Question about Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

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Hitachi DVD saga

Hi guys; thanks ahead of time for your help and attention.

Here's a short summary of my problems, followed by a full story.

Short summary:
Got unplayable disc error, flicked disc to start up, flick no longer works, drive can't read disc. Laser hops on low layers. Can launch occasionally with pressure on white magnet, but not reliably at all.


A few months ago, my previously unopened launch box 360 got the dreaded unplayable disc error while playing FIFA 08. In order to pursue fixing this problem, I opened the box, thereby voiding the warranty.

The drive seemed to be struggling to move the disc. I confirmed via the internet that simply flicking the disc would temporarily solve the problem. I ran my xbox like this for a few months (maybe one or two? It's hard to remember). As time wore on, it became harder and harder to start games. Before playing GTAIV I had to spin the disc manually for excessive periods of time before it would finally take and the drive would boot up.

Nowadays, the drive will spin readily on its own, but will not read the disc. I was able to get games running for brief periods of time (once even a few hours), but the disc would inevitably slow down and produce the ingame unreadable disc error.

I have disassembled the entire DVD drive (a hitachi) a number of times, down even to the spindle motor itself, which I cleaned and lubricated. As I stated earlier, the disc spins pretty quickly, but it won't read discs. The laser hops between inside (close to the center) layers on the disc, and sometimes even hops to the top (but rarely). When the 360 is trying to read discs, the drive alternates between fast and still fast but slightly less fast speeds (mostly an audible difference, not so much visually).

I have been able to start an original xbox game (Street Fighter Alpha Collection, my guinea pig disc) by holding the tip of a screwdriver in the hole on top of the magnet that holds the disc on, and applying a slight pressure. I have not tried to start an xbox 360 game in this manner. When this disc is running, it sounds slightly "off". This is hard to describe, but it does not sound as robust as when it was correctly running, say, GTAIV. This could be nothing, but I'm trying to relay as much of my observation as possible.

I'm looking for a diagnosis that will help me fix the problem. I'm willing to do pretty much anything, included soldering; I just need to know what to do. If you need more info, just ask. I'll be around.

Thanks!

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