AzuraDisc is a company that does exactly one thing, and does it well. It repairs scratched DVDs. You know when you’ve had CDs or DVDs that are badly scratched, and they won’t play or they skip. It’s a service that you mail your disc to, and they’ll polish it up with their fancy machines and send it back to you, smooth as the day you bought it. And it’s a service that has really made me happy recently.
A couple of months ago I went to pop my copy of Twilight Princess into the Wii. I put in the disc, and immediately got an error. The disc could not be read. I tried it again. I cleaned it. I washed it. I tried it again and again, but it wouldn’t play. It wouldn’t even come up to the title screen. Just a message that the disc couldn’t be read. I looked at it under a bright light and it didn’t look bad. I know the baby likes to take DVDs and crawl around the house while clutching them, and feed them to the dogs, and other unfriendly things, but there was no evidence of that. Just a few scratches around the edge. They were circular scratches too, which leads to the unsettling conclusion that the disc was in the Wii when it was scratched. That’s something that I hope was a fluke and my Wii is not eating discs!
Anyway, I looked up what you can do about scratched Wii games. And it’s the same list of fixes that you have for scratched DVDs. Soft cloths, Windex, toothpaste, paper towels, I tried it all. And those gouges would not go away. They were set in the plastic. And I could not get the disc to play, not even one time. So now I was looking at a really bad situation, a disc that was hopelessly damaged. Which sucks, because Twilight Princess is not only a good game, it’s also a $50 game. I didn’t want to shell that out to replace a game I already owned.
So I started looking into other options. I one thing that kept appearing in my searches was disc repair services. And in reading through forums one name was always coming up, with good customer satisfaction among all who used it: AzuraDisc. So I finally decided I had nothing else to lose, because it was either this or put the game on the trash heap. So I went to their site, filled out the form, and dropped my game in the mail.
For a couple of weeks nothing happened. I thought maybe it had gotten lost, or maybe the service was a scam and they were selling my game out the back door. But then finally a charge appeared on my credit card, a very small charge of $3.50. And two days later, on Saturday, a small unmarked box appeared in my mailbox. It finally came back! I ripped open the box and examined the disc. All evidence of the scratches were gone. It was like getting a brand new game in the mail.
So I put the disc in the Wii, and of course it played perfectly. Finally there was no error message, no black screen, just the title screen to the game that I hadn’t seen in so long. I went to look at how long it had been since I last played the same, and saw the date of my last save. November 2007. Thirteen months I had gone without playing it, even though I didn’t notice the scratches until just two months ago. That shows how much the baby lets me play Nintendo. Of course, I’ve also been playing Super Mario Galaxy for most of the year.
So I finally got Twilight Princess back, after so long without it. I guess in some ways it was a good thing that the disc was scratched, because to get my Zelda fix I instead played Wind Waker all the way through, and remembered just how much I enjoy that game. But now I get to return to Twilight Princess, and I think that because it’s been so long I’ll just wipe everything out and start a new game from scratch. It’s the only right thing to do after 13 months.
And the next time I have a game or a DVD that is hopelessly scratched, I’ll know who to send it to to save the day.
Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog