How did my CD player do this

I have a portable CD player by Sony. It is about 2 years old. About a month ago I noticed my CDs were starting to skip. I have had this before so I figured OK I’ll get a new portable player. I have done this before and it always was the CD player getting old.

Today for the first time I looked at the CDs and they have HOLES in them. I then took an old CD that I didn’t want played it thru and on the third time thru playing on this old CD player sure enough it has a hole in it.

So a quick look at my CDs reveled some actually had a hole and some just had the front part the lable scrapped off no hole but I could see thru it, though no actual hole and others looked all scratched from the back.

So I tried another CD I didn’t like, sure enough the first time thru the back was all scratchy and skipped in my home CD player.

Now I have a hell of a lot of CDs ruined. OK granted it’s my fault I didn’t look when they first started skipping I assumed it was the CD player.

I thought CD players didn’t touch the CD. I thought it was lasers. So what the heck HOW did the portable player put actual holes in my CD

Here’s one ironic thing. Not one of the homemade CDs I copied was effected. I took a CD I copied off of my friends computer, one I burned myself. I played it all night in the CD player, no damage, no skips. So apparently it only ruined the commercially produced CDs

Which begs me to asks two other questions. First of all any hope for these CDs? Can they be salvaged or am I gonna have to shell out for some 50 ruined CDs?

Second any idea of a good portable CD player, I’m thru with Sony. (I know that last question isn’t a Fact question but I thought I’d throw it in here)

There are species of fungus that will eat holes in CDs, especially in areas of high heat and humidity.

I’m interested what you mean by ‘holes’. Portable CD players are meant to be as thin as possible. The gyroscopic action of the spinning CD resists movement in certain directions. If you torque the player on an axis other than the one it’s spinning on, the disc might contact the inside of the lid somewhere, scraping off the aluminum data layer, or leaving scratches on the plastic. (This type of event would leave circular gouges in the CD.)

Unfortunately, while audio CDs are fairly resistant to radial scratches, circular scratches usually destroy too much data. If the scratches are on the bottom, they can sometimes be smoothed out by CD resurfacing devices / cleaners. (I’ve also heard of people using car polish, but YMMV). If they’re on the top, that’s where the data is physically stored, so the data is actually destroyed.

All CD’s have a hole in them!
Smack dab in the center and comparatively big.

Have you checked the cd’s for flatness before playing them and finding an extra Hole?
A warped CD would be in big trouble.
Has the player been dropped?
More than once or frequently thus damaging the mechanism?

It really seems unlikely to me that a CD player could scratch a CD badly enough to put visible holes in the label without it being obvious as it’s happening. I gotta wonder if it was just some gradual degradation that has recently gotten to the point of making your CDs unplayable. Are they old? CDs won’t last forever; in particular, I’ve heard that older CDs were not manufactured as well, and they are likely not to last nearly as long as they’d been predicted to. Did you tend to leave them in hot cars or anything? Are the ones that are getting holes of similar ages?

Most CDs that have aged will display small pinholes when you hold them up to a bright-enough light (unlabeled CDs, of course), but these are usually not large enough to cause skipping.

If your CD player is somehow scraping the back of the CDs, that is very likely to caus the kind of skipping damage you’re seeing. The thin layer of data-carrying aluminum is actually very close to the label-side of the CD (i.e. there is much more polycarbonate plastic below the aluminum than above), so scratches and dings are much more deadly on the top than on the bottom; this is why you should never write on the label side with a hard pen. It’s just hard to believe the CD could be scraped inside your player without your being able to hear it though…


I hope all you “descriptive linguists” are happy with this.


I was thinking maybe the CD’s back was getting scratched. I should’ve looked as soon as I noticed the CDs skipping. I didn’t because in past times when my CDs started to skip all it ment was the CD player was old and needed to be replaced. Never were the CDs damaged

The holes are everywhere, there is no common theme to it. Mostly the lable on the front is getting scratched like pinholes. A few actually had holes in them. It definately is the CD player as I did test it with two perfect CDs (that I didn’t care if they got ruined). After playing them thru a few times, they came out with the front lables looking like they had pin hole marks in them. No actual holes but you could see light thru it.

I’ve just been fooling with this and it’s odd but I cannot get any holes or label marks in the homemade CDs I burned on CD-Rs.

So the problem is only with the commercial CDs. On my home CD palyers the CDs with the holes still skip, so I guess I’m SOL and will have to fork over for new copies of the CDs. I guess this just shows you I should be smart enough to buy a CD and burn a copy of it and NEVER use the original for any play.

I think CJJ has the answer, but I did listen to it and I cannot hear it scraping

I have put a link to an old Carpenters CD I had. Now this was a perfectly playing CD with no prick holes. (Actually they aren’t holes. Just the lables in front.) After I played the CD thru twice it came out looking like this

So how does the CD player do that? I guess I was stupid not to look but now I’m wondering what to look for in a new CD player so I won’t have this issue. For a $50.00 CD player I’m gonna have to fork over $500 to replace the CDs it ruined.

Live and learn I guess. Still I’m curious