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E 74 - Microsoft Xbox 360 Elite Console

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Hello,
When you get the dreaded Disk Read Error, it normally occurs for one of two reasons. Either dust has built up on the lens of the laser mechanism, or the operating voltage of the laser has drifted off slightly due to heat and age. Of course, occasionally there are actual failures of components, which cause this, but these are the main two reasons.
Tools required by this guide are (not all are required for all parts however):
1) A normal sizes star (Phillips) screwdriver. 2) A very small Phillips screwdriver. 3) A small, flat screwdriver. 4) Some isopropanol alcohol (IPA) 5) A few cotton buds 6) A little mechanical grease. (I’ve used Vaseline before) 7
Cleaning the laser lens
1) Remove any CDs from the unit and unplug all leads and memory cards. Turn the unit upside down and use the small, flat screwdriver to pop out all the little plastic and rubber screw covers.
2) Take your normal sized Phillips screwdriver and unscrew all the screws
3) Try to write down where each part comes from (including the screws as they have to be returned to the same location at the end. Stick them in a tub to keep them safe.
4) Turn the unit back up the right way, holding it all together. Place on the work surface and gently ease the case open. You may have to tilt the lid slightly towards the front, and slide out to avoid the cd tray. BE CAREFUL not to damage the eject/power button ribbon cable, as these are very fragile.
Gently lift off the lens casing and you will see the slide tray underneath.
Gently pull the tray away from the rest of the unit by carefully sliding it all the way to the front until it has cleared the lip on the right of the tray. Look for any damage or wear, as this could be a cause of the unit malfunctioning. If you have compressed air give a few little squirts to any places, where you see dust, but you must be careful not to damage the laser lens.
Take a cotton bud and careful place some of the alcohol on it (but not so much that it is dripping everywhere). This alcohol is the same (or similar) to the small bottle of alcohol which is in audio and video cassette cleaning kits. This is probably the best way to locate a source. Locate the lens (the circular glass part) and very gently rub the cotton bud around the lens in circular motions for about 30 seconds, being very gentle. Once done, flip the cotton bud over and dry the lens with the other end for about 10 seconds.
The laser part slides on rods to reach different rings of the cd. These can become clogged up with dirt and dust, making movement difficult. So, take a clean cotton bud and clean the slide rods thoroughly, making sure you get to all parts and give a good clean.
The spin rod controls the movement of the laser and is greased to allow smooth frictionless movement. Clean the surface of the spin rod. If you have some grease to replace with then remove all the dusty grease (or as much as you can) and then apply some fresh grease. If you have no grease to replace with then just remove any excess dirt but try to leave a little grease, as it is required for the mechanism to work.
Clean the little cogs too so that all possible avenues are covered.
You have now completed the cleaning process. This often cures read errors and should always be attempted first. Reverse the dismantling process and put the machine back together, making sure you DON’T TRAP the eject / power button ribbon cable, as this can cause serious problems for you if it happens. Power on the unit and try to load both a CD and a DVD game. If all works fine then CONGRATULATIONS on completing the guide successfully. If however there is no change then you should proceed to the next step - Adjusting the Disk Mechanism.
This will then require a skilled personnel to handle this .

Take care.

Posted on May 30, 2010

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