How to Repair the Xbox 360 Disc Tray

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How to Repair the Xbox 360 Disc Tray

The popularity of at-home gaming consoles proves that many people love playing video games in the comfort of their own homes. Although it is able to play games, movies, and music for hours' worth of entertainment, the Xbox 360 is a fragile device and many things can go wrong with it. A broken or malfunctioning disc tray is one of the common issues that plagues gamers. The tray itself can break or jam, the disc could stop reading, or the Xbox system may not recognize that the tray is closed. No matter which of these problems is bothering gamers, the gaming community has shared several ways to repair the Xbox 360 disc tray. By doing the repairs themselves, gamers extend the life of their Xbox rather than going out and buying a new one. Simply use the following instructions to learn how to get the Xbox in working order again, and owners of the newer, pricier Xbox One can also try these solutions for their console.

1. How to Repair the Xbox 360 "Open Disc Tray Error"

Sometimes the Xbox system does not recognize that the disc tray is closed. Rather than reading the disc and playing the game or DVD, the screen displays an error that the tray is open. To fix this, disconnect the Xbox's power cord with the disc still inside of it. Next, press the button to open the disc tray, which causes the system to turn back on. Slowly and carefully push the disc tray back in by force. Do it gently so that nothing breaks. Only push until the Xbox starts retracting the tray on its own. Once it is fully retracted, reboot the system and it should work again. This method may sound odd, but it forces the system to recalibrate itself and work again.

2. How to Repair a Jammed Xbox 360 Disc Tray

If the Xbox 360 disc tray is jammed and not ejecting, grab a flat-head screwdriver or another small device that can pop the tab inward on the faceplate. Once the tab is in, remove the tray's faceplate. Now grab a large paper clip (small ones may not be long enough) and straighten out the wire as much as possible. Turn the console horizontally on its side, and on the left side of the exposed area is the eject hole. Slide the paper clip into it, and use a flashlight if necessary. Locate the gears on the tray and push the paperclip into the teeth to the right of the gears. If done correctly, pushing on the teeth causes the tray to open slightly. Slide something in or use fingers to then carefully pry open the tray.

There are versions of the Xbox 360 that have two holes on the left side of the console. When that is the case, insert the paper clip into the hole on the left, then follow the steps as outlined above.
Examine everything after opening the tray to see if something is stuck inside. If not, try lubricating the gears and tracks to prevent the tray from jamming again. This method also works for the newer Xbox One.


3. How to Repair Xbox 360 Disc Tray Reading Errors

Sometimes the Playstation displays the error message to open the disc tray even if there is a disc inside already. The cause of the issue is the laser; it is failing to read the disc. If recalibrating does not work, then this method may be effective.

This project is much easier with the Xbox 360 case opening tool. It is also possible to get an Xbox repair kit that comes with the opening tool, as well as a mini screwdriver and other handy tools that make taking the console apart much easier.

Turn off the power, then take the Xbox casing off of the console by using the tools. This process can be a bit labor intensive, so search the Internet for specific instructions if necessary; an online gaming community forum can be a valuable resource. Once the case is off, the disc drive is visible. The laser is to the right of where the wheel is that turns the CDs and DVDs. As the laser reads the disc, it moves up and down a set of rails. One common problem is the inability of the laser to move. Use compressed air to blow off the dust and debris around the inside of the tray and surrounding area.

Next, manually move the laser up and down the tracks. This should loosen it up a bit if it is stuck. The laser should click as it moves; those are the slots in the rails that hold it in specific areas during the read processes. However, if it does not move, do not force it. Use rubbing alcohol and Q-tips to clean the tracks. Then, use petroleum jelly to lightly coat the tracks, gears, and sliding mechanism. This lubricates everything and helps the laser move more easily. Lastly, put a CD into the disc drive before replacing the Xbox casing to see if everything functions properly.


How to Buy Tools and Parts to Repair the Xbox 360 Disc Tray

Repairing an Xbox 360 disc tray is a frustrating process. However, certain tools can make the job much easier to complete. The best place to find a large selection of Xbox 360 tools and replacement parts is on eBay. Thousands of sellers list their items daily, so there is never a shortage or limited selection. Find what you need by using the search bar on the website. Just type in the product name and then browse through the items that the site produces for you. For example, you can search for anything from Xbox 360 case opening tool to an Xbox 360 case.


By following these steps, common disc drive issues encountered with the Xbox 360 can be fixed for very little time and cost. However, if after going through these instructions, there is still an error or the disc drive is not ejecting, it is possible that the drive may need to be replaced completely. Removing and replacing drives is a more time-consuming process that also may involve updating the firmware. The Xbox site as well as gaming forums are great resources for researching how to do this.

While making repairs, use tools gently as there is plastic in the console, casing, and buttons, and plastic can break if too much force is applied.


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