Disk Read Errors and other disk reading problems. Edit

Almost every PS2 will have troubles reading a disk at some point in its life, either the early Disk Read Error, or simple delay while the disk grinds under repeated read attempts.

Cleaning the laser lens should always be the first treatment. This will benefit not only the current disk, but all disks. This lessened load overall will increase the lifespan of the laser.

Then check for scratches. Large, deep scratches that follow the circular data paths on the disk are more likely to cause trouble. There are several workable approaches to dealing with bad scratches.

Diagnostic mode, a somewhat hidden option in the PS2 browser, may help. Although this should happen automaticaly when the console has trouble reading the disk. Further, less reliable, fixes are towards the end of the list.

Cleaning Edit

The Disks Edit

  • Clean the bottom of the disk thoroughly.
    • Be careful of the top of the disk. Damage to the label usually ruins a disk.
    • Microfiber cloths work fine. Rubbing alcohol and paper towels will do in a pinch.
    • Clean the transparent inner gripping ring top and bottom, in case the disk is slipping in the drive.

Laser Lens Edit

  • Use a microfiber cloth on a slim PS2.
  • Use a CD/DVD cleaning disk on a fat PS2. (Should be under $10).
  • Also on a fat PS2, you can try wrapping a microfiber cloth around a plastic knife and reaching in through the open tray to clean the laser lens blind. It shouldn't take much. See the Last Resorts section for a link to a video.

Cooling Vents Edit

Clean the cooling vents with a damp cloth. Remove as much dust as possible. Every little bit helps.

PS2 Auto Diagnosis Feature Edit

PS2 Auto Diagnosis Feature

This is a somewhat hidden feature in the PS2 browser.

Local Copy of the External Article.Edit

The PlayStation 2 automatically adjusts console settings for best possible disc playback. However, the auto-diagnosis feature can also be manually started on the 30000-50000 series PlayStation 2 system whenever necessary. To start the auto diagnosis feature (for 30000-50000 series):

  • Press the standby/RESET button on the front of your PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system to turn on the system. Make sure the indicator light turns green.
  • The Main Menu screen will appear.
   NOTE: It might take some time for the main menu screen to appear.
  • Using the directional buttons, highlight [Browser] and press the Triangle button.
  • Highlight [Console] and press the Triangle button.
  • Highlight [Diagnosis] and press the X button.
  • Highlight [On] and press the X button.
  • Insert a disc.
    • Auto diagnosis will start automatically.
    • The system will make adjustments that might allow previously unplayable discs to be played.
  • To start the disc after auto diagnosis is complete (for 30000-50000 series):
    • Press the O button twice to return to the browser screen.
    • Using the directional buttons, highlight [Browser] and press the X button icon button.
    • Press the X button to play the disc.

Scratches Edit

If there are still problems, check the bottom of the disk for scratches. If there are bad scratches on the label side, with missing pieces of label, the disk is probably unrecoverable.

If there are bad scratches on the bottom, you can have the disk resurfaced. Game stores usually offer this service for cheap.

Removing Scratches Yourself Edit

You can also try removing scratches yourself.

  • Purchase a resurfacing machine. Be careful of ruining disks with a cheap machine.
  • Fill in scratches with liquid car polish. Be sure to clean the disk thoroughly so grit doesn't get trapped in the scratches.
  • Use acetone (nail polish remover) to soften the disk surface to smooth it out with a cloth. Will not be easy.
  • Remove the scratches with a toothbrush, abrasive toothpaste (not gel), and some work. You'll be actually abrading the surface away, so don't expect it to be easy. The result will look milky, with fine scratches, but make it easier for the laser to read the data.

Hardware Repair Edit

For hardware repair, check youtube for videos. Be aware that the PS2 is not intended for user-service. It's much more delicate than add/removing PC components. The design has also changed considerably from the initial product run.

Last Resorts Edit

  • The EASIEST PS2 DRE FIX - Easy PlayStation 2 Disc Read Error Fix - Fix your PS2! by TechSpyBlog

If the video is missing, TechSpyBlog simply turns the PS2 upside down to make the disk work.

  • Put a couple of pieces of tape on the inner gripping ring to help the disk drive hold the disk firmly in place. This is generally a last resort. Be careful not to put any tape on the data area of the disk.
  • You can try the following procedure to clean the laser lens. (A microfiber cloth can be substituted for the furniture wipe.)

Playstation 2 Disc Read Error: The Quickest, Easiest, Cheapest Way To Fix by MYTMIC

  • MYTMIC uses a plastic butterknife and Behold(TM) furniture wipes.
  • Turn on the PS2
  • Press the eject button to extend the disk tray.
  • Power off the PS2. The disk tray should remain extended.
  • Loosely wrap the furniture wipe around the end of the knife, letting it extend down to where your fingers can hold the ends of the wipe along with the knife.
  • Slide the assembly into the cavity of the disk drive and move it around to clean the laser lens.

Other Resources Edit

Repairing your PS2 by gamertech