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On the expiry of DVD disks...

Just to inform those who might desire information... on the longevity of DVD disks.

Well... my B5 S2 D3 just expired. I have used it sparingly, and watched it about three times... but something introduced unrecoverable errors.

Only my laptop's ultra-slow DVD reader can currently read it... and naturally it's reading a disk image, for burning a backup.

So there. Nothing lasts against entropy. I may find myself with no other option... than burning two copies of each disk, or obtaining some humongous hard drive.
That's odd. I've played all of mine more than that, with no problems at all (on my DVD Player that's in the A/V system). I've probably played each of the Crusade discs a dozen times or more.

Are you sure it's not due to being dirty, or scratches on the read surface? You might try washing the disc in non-abrasive dish soap and lukewarm water, gently wiping directly away from the center. Dry with a soft towel in the same fashion. I've had that cleaning method miraculously make discs suddenly become readable, even though there was nothing visible on the disc's read surface.
<ul type="square">[*]1. Rinse disc read surface in lukewarm water.
[*]2. Put a circular bead of the dish soap all around the read surface.
[*]3. With wet hands, gently take your thumb and spread the soap all over the read surface, always going directly toward or away from the center. Do this at least twice around the whole disc.
[*]4. Rinse the disc and your hands in lukewarm water until all soap is rinsed off.
[*]5. Gently dry with a soft, linen or terrycloth towel, with the disc between a fold of the towel that's between your thumb and index finger, always going directly toward or away from the center.

That's worked for me, and I've never damaged a disc that way. Frequently, I have to do that for rental DVDs before I put 'em in my player. You wouldn't believe how some people treat those DVDs. :rolleyes:
I have something similar on season one Born to the Purple won't play at all at times or it skips .But in every other player the whole disc plays fine .Weird that only one episode won't play on some players,maybe an indication that mine is going bad .
Sleepy, if it really won't play on other DVD players as well, I'd try to get a replacement, since it is clearly defective.

As to cleaning discs, I can't recommend soap and water. In the USA, I recommend a product called Sparkle Glass Cleaner. It is a glycol cleaner, and is very gentle on plastics. Never use a cleaner with ammonia, or chlorine, as that will damage the surface. Most glass cleaners have ammonia. I haven't tried isopropyl alcohol, which works well on vinyl. You could try that on an old disc, to see if it harms the surface. The thing about the glycol cleaner is that is releases surface particles held by an electrostatic charge, and most cleaners don't.
There's also a product that (allegedy) repair scratches on discs. I can't remember the name of it, but it's something like DiscDoctor, DiscDr., DVDDr., DVD-MD, etc. The name has a medical overtone implied. Anyway, you can get it at Suncoast Motion Picture Company, which is typically a mall store and could possibly be found in an outdoor strip mall.

They cost about 10 or 15 dollars. Suncoast was really trying to push them when they first came out. I don't have one myself, but I was in the store one time when a customer said she already had one and had used it to repair a variety of her son's discs. I'm guessing it works on CDs, DVDs, and maybe even CD-Roms.

I wonder if this would fix your problem.
As to cleaning discs, I can't recommend soap and water.

That method was recommended to me by a software manufacturer's tech support person. I didn't come up with that on my own, because the read surface looked pristine both before and after I cleaned that disc, and yet before the cleaning, the drive would not even recognize the disc, and after the cleaning, the drive read the enitre disc A-OK.
After obtaining the disk image for later restoration, I took a look with a fairly powerful magnifying glass. When looking from the transparent side... I noticed irregular clusters of tiny round dots.

I have not yet determined if they are on the surface of the transparent side, or have somehow appeared on the data-carrying layer through the other side. I tried carefully wiping the region where they occur (on the transparent side) with cotton soaked with water/soap water/vodka/propanol... to no effect.

To my knowledge, I haven't subjected this disk to corrosive chemicals either. When not used, they have stood in package, in a dark and relatively cool server room.

But the dots look... almost like tiny droplets of some highly active chemical had landed on the transparent surface (or landed on the printed surface, and worked their way through to the data layer).
Washing up liquid and water is a well established and perfectly acceptable (not to mention pretty effective) method of cleaining both CDs and DVDs. It works because it removes any build up of greasy substances from the disk surface, just the same as it removes grease from your dishes and plates when you wash them. A build up grease can cause serious deflection of the laser beam (and therefore playback errors) if not removed.

Don't forget that you also need to clean the laser lens itself from time to time - a standard DVD laser lens disk will do (I have found the ones that come with a mild cleaning fluid for application to the brushes before starting to be most effective).

Sleepy, it sounds like there was either air entrained in the plastic, or the adhesive, which is a manufacturing defect, and allows the oxidation of the (usually) aluminum layer. That kind of thing doesn't happen much anymore, but they should replace it.

As to cleaning discs with soap and water, well, if you use REAL soap, not a detergent, which even most bath soaps, let alone dish and laundry soaps, contain, you may be okay. BUT, detergents, or industrial surfactants, as they are also known, are strong enough to remove more than grease from the surface of your discs, they will also dull, and eventually cloud the surface. Strong ones will do it sooner, weak ones later. That is why I recommend a product specifically for cleaning discs, OR, Sparkle glass cleaner, a propylene glycol cleaner that absolutely will not damage plastic. For years I made and installed epoxy coated bar tops, and that was the safest thing I could find to clean, but never affect the surface gloss. I found that out because it was recommended by Xerox, or IBM, I forget which, it's been a few years. It doesn't remove scratches, but will clean out any abraded particles that remain in the scratch, due to the anti-static properties. I've used it on virtually all common plastics, including CDs, and DVDs, without harm, clouding, or dulling. Use Windex on your acrylic sheet, and it will dull right up after regular cleaning, due to the ammonia, but Sparkle doesn't do that! There are some other interesting products for restoring plastics that might help damaged discs, like ArmorAll for one, but I have never used them on discs, so I can't recommend them. Perhaps I'll experiment with some in the future.

Addendum: I just recalled that I actually restored two Laser Discs to playable with Sparkle. They had been damaged by rubbing on a felt pad they sat on before they were lifted. It rubbed a dull ring on the discs, and they would not play past that area. I cleaned them up with Sparkle, and although they had some defective lines remaining in the area, the discs played fine otherwise. Soap and water wouldn't do that, because it wouldn't remove all of the abraded particles.

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