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417 of 428 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2004
After a hard drive going bad scratched up several discs, I had two options...toss the old discs and buy new ones or invest in a disc repair kit. I started researching repair kits and was less than impressed with the plastic hand-held type that seemed most popular. Someone else had recommended this product, so I took a look.

Since there were no reviews at the time on Amazon, I did a more extensive look around the web for reviews of this product from Alera. I really never found any, but I was impressed with the fact that for about the same price as a competitor's hand-held unit, this one came with several different kits (cleaning, repair, etc.) and was fully automatic. So, I decided to buy it.

Wow, am I impressed! Within ten minutes of getting it home, I had it up and running and repairing a disc. Three minutes later, the damaged disc was playing again with no problems. I've repaired five discs so far and have cleaned about ten. The cleaning and repair kits are easy to use, though I'd recommend reading through ALL the instruction manual before beginning, as the simplest process (cleaning) is listed last in the manual.

This kit can repair CD, DVD and video game discs. Since the unit is fully automatic, all you do is screw in the repair wheels, add three drops of repair goop to one of the wheels, put your damaged disc in, close the lid and press the button that says "repair". Three minutes later, your disc should be fixed. Of course, this kit is not going to repair deep cracks or magically replace missing chunks of data, but for surface scratches that are causing your disc readers to come up with errors or producing glitches on your DVD player, this kit is wonderful. The cost of the item is more than made up in being able to save your collection of more expensive games, CDs or DVDs!
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124 of 125 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2006
I have a couple of scratched DVDs that I wanted to fix. After reading the reviews here and elsewhere, I ordered the Alera DVD/CD Disc Repair Plus.

I was able to successfully repair the two damaged DVDs, but it took hours of effort due to the poorly-written instructions that have been noted by others here.

I developed my own method for repairing one stubborn scratch I had on one of my DVDs. After determining that the repair mode alone (yellow pads) would not repair the scratch after a number of passes, I used the pink pads, followed by a number of passes with the yellow repair pads.

The problem with the repair process is that it is difficult to get the exact amount of repair polish on the disk. Too little, and the scratch is not repaired, too much and the disk doesn't play right. The instructions call for three drops of repair liquid to be applied to the pads. This works if the drops are exactly the right size. I found another way to get the amount just right.

Start with two drops of repair liquid, or three very small drops. Play the DVD at the spot in the movie where it skips, and see if it is fixed. If it is not fixed, run the disk through the repair process again, putting just one drop on the yellow pad this time. Play the DVD again to see if it is fixed. Repeat this procedure, one drop at a time until the skip is fixed. You do not have to clean the yellow pads in between passes (until you are finished with the repair). Do not wash the DVD between repair passes. Washing the DVD puts you back to square one.

The repair liquid seems to be a polish that works somewhat like wax. It appears to be similar to the polish/cleaner used ceramic stovetops. It fills in the scratches and polishes over the repaired area. Running a repaired DVD or CD through the disk cleaning cycle seems to clean off the repair polish, exposing the scratches once again.

So when your disk is repaired do not wash it in the future. If it needs to have dust cleaned off, wipe it off gently with a soft cloth. If you do need to wash the disk in the future, you will probably have to run it though the repair cycle again to reapply the polish to the disk's surface.

I hope this helps. The Alera machine does work, but it takes a lot of trial and error to figure out how to make it work due to the inadequacy of the instructions shipped with it.

A couple of other things not covered in the instructions, the cleaning and repair pads screw counter-clockwise into the machine. The wet and dry sides are not labled on the pads themselves, but on the machine. The wet cleaning pads do not have to be filled to 80 percent capacity like it says in the instructions. That is wasteful, unless you are cleaning a lot of DVDs or CDs all at once. A 20 percent fill works just as well. You are going to lose what cleaning liquid you don't use immediately due to evaporation.
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74 of 74 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2006
This product does work. I was kind of skeptical because of all the bad reviews. I think alot of people expected it to fix a disc with one pass. I repaired one of my sons PS2 games that was severely scratched and would not load. I saved a game and the unit in a sense has paid for itself. However, it only gets three stars because of poor documentation and it took over two hours to repair. The disc needed multiple passes to fix.

The manual needs some explaining and I think this will help many of the customers who had negative feedback. First you need to understand what the different colored pads are for and what each process accomplishes. 1) The Pink pads do not buff. Lightly sanding is a better term. They remove material from the disc and it takes several passes to get out a deep scratch. 2) The Yellow pads do not repair in so many words. These polish the surface w/ the Aluminum Oxide compound. This helps fill in the fine swirls created w/ the Pink pads. 3) The Blue pads are just for cleaning. They clean fingerprints and smudges. Thats it.

