How to Fix the PS2 "Disk Read Error"





Introduction: How to Fix the PS2 "Disk Read Error"

If you have ever owned a Play Station 2 (thick version) you may have had deal with the "Disk Read Error" problem. At first it is not so bad, just one or two of  the games don't work, but after a while almost none of the games work. You can pay money to send it in to Sony HQ and have them fix it or you can just do what they do by yourself for free.

Step 1: Materals

"Disk Read Error'" PS2

Big Phillips head Screw Driver

Small Phillips head Screw Driver

Flat Headed Screw Driver

Pen or Sharpie

Step 2: Unscrew the Bottom

Turn the  PS2 upside down and use the flat headed screw driver to remove the tabs, there are 10 (only six are shown), and unscrew the screws, there are 10 (only six are shown). Flip it  back over and get ready to take the top off.

Step 3: Unscrew Disk Cover

Lift up the lid and unscrew the six screws holding the disk cover on. Make sure that your  PS2 is unplugged to avoid risk of shock.

Step 4: Adjusting the Optical Lens

Remove the disk cover and plug in the PS2. Press the open button and then unplug it. Find the little white gear and put a mark on it where it touches the smaller gold gear (so you can move it back if needed in the future). Turn the white gear about half a centimeter and put the disk cover back on.

Step 5: Test

Put the disk cover back on, put a game in and see if it works. If it doesn't work, open it back up and move the gear a little more. Test both gold/silver games and blue games. If Your PS2 still doesnt work you should try cleaning the lens with a cotton swab.



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    I'm a little late to the party...but I just got a PS2 for $20 at a thrift store, and was disappointed to see the Disc Read Error when I tried to play a game. DVDs and CDs got the same error. I followed the instructions here, and turning the little white gear worked!

    I marked the gear's current position with a Sharpie, and turned the gear by "clicks". The gear clicks when turned, so I turned it 3 clicks, tested, didn't work. Turned another 3 clicks, tested, etc. Took a few tries, but eventually it started reading discs!

    While you have your PS2 open anyway, I'd recommend cleaning the whole insides out. Use a can of air to blow away dust, Windex for hard to clean dust and crud, especially on the fan blades. It's rather easy to take out the whole fan and power button, as well as the front disc eject and reset buttons. Clean the laser lens with rubbing alcohol, and lube the disc tray rails. Google and you can find instructions & YouTube videos on how to clean inside.

    2 replies

    Fantastic suggestion! Cleaning out everything is a great idea to get any older electronics "road worthy". By keeping my system clean and well maintained I have had the same PS2 for 6 years now.

    Adjusting the lens is a temp fix at best. I did it and it worked okay for a while, then crapped out completely. Real solution is replacing the lens entirely,

    there's no such thing as radiation poisoning is PS2's or any laser based device unless it runs off of a nuclear battery. As I highly doubt that your or anybody elses PS2 runs off of a nuclear battery, your warning is pointless. Laser radiation and nuclear radiation are tow completely different things.

    2 replies

    Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation = Laser

    Yeah, but just because something radiates, doesn't mean that it'll give you radiation poisoning. Your light bulbs radiate, but they don't poison you. It's the difference between types of radiation, specifically radiation with enough energy to free an electron from atoms in your body (ionizing) which is the type that would give you radiation sickness, and literally all other types of radiation.

    Thank you! It worked for me . I just followed the instructions. Now my kids can start playing video games with this PS2.

    Mine doesn't have the gold gear, just a piece of metel with a ridge that fit's and clicks into the gears? When retesting and realign the gear do i just move it one click every attempt or more for every attempt (as in 1 click, 2 click, 3 clicks ect.)?

    Well, I had recently bought guitar hero metallica, and when I would try to start it, it would have this error. I used this guide, turned it 3 noches counterclockwise, and it worked. Thanks for this help

    My PlayStation 2 starts the game that im playing up then says PlayStation 2 then takes me back to the home menu where i first started from

    I just bought a play station 2 for cheap and when I turn it on my TV screen goes black the game has power and the disk is turning any ideas what it might be

    I must be lucky or something because I have one of the first PS2's ever made and it has not broken at all in the years I have had and heavily used it.(That is until I got a PS3 slim.)

     I did this for my PS2 awhile back, it worked out for about a day, but it kept going back to the disc read error, eventually I had to leave the whole cover off so I could adjust that gear more frequently. It is not a permanent fix, but it certainly helps. And as a side note, it does take a lot of patients to find the "sweet spot" when adjusting the gear, move it in small increments.

    that little white wheel/gear changes the intensity of the optical lens. so as the lens gets weaker you can make it stronger.

    it is not ment to completly get rid of the problem but just keep you ps2 alive for a much longer time.

    for some reason this only happens to the thick version.

    Over time the laser gets moved out of position and this realigns it back to where it originally was.

    That isn't part of the laser drive as far as I can see. What exactly does that mechanism do?