How To Fix a Disk Read Error on Gamecube

Playing video games

The following steps can help you enjoy your Gamecube to its fullest capacity. Enjoy!

  1. Review your Nintendo Gamecube's warranty. Make sure your Nintendo Gamecube isn't within warranty before doing the following steps. If it is, I suggest sending it in to Nintendo so they can fix the problems. Continuing on with these steps voids the warranty time of your Nintendo Gamecube, which is not advised.
  2. Unplug the power cord, and all other wires from your Nintendo Gamecube. You will need to make sure there is no power running into the system. This is for your own safety, as well as preventing further damage from occurring while keeping the Gamecube on. Unplugging the other wires is useful so they don't get in the way.
  3. Purchase a Gamecube screwdriver or make a tool to replace it. Nintendo has always had weirdly shaped screws that can only be removed from the system by a tool that you have to buy. I believe the reason they do this is to know when you've voided the warranty, and to gain a little profit by the purchase of their tool.

    You can find the tool on eBay by typing in 'Gamecube screwdriver'. If you want to purchase one that way, feel free. The best way to make the tool requires matches, a candle, and hollowed out plastic pens. Light the candle with the match, and melt the opening of the hollow pen. Do this in a well-ventilated area! When it gets to the point where the plastic becomes mushy, stop melting the pen, and place it evenly around one of the screws. Hold it there without major movement of the pen for a few minutes. The idea behind this is melting the pen to make its own screwdriver. This may take multiple pens, which is the point of using a candle as opposed to matches. Unscrew all four screws gently, and now you can open your Nintendo Gamecube.

  4. Opening your Nintendo Gamecube. Now that you got done with the annoying part, you can now flip over your Gamecube, and remove the top.
  5. Cleaning the lens. Sometimes, the problem can be as simple as a dirty lens. If it's as simple as that, the best way to fix this is using a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol. Dip the Q-Tip in rubbing alcohol, and gently rub the Q-tip along the lens of your Nintendo Gamecube. For anyone wondering exactly what the lens is (don't feel stupid), it's the moveable round glass eye-like thing near the northern side of the top of your Gamecube. After cleaning the lens, gently dry it with another Q-tip.
  6. Test your Gamecube again. Place the top of your Gamecube correctly back on. If the open button doesn't work properly, keep putting it on until it does. Once it does, plug back in all of the cords and test your Gamecube. If the problem is fixed, enjoy! If not, continue on with this article.
  7. Remove the four screws holding the disk reader in. After unplugging your Gamecube and removing the top again, notice the four screws holding in the disk reader. The disk reader is the large black object where we cleaned the lens, and that holds the game. Once removed, place these screws in a safe place and continue on. For easier unscrewing, I'd suggest you move the Gamecube's fan out of the way. It's very delicate, so be careful.
  8. Gently remove the disk reader from the system. Be careful in pulling the disk reader out. Make sure that all of the screws attached to it are taken off. Once off, flip it over and then turn it around. You will see a little black box near the southeastern side of the chip. This is what we alter.
  9. Adjusting the lasers positioning. You see, over time Gamecubes were built to basically kill themselves. Nintendo did this so that you'd have to buy another, or get it fixed, at your expense. The tiny screw in the little black box rotates clockwise as you play, eventually getting to the point where the disks are completely unreadable. This happens because the disk's laser gets to a point where it's either not on the disk, or in an area that can't be read. The best way to fix this is to turn the screw in the opposite direction (counter-clockwise), decreasing the spot of the laser to give more life to your Nintendo Gamecube. To do this, you must find a Phillips screwdriver that can properly move the screw. Rotate the screw counter clockwise to the next corner. Basically, turn the screw one fourth of a revolution, or 90 degrees. It's not advised to rotate more than that, as you may damage your Gamecube in the process. This will fix your disk read error, but keep in mind that it will happen again.
  10. Testing your Gamecube. Reassemble your Gamecube, and test to see if the same disk read error problem is occurring. If your Gamecube works good as new, congratulations! If the rotation on the laser wasn't enough, try again with the power off and the cords unplugged, and rotate counter clockwise slowly until the problem is no longer occurring. Keep testing, and eventually your Gamecube will work almost like new again! If you feel you've over-rotated, you can rotate slowly clockwise also to fix this problem.


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