Now for the application of these three steps. The repairing takes place with the first two sets of pads what the manual calls Buffing (pink) and Repairing (yellow). For any disc that is moderately to heavily scratched: 1) the first thing to do is Buff with the pink pads, 2) then Repair with the yellow pads. Now wipe off any excess residue with the cloth supplied. Then try the disc to see if it works. If it does your good to go and skip step three. If not, 3) then clean the disc with the blue pads and go back to step one. Repeat this process until your disc works. Like I said, two hours to fix one disc. Once your disc is working do not clean it with the blue pads. This will remove the Aluminum Oxide polish that helps fill in the scratches, like taking the wax off of your car. For a disc that is only lightly scratched, the repairing step with the yellow pads might be enough. I hope this will help.
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133 of 141 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2005
Wow I have over 400 CD/DVDS some were in horrible shape I figured I'd have to buy new ones But, i came to Amazon and read the good reviews for this product and I bought it. Well, it works great!!! I repaired discs that had some bad scratches in them and thought hopeless!! Before throwing those old discs out give this product a try!! I am very happy!!! karen
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140 of 156 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2005
I don't know yet how well the unit works. I have fixed one PS2 game that wasn't working for my daughter after only using the cleaning step. The 3 stars is because of the Instruction Manual error I describe below.

I purchased this kit, even after noting all the complaints about the instructions. I was gettting very frustrated, but after about half an hour confirmed the error which had me tied up in logical knots. The error is found on Page 6 "Disc Polishing (Buffing) Procedure. 1. Change the Pink buffing units (accessory 4)......"

The ERROR is that it SHOULD READ "1. Change TO the Pink buffing units ...". Huge difference between Change and Change TO.

I spend over half an hour trying to understand what color wheel I was supposed to change TO. All I knew was it wasn't pink. After a process of elimination, I've concluded the instruction book left out the word TO. Now having sorted that out, and other jumbled, out of order instructions, here is how the instruction book should read:

Most Damaged Disk:

1. Use Manual PINK cleaning Tool (p.3, C3 in the booklet). Then,

2. install the PINK disc in the machine per instructions on page 6: " E. Disc Polishing (Buffing) Procedure". Then,

3. remove the PINK dics and insert the Yellow discs in the machine per instructions on page 4: "D. Disc Repair Procedure". In this step you put 3 drops of solution from the white bottle marked "Repair Solution". Then,

4. remove the yellow discs and insert the Blue discs in the machine per instructions on page 7 "Disc Cleaning Procedure". This step involves putting cleaning fluid from the supplied white bottle marked "Cleaning Solution" into the space behind the blue two headed blue cleaning wheel.

Dirty or Slightly Damaged Discs: You can skip steps 1-3 and just do Step 4 above and see if that fixes the problem. If it doesn't, then do Step 3, followed by Step 4. If repeating Step 3 several times doesn't fix the problem, then do Steps 2, 3 and 4 in that order.

Anyway, what a bunch of bozos who wrote the instructions. When black = white, and good = evil, then "changing pink discs" as shown in the instructions, will equal "change TO pink discs".
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2005
I have used the DVD Doctor before using the Alera, and the Alera beats the DVD Doctor hands down. This will repair everything except for major scratches, data damage, and label side damage. I know of nothing that can repair data damage or label side damage.

It works great at repairing and cleaning the discs I have. Some of them get abused by my three young girls. They don't always take care of them as they should. It helped me to play a section on one disc that had a major scratch that the DVD doctor couldn't touch. I think there is data damage on that disc, sincee it was still skipping. It has deteroiated since.

The buffering part takes off a very thin layer off of the bottom of the CD that is only plastic. There is only so much that can be taken off before it will get to the data part. The wet poloshing I believe fills in some scratches so it helps the lazer go over those scratches smoothly to be able to read the data.

The people at Alera are smart. You can not just buy the cleaning or repair solution. You have to buy the kits whether or not you need to replace the wheels. The cleaning solution is Isopropanil#67-63-0, and the repair solution is Aluminum Oxide as labled directly on their containers. I have no idea where I can buy either solution by itself at larger quanities. That is my only complaint.

