You have arrived (hopefully!) at the right place place for information, tips and techniques on what to do when your DVD discs are not doing what they are supposed to be doing!
The main problem with trying to repair a DVD or even to work out what is wrong with it in the first place is that there are a number of places where the process may be falling down.
It may be that your “faulty DVD” is not faulty at all and in fact it is your DVD player that is causing the trouble, you have a faulty “burn” of the DVD, the blank DVD you used was faulty or…. well on and on it goes!
On top of this the many and varied error messages you may get at any time when trying to play, copy, burn or convert a disc never really seem to make any sense and very few will guide you effectively towards dealing with the problem.
One of my favorites is the “no disc” error when I know damn well there is a disc because I put it in there myself!
What I have tried to do on this site has been to give you a start in the DVD repair troubleshooting process and as much as possible provide logical steps in order to handle your specific problem.
I can’t actually “see” your computer setup, the software you are using or have available nor can I see your recording or playback devices. Because of that it may take a little time for us to get to the exact point we need to get to in order to solve your problem.
However, generally speaking most problems with a CD, DVD or Blu-ray disc can be sorted out as you as you just persevere with the process.
Let’s Get Started
If you have encountered error messages such as DVD Error, Invalid File Structure, Invalid DVD Navigation Menu, No Disc or Disc Error your first step should be to take the disc out of the device and check it for dust, scratches, scuff marks or dirt of any kind.
If there are obvious scratches, scuff marks, dust, dirt, greasy finger prints or worse on the disc, go to the link in the sidebar menu for instructions on cleaning and scratch removal under the title “Repair Scratched DVDs”
If you have done the above and are still getting the same error message (or a new one!) error or if you found no problem with the surface of the disc check the color of the dat side of the disc to see that it is consistent right across the disc.
What you are looking for are patchy areas, blotches or even streaks in the coloring of the burning layer.
If you do find something like that you will need special software that can read through these problem areas to recover the data. For those instructions go to the “DVD Disc Repair” page and start working your way through the instructions layed out there.
If your check of the disc has shown that all seems to be well with the surface and dye of the disc we can safely assume now that the disc itself is not the problem… maybe!
Problem Disc Troubleshooting
This is a short checklist of things that could be causing the problem.
The disc is not compatible with the device you are using. Check to see that your DVD playback/reading/recording device is rated to handle that particular type of disc. (-R/+R/-RW/+RW etc.)
Will the disc play in other devices? Check for incompatibility with either the type of disc (-R/+R etc) or the brand of disc. Don’t be surprised about the “brand” thing. A study was done on DVD compatibility and it was found that just because your device says it handles, for example, -R that doesn’t mean it will handle ALL -Rs! It has a lot to do with the relationship your media company has with your device company…or lack thereof!
Check the manufacturers website of your playback/reading device for firmware updates. Often these are necessary for the the device to recognize and handle new brands of media.
Have you had the playback device for some time and has the laser been cleaned? You can purchase laser cleaning discs cheaply at electronics stores. Smokers, I am looking at you!
Will the disc play in other devices? Go into either your computer’s device manager to see the drive is showing properly or check the drive’s manufacturer for any updates or troubleshooting tips.
Are the specific error messages you are getting explained in the device manual? Some of you may not be familiar with the manual! You know it is sometimes just full of fascinating information!
Is the DVD drive or device playing other discs? If not you probably do not have a disc error but a device error that needs to be corrected by servicing.
If the disc came from a DVD camcorder or a DVD recorder. Has the disc been finalized? If yes, well OK! If not, finalize the disc in the original recording device or software.
If the disc has encountered a problem during finalization or the original device or software is now refusing to finalize the disc then click on the “Unfinalized DVDs” link in the sidebar menu.
Ok! So if you are still here and you have found no outside problem with the disc and no problem you can see with the playback device you are using then it is likely you have some kind of internal DVD structure problem or data corruption.
Again for the solution to this click on the DVD Disc Repair link in the menu and work your way through.
If you came here for how to choose the copying software, burning software or general DVD software then just check out the menu for access to that information.
Finally if you are having any trouble with any kind of disc repair that is not covered on this site please feel free to click the Contact button and ask your question and I will get back to you as soon as I can.