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I have a CD that is scratched and isn't working properly
Explanation: You have a CD that is scratched. The disk is not working properly, meaning that it is either giving you read errors when you try to use it, or it is not being detected at all by the drive. The drive itself has been ruled out as the cause of the problem because other disks work without any trouble.
Diagnosis: The design of compact disk media is such that the actual data layer, where the information on the disk is stored, is located not on the bottom of the disk, but physically right under where the label is on the top. The laser shines through the thickness of the plastic to see the data. This is described in more detail here, and the significance of this is that the bottom surface of the disk can tolerate some amount of abuse without the disk being ruined, since the data is not actually there. Otherwise a single scratch would destroy the disk completely. Some scratches can cause errors however, not because they are removing the data from the disk, but because they diffuse or diffract the laser so it cannot read properly.