Our copy of Modern Warfare 3 was unexpectedly scratched by the Xbox console last night. We spent several hours online looking for ways to clean the disc and remove the circle scratches. The disc was completely unplayable but we fixed it in the end. Here’s how we did it.
Apparently after searching online, any movement of the Xbox console during gameplay can result in a catastrophic scratch on the surface of the disc. These telltale marks are usually completely circular and quite deep. If you’re unlucky enough to encounter this problem you most probably heard the scratching noise coming from the console too. This was news to us and we’d never heard of any consoles scratching up discs before. However, this appears to be a very common problem with the Xbox and one which Microsoft won’t accept responsibility for. Don’t even try asking them for a refund for your game.
Correct position for XBox console
The Modern Warfare 3 game became unplayable
An Xbox warning message appeared saying “the disc is unreadable” and we should clean the disc and reboot
Only certain parts of the game would crash e.g. Xbox Live
The Xbox would make a repeated clunking noise as it tried to read the scratched areas of the disc
Affects of a scratched XBox disc
How to repair and clean the scratches?
After researching online we found that there’s a recommend way to remove scratches from Xbox discs for free. This involves using household products such as toothpaste and gently wiping the disc from the centre outwards. Repeating these steps several times and washing the agent off between cleans.
If you want to know how to do this then there is a great video tutorial for this at the end of the post. However, we tried this method using toothpaste, furniture polish and even bicarbonate of soda. The soda was the most effective but it still didn’t make the disc playable again.
Finally we headed over to Blockbuster to get a pre-owned copy of the game. As luck would have it, we also took the damaged MW3 disc with us. The guy at Blockbuster told us that he had a disc cleaning machine out back that they use for cleaning damaged rental DVD’s. He suggested we give it a try but wouldn’t guarantee that it would fix the problem.
So we paid the £2 fee and waited 10 minutes for the disc buffer to clean the disc. The end result was an almost perfect copy of the disc with a barely recognisable scratch mark. This was too good to be true!! This particular Blockbuster store had an Xbox console behind the counter so he was able to check the disc straight after the clean. It worked perfectly as if the disc had never been scratched at all!
So the moral of the story is – even if the household cleaning techniques don’t work, don’t worry! Just head over to Blockbuster and ask for the disc cleaning service..
Tips to avoid scratches on Xbox discs
So your disc is scratched up now but here are some tips to avoid this happening in the future..
1. Don’t tilt your Xbox when there’s a disc inside
2. Never stand the Xbox on its side, always lye it flat
3. Install the game to the hard drive so if you ever get a fatal scratch you can keep playing
Video tutorial to remove Xbox disc scratches