WEASEL WORDS OF WARNING: The procedure described below is entirely at your own risk. It has worked for me, but that is no guarantee that it will do so for you. Damage or destruction of your UMD or PSP is not my responsibility.
That said, I don't see how, if you follow my instructions competently, you could do any such damage. But fools are surprisingly innovative in their foolishness.
UMD shells are not rugged. Store too many UMDs in a space too small for them, such as the outside pocket of a PSP carrying case, and you're likely to find some of them damaged.
The most common damage type I found was separation of the window, which then falls into the interior of the shell. When the UMD is inserted into a PSP, the window jams against the data disk and keeps it from spinning.
I have spent a lot of time tryng to re-seat or partially re-seat the window, and searching the web for a source of UMD replacement shells. The first is an exercise in frustration, and Sony prevents the second. Apparently their position is that cracked UMDs are prima facie evidence of piracy, so they neither make replacements nor license the patents.
Then I had an idea inspired by a YouTube video. It worked beautifully. Here's my workaround:
- Obtain a protective case for your UMD.
- Work the window out of the shell and set it aside (in case you might want to try to re-seat it later, or put it back in in order to trade the game)
Removing the UMD window
UMD window removed
- Insert the UMD (sans window) into the PSP.
Inserting the naked UMD
Booting the PSP
Loading the naked UMD
- When you're done playing, store the UMD in the protective case (to avoid scratches on the label side of the data disk, or the data disk falling out of the shell)