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The slim edition of the classic Xbox 360 with a 250GB HDD and built-in Wi-Fi. Repair requires intricate prying and special tools.

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DVD drive only works on some games, some games freeze

So I bought this console from a thrift store, and it turns on and shows no issues until you put in a disc. That's where the problems start.

The two discs I have for it are Angry Birds Star Wars and Call of Duty Advanced Warfare. When I put in the Angry Birds disc, it has no issues reading it, but I get to the intro screen and the entire console freezes. Pressing the Xbox button on the controller does nothing and I have to completely restart the console. I was able to get through like 1 level once, but again it froze.

For Call of Duty, when I first got the console it would start to read the disc and I'd get into either the intro screen or installation before it tells me it can't read the disc. Now it just tells me unrecognized disc immediately.

Both Angry Birds and the Call of Duty game disc are pretty scratched, so I thought that might be the issue, but the installation disc for Call of Duty is intact and I still get the same unrecognized disc error. That leads me to believe it's an issue with the drive, but it seems to be able to read any DVD movie I put in with no complaints. The freezing sounds like an overheating issue, but I never get any freezing with downloaded games, just that one disc.

Some things about this console:

  1. It has no hard drive, only the 4GB of internal storage.
  2. It was extremely filthy when I got it. I gave it a wipe down before trying it, came across these issues. Pulled it apart completely, there was a 1/4 inch of dust on the fan and the optical drive was full of hair trimmings (?), cleaned it thoroughly and put it back together and no change.

So what now? Try a different disc? Replace the laser lens? Replace the thermal paste? Not really sure what to do.

TLDR: Some discs won't read, some discs cause the console to freeze, but DVD movies and downloaded games are fine. Already pulled it apart and cleaned it, now what?

Edit: Noise the drive makes (ignore the thumping in the background, that's not the drive):


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Try other discs and install good-known HDD in console, if you already opened it try to clean the laser carefully with Q tip and isopropyl alcohol


@dizzyrepair I borrowed a bunch of games from a friend and got a variety of unrecognized and unreadable disc errors along with the console not even recognizing there's a disc in the drive. The only game that worked long enough to play was Street Fighter 4 and it eventually gave me an unreadable error after about 30 mins. Suffice to say, the drive is definitely not working. It also was making this sound similar to an old hard drive, I'll post a video, but it seems like it might be a mechanical issue and not just a dirty laser lens. Either way I've used a lens cleaning disc on it before and it did nothing, but I'll try iso on it once I get a screwdriver small enough to undo the screws on the laser assembly.

It never froze when there was a game loaded but it did freeze once on the home screen, so I think it's mostly a glitch with the Angry Birds game but I have thermal paste ordered for another project anyways so might as well try replacing it.


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@annaliesep time to disassemble the optical drive, clean it and replace the laser lens. All your error seems to relate to bad read/write which is almost definitely related to a bad laser lens.

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Replaced the laser and it reads discs fine and doesn't crash anymore either. Thanks!


@annaliesep you are welcome and great job! Glad you got it fixed.

Repair is War on Entropy!


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Annaliese P wird auf ewig dankbar sein.

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