How to Fix a PS3 That Is Not Reading Game Disks

By Will Snizek

Things Needed

  • Torx screwdriver
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Small flat head screwdriver
  • Q-tips
  • Rubbing alcohol
Repairing a Sony PS3 requires the use of three different types of screwdrivers.

Turning on your Sony PS3 just to find out that it no longer reads discs can be one of the most frustrating experiences for a gamer. If your system is still under warranty, you can easily send it back to Sony for free repair under most circumstances. If the system is not under warranty, however, it will cost you. Avoiding high repair costs can sometimes be extremely simple. One of the culprits that causes disc-read errors is dust inside your system; particularly dust particles that may be on your laser. Fixing your PS3 can be as simple as disassembling the unit and cleaning particular parts, such as the laser.

Unplug your PS3. Working on the console while it is plugged in can cause a dangerous and possibly fatal shock.

Collect all tools needed and place your console on a blanket or similar material to avoid losing parts. Locate the rubber feet on the left side of the console. Gently remove the feet with the flat head screwdriver. Remove the screws underneath the rubber feet using the torx screwdriver.

Make sure that you have removed all the screws, and then slide the top of the PS3 case to the left. After the top slides all the way to the left, you can easily lift and remove it. The case will not slide if you have left a screw under the rubber feet.

Remove the seven visible screws and pull upward on the back corners of the shell. You will also see two small clips on the back that will need to be removed with a small screwdriver. With a little force, you should be able to gently remove the second shell. You will now see the insides of the PS3.

Locate the Blu-ray drive on the right-hand side of the console and remove the connection wires and ribbon connecting the drive to the system. The Blu-ray drive has a casing that is flat gray in color.

Remove the small black Phillips screws holding the silver casing attached to the drive. Carefully lift off the casing.

Remove the Phillips screws that are holding the top of the Blu-ray drive together. Do not touch any of the mechanical parts while doing this.

Lightly dip a single q-tip into rubbing alcohol, and use it to gently clean the laser of the Blu-ray drive. Do not move the laser lens while doing this.

Use more q-tips to clean any other visible parts in the system that may have dust on them. Reassemble the system, performing the steps in reverse and plug it back in. If dust was the problem, your PS3 should now read discs.

Tip

Prior to disassembling your PS3, make sure that your system is no longer under warranty. Breaking the seal on the console will void any warranty you have with Sony. Many people have suggested the "blow dryer method" to remove the sticker, which does not work well. If you an unfamiliar with repairing electronics, please research to familiarize yourself with the Sony PS3. This tutorial is for the original PS3 consoles. If you have a PS3 "Slim," the procedures are slightly different.

About the Author

Will Snizek has been a freelance writer since 2005, having written on many topics including gaming, entertainment, marketing and photography. His work has appeared in online publications such as The 1Up Network, Digital Media Buzz and PerezStart. Snizek has an Associate in Applied Science in marketing from New River Community College in Dublin, Va.