Make a Non Working Xbox Disk Work

Getting a Xbox disk scratched is easy, but the hard part is getting it to work again. You can go to Gamestop and buy the disk skip fixer, but it will not fix the perfect circle scratches.


  1. Take the disk out of the Xbox.
  2. Try turning off the Xbox. Then remove the disk. After, simply open and close the tray repeatedly with two-second breaks. Do this about 20 to 30 times. If it works again, there's no need to use another approach.
  3. Choose one of the methods below to try to fix your Xbox game if this simple fix failed to work.

Polishing the disk

  1. Use air first. For example, blow across the disk. Or, use a soft brush to remove any specks from the disk before you polish it.
  2. Get a soft, lint-free polishing cloth. Choose something like a cloth used to clean eyeglasses with. Dampen it.
    • In a pinch, you can use a wet piece of toilet paper. (Make sure that it is soft and not the slightly abrasive ultra-cheap stuff.)
  3. Use the wet piece of cloth or toilet paper to clean the shiny side of the disk. (Not the side with the name and picture.)
  4. Dry the whole disk off. Use a dry polishing cloth, or other lint-free cloth. Do not use toilet paper or paper towels, as the rough surface on the paper can damage the disk further. An old clean T-shirt works well.
  5. Put it in your Xbox. With luck, it should work. If not, try cleaning it again, to a maximum of 5 times.

Using soap or cleaner

  1. Use soap or Windex. Slightly wet paper towel to wipe off your disk from the middle towards the outside. Do not use a circular motion; this may cause scratches in line with the data and may permanently make it irreparable!
  2. Use a furniture cleaner. It should remove most of the scratches.

Using toothpaste

  1. Rub toothpaste on the disk. Only use paste, not gel. Also, dampen a suitable soft cleaning cloth.
  2. Rub from the center. Then move all the way around to the edge.
  3. Wipe the toothpaste off with a wet cloth. Wipe any dampness off with a dry cloth.
  4. Try the disk again. It should work.

Using car polish

  1. Use a car polish.
    • Get a dry cloth and add a small amount of car polish to it, such as T-cut.
    • Rub in circular motion for 15-20 minutes, then wipe dry. Or, use some cotton buds put a tiny drop on to the cotton bud and then wipe the disc in a circular motion.
    • This works for any dust scuff marks from where the disk wobbles in the tray, when the Xbox is upright or moved.

Using peanut butter

  1. Use peanut butter. Although it may sound weird, it does work.
    • Put a dab of peanut butter on a lint-free cloth.
    • Rub it not in a circular motion. The oils in it should help to repair scratches.
    • Try it in the Xbox console again.

Using rubbing alcohol

  1. Pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol onto a cotton ball.
  2. Rub from the center of the disk, moving outward to the edge. Keep going until the whole disk is covered in rubbing alcohol.
  3. Wait for the disk to dry before trying it in the console again.

Using wax from a candle

  1. Get some melted wax from a normal candle.
  2. Gently pour the wax on the scratches. Rub in with a soft cloth.
  3. Wipe off the excess wax with a dampened cloth. The wax must be even and smooth across the top.
  4. Let the disk dry for about 5-10 minutes. Try it again. If it plays, you're set. If not, retry.

Using Vanish Oxipowder

  1. Use vanish Oxipowder, a proprietary product available from the supermarket.
  2. Cover the entire shiny side of the disk with the powder.
  3. Wait 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Clean the powder off completely with a soft dampened cloth.
  5. Place the disk in the Xbox. It should be clean enough to play properly again.

Other possible fixes

  1. Take the disk to a game or computer shop. Ask them to fix it; they will usually ask for $3.00 to $5.00.
  2. If any of your friends has the game, borrow the disk from him or her, install it to your hard drive and hope the Xbox recognizes it. Since it won't load data from the disk, this trick might work.


  • If the disk has circular rings, the Xbox was probably tipped from horizontal to vertical or vice versa. This causes the laser assembly to rub against the disk, leaving large scratches. If the disk cannot be read, it is permanently damaged.
  • If you have an Xbox 360, disks will occasionally get roughed up. So if you buy your game at Best Buy, get the extended warranty for $5. Use it if you bring games and consoles to parties.
  • Try using Meguiars PlasticX polish using it very gently in the same method as toothpaste. It also works very well for CD/DVD's. Also, follow the directions on the bottle.
  • The delicate part of a CD or DVD is the top of the disk. The shiny, bottom can be cleaned/polished if it gets scratched, however, if the top gets scratched, the data layer, just below the surface, it can be damaged and that can't be fixed.
  • Some video rental shops offer a CD cleaning service for free or for a small fee (up to two dollars).
  • Make sure the disk is dry on both sides.
  • If your disk is full of scratches, game stores like GameCrazy have disk repair machines for about 9 bucks.
  • If your disk is cracked or has holes in it, then obviously this will not work.
  • If your disk has a lot of scratches then definitely it will not work.
  • Put it under a lamp or anything that produces a strong light and it should fade away the very light scratches.
  • Never apply the toothpaste in a circular motion. It scratches the disk furthermore.


  • If the disk is still wet, you may break your Xbox.
  • If you use inappropriate cloth, tissue, or paper to polish your disk, you may worsen its scratches.
  • Make sure that there are no abrasive specks on your disk or polisher at any time while you are polishing.
  • Don't accidentally ruin the disk by smearing it or scratching it more!

Things You'll Need

  • Polishing cloth or toilet paper
  • Water supply
  • Disk
  • 90% or higher isopropyl alcohol
  • T-cut
  • Toothpaste
  • Candle wax

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