In the Forums...
Updated: March 19, 2006
Written By: Dan "Tweak Monkey" Kennedy
Test The Console
Reconnect the power and A/V connectors if they are disconnected. Plug in a controller to the front of the Playstation 2. Put the disc tray cover over the plastic alignment pieces and apply some pressure to the top (not much, just a bit to ensure the disc will seat correctly). It should snap into place and lock the disc in.
Open the tray if it's not already open, and put in a game that's given you problems in the past with DREs or load errors (in my case, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City). Close the Playstation 2 and access the Browser screen to view if the disc was correctly located.
Try out an original Playstation game if you have any and at least one DVD movie. Also try other PS2 games - at least one with a blue underside as well as one that's silver. If you still have problems with one of them, adjust the gear a little more until you find the right angle that works with all of your games and movies. I recommend shutting off the Playstation 2 between each adjustment.
You will probably need to adjust this gear several times to in order to find the perfect spot. Once you find this spot, add a second line to your gear with the marker, but distinguish this line so you'll always have that perfect spot marked. You may need to re-adjust it in a few months or if problems return.
I believe some of the PS2s had two gears instead of one, or a different type of adjustment. These gears do essentially the same thing - try playing around with it and make your PS2 work. If you discover some tips to make your PS2 work that aren't mentioned here, please let me know so I can share the information with others in your predicament.
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A Couple More Checks / Fixes
While the system is disassembled, be sure to check to see if any wires or connectors are loose. Just tug on them gently and see if they come loose. DO NOT TUG ON THE POWER/EJECT CABLE. Also, if you're having problems with an especially loud open/close mechanism, check the tracks to be sure they're especially clean. The rods that the disc tray slides on are often dirty and can be cleaned with alcohol and a q-tip. Once cleaned, it would be a good idea to lubricate the rods with WD40, cooking oil, or another lubricant, but use a Q-tip when doing so to be sure you do not get the laser dirty. Also lubricate the path that the laser lens moves on - this is essential to longterm functionality.
If none of the fixes outlined here helped your disc read errors, you may need to calibrate the laser using an oscilloscope. This task may be over your head, but you can read about it here.
Reassemble the Playstation 2Once you've thoroughly tested the PS2, reassemble it in the reverse order you disassembled it:
Hopefully these tips will help you eliminate Disc Read Errors and breathe some new life into your PS2. I've used this process to fix many Playstation 2s in the past so I know it works. Don't be afraid to give it a shot - what do you have to lose? Use the forums for additional support. Do not send us e-mail. Thanks!
Good luck, and thanks for reading!