Improving on perfection is always tough (actually quite impossible) but the Microsoft Xbox 360 has done that, with the release of the Xbox 360 S or Slim. This slimmer bro of the original Xbox comes in 250 GB and 4 GB hard disk capacities and has 5 USB 2.0 ports. It also features built-in Wi-Fi, so there is no need for an external wireless adapter. Better gameplay, lovely matte or glossy black coloring and less occurrences of the Xbox Red Ring of Death (in this case Dot of Death) this machine is near perfection. Near because being a machine, it is vulnerable to little hardware quirks and issues. While there are lots of possible issues on the Xbox Slim, in this article we look exclusively at some of its DVD drive problems.
Various Xbox Slim DVD Drive Problems
Below are some of the common issues that can arise with your Xbox Slim DVD drive and the steps on to fix such problems.
The Drive Tray is Stuck Open
✔ The faceplate of the drive could be open or not fixed properly. Gently push the faceplate in at the corners and sides, to ensure there is no gap, you may hear a clicking noise. Now press the Eject button again. The tray should slide shut.
✔ This step requires a light but firm touch. The tray could be misaligned along its gate. Catch the tray with just your thumb and the finger next to it and very gently, move the tray up and down and then side to side. Do so slowly, do not pull or push in any direction. Then press the Eject button.
✔ If the disc tray tries to go in and then ejects immediately, check the DVD disc itself. Is it sticky or raised in any way? Maybe the disc wasn't fitted in the tray properly. Try removing the disc and press Eject once again, to see if the tray will go inside.
✔ Look at the quadrant of LED's on your console. If the console's power is off or fluctuating between off and on, then the disc tray is not closing due to insufficient power. Check your power connections, see if all cables are plugged in properly.
If all the above steps fail, then it is best to consult with the Microsoft Xbox Slim support as your console may need to be repaired.
The Drive Tray is Stuck Shut
✔ Check your console's power lights. Fluctuating or no power will not allow the tray to open.
✔ Disconnect your console's power supply. Rotate your console, such that it is horizontal like a DVD player and the vents are facing you. Look for a yellow sticker, located on the left side of the console, behind the vents. There is a small eject hole, right above the yellow sticker, use an open or uncoiled paper clip and poke the hole. The tray will slightly pop out, pull out the tray with your fingers.
Error Message: "Reading...open tray" or "Disc read error"
✔ First make sure the disc is clean. Check for scratches or dirt or stickiness. Clean the disc with a dampened cloth, let it dry and try again. You can use a CD cleaning liquid. A very scratched or damaged disc will not play. Try another disc to see if the same issue persists.
✔ Check the disc's data and region information. Sometimes the Xbox Slim cannot play older Xbox console versions game discs. Your Xbox Slim will accept only DVD's with the NTSC region code.
✔ Remove any flash drives and the Xbox Slim's hard drive and try the disc again.
✔ Try clearing your Xbox Slim's system cache, through your System Settings option. This does not get rid of your game data or contents, it temporarily removes any game updates which have been recently downloaded.
Replacing your Xbox Slim drive
If you repeatedly face any of the above Xbox slim DVD drive problems, then you may need to go in for a Xbox slim DVD drive replacement. The first step is identifying your Slim's drive. DVD drive models for both the Xbox 360 Slim 250GB and 4GB versions, are Philips-LiteOn DG-16D4S and Hitachi-LG DLN10N. To learn the firmware number of the drive and which model is present in the Xbox 360 Slim, you need to open the top of the console. The firmware model number is in a printed sticker form stuck to the console. The manufacturer's code or drive info sticker will also be here. If you take out the faceplate (the part covering the front of the Xbox DVD tray), look for a little key shaped hole. You can see wires entangled, if they are black in color, you have a Hitachi drive. If the wires are yellow, you have a Philips drive.
While replacing the drive, stick to the same manufacturer, do not replace a Lite-On with a Benq as compatibility issues could arise. Also replacing a drive involves physical and software changes. Xbox DVD drives come with a pair of keys, one for the console and one for the drive. If a new drive is plugged in, the console will not recognize the new key. So what should be done is extracting the key of the old drive and flashing it on the new one, so the console is fooled into thinking it is the same drive.
Replacing a drive is not a joke and should not be done by amateurs. Approach a professional repair service or send your Xbox Slim to the Microsoft Xbox support team, if it is still under warranty. The warranty for the Xbox Slim is one year from the date of purchase. If you have just purchased the console, say 1 week or a couple of days, taking it back to the store and asking for a replacement is the easiest option.