Its because the potimeter "small electrical screw" on the dvd laser assembly needs to be adjusted "the laser is starting to go bad and turning the pot would add more power output on the laser "note that this should only be done by someone who knows how to use a multimeter well and electronics well because doing this can do good and make it read dvds, and doing this could also destroy the laser head assembly too. people do this to make their drives play hard to read cds/dvds. and this method can also drastically shorten the life of your laser. so look into this alot before you attempt. google search "dvd pot tweak" without the quotes
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if the system turns on but will not read a game try a dvd movie or music cd. If dvd movies dont' play and the music cd does then your laser is out of calibration. The process to calibrate it is difficult and requires more technical knowledge. It is best to take it to a service center or have someone replace the DVDROM which coudl be cheaper than paying to clean and calibrate the laser.
Sounds like an issue with the optical drive. I would suggest trying a different type of disc in the drive ( I think they can play music CD's as well as DVD discs). You might just need a replacement drive for it.
If your xbox box it's new I would take it back and get another one, becase you do probable have problems with your dvd drive and it will keep scratching the games. the laser on the drive doesn't work as hard when playing a music cd than when it plays a game or a dvd.
If you don't want to take it back, then play a couple dvds and if it reads then fine then you could try again. it shiudn't take more than ten second to read a game so if its taking longer just get it out.