Tip: With the cleaning solution they have you fill the duel buffer up 80% with the cleaning solution. The solution will be absorbed by the buffers making the buffers wet. The problem I had was when I only did one or two discs at a time. The solution would dry out. If I kept using their instructions I would run out of solution extremely fast. What I did instead is put the solution directly on the buffers instead of filling the bottom. It used less solution, and worked just as well. The tip of my solution bottle either has a slit or is cracked, I can't figure out which. I make sure I our the solution the the slit facing away from the buffers.

I also found out the repair solution comes out fairly fast. I try to be careful not to squeeze the bottle. Keep the bottle upright until you are ready to put some of the cleaner on the buffer. Then be quick at tipping it down and back up quickly. To me it acts more like a liquid than a thicker substance I expected it to be.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2005
I've had a couple troublesome CD/DVDs that I used this on. It was able to help reading performance and remove most of the scratches. After trying the Memorex equivalent (far inferior to this!) of this product and being very disappointed I decided to give this a try.

As far as usage, unless the disc doesn't appear to have scratches, I recommend using the pink pads most of the time. These remove a slight amount of plastic and remove most scratches. After this follow up with the yellow buffing pads using the solution provided. This should fix most discs in about five minutes.

Included are enough pads and solution for many repairs and Aleratec also makes it nice because you can individually buy replacement pads and such.

I highly recommend this disc resurfacer and I feel it's the best one out on the market.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2005
This device works quite well. My husband is pretty hard on our CDs but the Alera actually did completely fix our most chewed up CD, though it did take 4 passes through the buff mode. The kit comes with two sets of repairing heads, and I ordered an extra set thinking most of our CDs would fall into the "repair" category, rather than the "major repair" (buff) category. It turned out that many of our CDs actually needed to go through the buffing procedure. Also, the repair heads are easily cleaned (with water and the brush provided) and re-usable, so in retrospect, I would have ordered an extra set of the buffing heads instead of the repairing heads. The Alera was definitely worth the money--quick and easy to use. (I can't imagine using one of the hand-crank types.) Surf a bit to get a good price with low shipping cost, and you'll be even happier.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2006
I had a rare DVD disc that had developed a tangle of faint cracks, making later tracks unplayable.

I used the advice given in an earlier review to use two drops of the repair fluid (aluminum oxide) for the initial cycle and single drops thereafter. This was good advice and made some improvements, but there was persistent stalling and break-up in some tracks.

The unit works by having an electric motor spin two cylinders, each of which rubs an annulus-shaped surface against the CD or DVD. The set comes with each repair surface attached to a flat disc with three prongs, mounted into a clear plastic base. The buffing surface comes only on its disc-tripod. To go between repair and buffing, one must use an enclosed small plastic brush-crowbar to pry open the surface between the disc-tripod and the clear plastic base. This is not mentioned in the instructions.

Also not mentioned is that one may buff more than once. I ended up buffing four times. This was probably more than necessary. Sometimes one may put on too much of the repair fluid, which may find itself spread unevenly or left in small clumps. The result is that areas of the DVD that had played all right before now break up because of irregularities or waves in the fluid coating itself. My final cycle involved two larger drops, followed by using the repair cycle without putting any extra fluid on. This may have smoothed the coating without the more severe action a buffing would have given.

Now the disc works all right throughout. There is some loss of picture sharpness, but it's acceptable.

Along the way, I sent the customer service rep at Aleratec two e-mails seeking advice. The responses were fast, courteous, and helpful.

The product does work but needs more complete instructions and suggestions. Skill rises with practice. Be patient at first.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2005
My 2 and 3 years old daughters got to the DVDs, not good. Scratches galore to say the least. I purchased it because after researching DVD repair on the Internet, it seemed my best bet. This morning, I took the ugliest, scratched up DVD that I could find and followed the instructions for disc repair. I could still see a little bit of scratches left, so I followed the instructions for buffing first followed by disc repair. If you look in the light, then you can see swirl marks from the repair. BUT, the disc plays beautifully. We have a Sony disc player that I joke is too stuck-up to play discs unless they are pristine. We have had to clean discs that were brand new so they would play. The disc played without a hitch. I am so in love with this machine that I would buy two if I was an octopus and could fix more of the discs at the same time. Okay, maybe I am just joking about needing two.

The machine is simple to run. You do not need to be a rocket scientist. Just read the little bit of instructions that it takes to run the unit and let the unit do the work. I feared that I would spend the money and then have to replace the DVDs anyways. Save your $$$, do not buy new DVDs and get this instead.
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