Tips for fixing video game disk issues

June 30, 2015

If your console won't read a disk, make sure the disk is clean and scratch-free. If this doesn't help, you need to check the console.

Tips for fixing video game disk issues

1. Check the controllers and keep it cool

  • Turn off the console for 15 minutes, then restart and check if the problem is resolved.
  • Make sure that the console's parental controls allow the playing of the disk — you'll find these settings in the console's menu; they allow you to restrict disks based on their age rating.
  • Game disks are made for sale in a particular region of the world — check that the disk's region matches that of your console.
  • Check the connections between the console and the TV, ensuring that the plugs are firmly inserted.
  • Try changing the batteries in an unresponsive wireless controller; clean the recessed battery contacts using the eraser on the end of a pencil.

2. The disk won’t eject

  • Use the manual override. If pressing the eject button on the console does nothing, it's still possible to remove a disk. There's no universal fix for this common problem — much depends on which model of disk reader your machine came with. You'll need to search the Internet for the solution that applies to your model number.
  • If you have a PS3, try this first. Turn off the power rocker switch at the back of the console. Place your finger on the eject button and hold it down. Turn on the rocker switch at the rear; when you hear the console's cooling fan start up, repeatedly press down on the eject button — the disk tray should open.
  • Some PS3 consoles, such as the "slim" type, require a different approach. Switch off and unplug the console, then turn it upside down. Find the rectangular black plastic tab over the disk drive and pull it off to reveal two holes — one with a blue screw head. Insert a small Phillips-head screwdriver into the other hole, pushing through any protective tape; turn the screwdriver counter clockwise and the disk should emerge from the console. Pull it free when one-third of the disk protrudes.
  • If you have an Xbox, first switch it off and unplug it from the outlet. Then remove the faceplate from the console by pulling it away from its retaining clips. This will reveal a number of small holes just below the disk drive. Pushing a straightened paper clip into one of these holes will make the tray open slightly; when it does, use your fingers to gently pull the tray out completely. You'll need to check on the Internet which hole to use for your model number — it is not consistent across all machines.
  • To avoid problems in the future, never stick labels onto disks and don't move the console while there's a disk inside.
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