I've read about user errors being the main cause of scratched discs and I'm wondering if I've committed one. I was playing Orange Box when the 360 froze at a loading screen. I reset the console by hitting the power button and immediately pressed the eject button on the drive (I figured I'd play something else for a while). This caused the tray to eject with the disc still spinning, creating a huge circular scratch that rendered two chapters of Half Life 2 unplayable. This has happened once before, but it didn't create a scratch the first time.
Is there a way to prevent this (other than not ejecting right after resetting the console)?