Is there any way to restore a damaged dvd file?

Is there any software that can ‘repair’ (perhaps recode?) a damaged dvd

I suppose I waited too long, but I have recently decided to try and back up my ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ dvd … I say waited to long, because even tho it seems to play just fine, the disc has a ton of scratches on it so I decided it was time to try and copy it (back it up) before it is to late.

I tried to copy it to my hard drive with several programs, Clone DVD2, DVD Decrypter, and VIDEO VAULT (my personal favorite) along with ANY DVD.
ALL of them failed. Clone DVD2 would get so far and just give the “Oh no” message, DVD Decrypt said it copied fine, but it didnt, and Video Vault just
kept adding to it’s “Time Remaining” (from 25 mins, eventually up to 24 HOURS) when I’d just give up and quit the program.

So I cleaned the orig DVD disc, several times, over and over, and eventually
I successfully managed to copy it to my harddrive with Video Vault, and the
subsequent VIDEO_TS folder would play perfectly on my computer. BUT the
copy I would burn to a disc, even tho it would play perfectly on my computer’s dvd rom, on my settop dvd player (Phillips) it ALWAYS would play
fine up till chapter 3 and then at the same scene, would always jump to
the main menu. On my Sony PS2, and a cheap (29 dollar Apex) settop it will
play in it’s entirety altho jumping and skipping VERY BRIEFLY at the same
spot it returns to the menu on my Phillips.

I have tried reburning the copy that’s on my harddisc several times, using Taiyo Yuden and Verbatim media, same exact results in the same spots on each of the different players.

So my question is is there anyway to determine and repair what’s bad in
the ‘Video_TS’ folder? I would like to repair (recode?) the entire dvd as is,
and not just the movie like DVD shrink would do.


mtimerding’s first post here! Welcome,

My opinion is that you are wasting alot of time avoiding the inevitable. You have to repair (resurface) the original. Buy the Digital Innovations AutoMax Resurfacing machine. Don’t know where you live but Fry’s Electronics sells it for $39.00.

Pasted below is an exerpt of a post I made on another forum concerning both ripping speed and resurfacing when faced with a scatched original:

If your originals, as most of the older movies in our collections do, have light flaws or light scratches, a slow rip helps get a better “read” on the original’s damaged areas. Flaws reflect at least some percentage of the laser-optic’s beam away from the data it needs to read. Just barreling through a read at high speed can cause short moments of pixellation at the correspondingly damaged parts of the movie data when you play back the backup on a standalone player. Many posters just assume pixellation and player freeze-ups are from a bad brand of media choice. Bad media does cause pixellation but is not the only reason for flawed backups. A slower rip speed gives the optics more time to read into the damage. AnyDVD has a feature that lets you set your ripper to “Slow & Easy” performance. Also, maybe your backup software will control rip-drive speed.

But, if your ripper can’t read (you get an error message from your backup software) through a scratch or ding, many AD posters suggest using this or that software which might or might not do a better job of reading damage. I say don’t be lazy … bite the bullet and repair the original with a Digital Innovations “AutoMax” device (no, I don’t work for them). It’s the only amateur’s physical repair (“resurfacing” is acutally the correct term) device on the market that actually works! Never had a damaged disk I could not repair & backup with this cool disk repair machine. After resurfacing, be sure to “finger-wash” the resurfaced disk with a thick, concentrated dishwashing liquid and just a little water moisture, then rub-rinse under running cool water and dry completely with a soft towel (especially around the disk-hub) before placing it in your ripper. Blowing out with compressed air, at an angle, any mosture remaining in the bonded layers at the hub helps totally dry the hub. Then towel those droplets again. Concentrated dishwashing liquid has optical improvement qualities, believe it or not.

The Automax costs $39 plus grinding wheels and felt polishing pads from time to time. Also Alambra “microfiltered, Ionized” type drinking water works just as good as the “resurfacing-solution” that Digital Innovations wants to sell you. Distilled water doesn’t work as well as the above filtered drinking water.

And again, the slower the rip, the more accurate the read.

Best regards,

EDIT: just one last note if you are going to go the Automax route. Don’t make the mistake of using the device to try to totally remove every sign of a flaw in the original by running it through it’s auto cycle more than twice. You don’t need to resurface to mint condition. You just need to resurface or smooth the microscopically jagged surface flaws enough to stop the laser optics from deflecting too much. Over doing the resurfacing too much could damage the official manufacturer’s data at the inside center section of the hub which your ripper and player needs to read the region code and other data needed by your player to recognize the original.

@ mtimerding,

Suggest viewing the below referenced links for information on how to remove scratches from badly scratched DVDs.

Best Regards,

Thanks for the replies …

I am not a whole lot worried about that one particular dvd, as I did get it copied to my harddrive …(just that it apparently copied with an error that only a piece of junk Settop unit like my Phillips DVDR985 will be affected by)

But, I have taken note of the ‘Automax’ suggestion, and have ordered one for use in the future (if need be)

I even took a copy that ‘acts up’ on my Phillips over to another neighbors house, he has some cheapo dvd player (a GODVD or something like that) and it played perfectly on his as well.

So, once again I learned what a piece of junk my 700 dollar Phillips dvdr985 is.

Time to start looking around for another dvd player. (apparently this Phillips is the
only one sensative enough to be affected by errors such as this)

Thanks again

I tested some disc-repair kits on a couple of damaged CDs. Here are the results:

Bottom line: if disc is replaceable, it may be better just to get/burn a new one. Repairing can be a big hassle.

BTW: during the Benchmark tests, I noted CD Speed switched between P-CAV and Z-CLV Types for the SAME disc . The only difference was that P-CAV activated during for the disc before it was “repaired”. Can someone shed some light as to why CD Speed (or the BenQ 1640 drive) would switch Types?