly price will be an issue with ScratchProof disc, but if you want i’ll show you some scratch test i’ve made with kitchen grade steel wool which looks more than convincing to me:iagree:
Let me know if you want to see…