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Disc/DVD/Game Doctor

Sep 27, 2004
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Works well, when used properly. Just take your time!

Cons:Waaaaaaay too many cranks. Their special 'resurfacing fluid' is just distilled water.

The Bottom Line: If you've got time on your hands, and discs that aren't worth a lot of money, it's a great product. Your arm needs the workout anyways!

The Disc Doctor, DVD Doctor, Game Doctor, Photo Doctor, and Data Doctor are all the same thing, just a different name, which I'll just refer to as a 'Doctor'. This is a device that I think has had a pretty bad reputation from people that didn't know how to use it properly. The idea of how it works is very simple. The only two ways to get rid of a scratch on a disc are to fill it or buff it down to a flat surface. Since filling the scratch may cause more harm than good, the Doctor strips off tiny ammounts of the disc, and brings it down to a flat surface.

However, the way that the Doctor works is flawed. Because it's removing some of the disc, it too causes barely visible scratches to the disc. Also, the Doctor can't 'fix' scratches on the reverse side of the disc (which dig into the data portion of the disc) or deep gouges. Because the Doctor removes such a small portion of the disc, as it would take forever to repair this kind of damage.

Operating the Doctor is simple. So simple, that you could get your five year old to do the work for you (no, don't make your five year old do this for you). Spray fluid on the disc, put the disc in the Doctor, and turn the crank. And turn the crank. And turn the crank. Again, and again, and again, and again... The crank that you turn is moving the surfacing wheel at a 1:1 ratio. However, the disc itself spins at a much, much slower rate. According to the instructions, it takes approximately one minute to make a complete revolution, which isn't too far off. The problem is, that you'll probably need to do many revolutions before the disc is done. Meanwhile your arm is getting tired... oops, did you forget to re-spray the disc? If you did, it may have been running dry, which will damage your disc even more! Now you see why people don't like it!

Does it work? Yes! Don't expect to get a new disc though. There are minor scratches left behind, which although are noticeable but don't affect performance. That, and if you don't stay on your toes and keep that disc wet, you're going to mess up the disc.

However, I've engineered (well, maybe not engineered, but it's close) a solution to both problems. First, attach a screw of some kind to the crank. I screwed on a piece of wood to the center of the crank, then put a hex-bolt into the wood. Then, use a power screwdriver, or low-speed drill on to the bolt and away you go! Just be sure not to go too fast, the gears inside, and all the friction points are made of plastic and may melt/break if pushed too fast. To get past the problem of the fluid running dry, I put the whole device into a shallow pan. Here, you've got two choices. You could fill it as far as the disc (don't go too far, you'll get the crank splashing in the water) with the fluid provided, which is $7 per 4oz. Or, you could fill it with tap water (if you've got a GOOD water system, water with too many minerals will be bad; distilled water would be best) and save yourself a good chunk of change. This powerful combination results in a cheap, effective method of resurfacing discs!

Recommend this product? Yes

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