Rocky Mountain Traders – CD Repair Kit review

fixes scratched CDs
Photo of Rocky Mountain Traders – CD Repair Kit
£10

When CDs were first invented, Tomorrow’s World ran a feature showing how tough they were. You could stamp on them, scratch them and even use them as frisbees, but you couldn’t damage the audio tracks stored on them. Unfortunately, this information turned out to be totally false. CDs, and therefore CDROMs, are actually very delicate pieces of optical storage media, and even tiny scratches can render them useless. And if you’ve ever tried contacting a technical support department to ask for a replacement disc, you’ll know that they invariably ask for proof of purchase and, usually, a bundle of cash ‘to cover postage and handling costs’.

In the past, we at IT Reviews have repaired scratched CDROMs using furniture polish, but the CD Repair Kit is a more elegant, purpose-designed solution. For just a tenner, it will repair up to 25 discs, and you’ll have to have been particularly negligent or unfortunate to damage that many of your collection. The kit contains two small bottles of liquid polymer. One of the polymers is used to repair the damage, filling in scratches and pits using a material that matches the optical properties of the disc itself. Then the second bottle of fluid is used to provide a protective coating to the repaired area of the disc.

We scratched a Windows 98 CDROM – which was a strangely satisfying experience – in order to test this kit. Following the instructions carefully, we were able to repair most of the minor scratches, allowing us to access nearly all the information on the disc. Unfortunately, one of our more zealously-gouged scratches proved too much for the kit (had we read the instructions carefully, we’d have noted that ‘deep gouges are irreparable’). Where’s that technical support phone number…

Company: Rocky Mountain Traders

Contact: 020 7631 0707


Verdict
For recovering damaged audio CDs or CDROMs, this kit does just about as much as is possible. If it can't fix the scratches, the chances are you'll have to invest in a new disc. Given the low price of this kit, it's certainly worth giving it a try first.