How to Fix My PS3's Disc Reader

When your Sony Playstation 3 fails to read a game disk, the likely culprit is dirt that has built up on the reader lens. Cleaning off debris on the lens is not a problem, but accessing it can take some work. The piece of hardware you need to fix is buried inside the unit. To get to it requires you to disassemble the PS3 and then put it back together again after you clean the lens.

Things You'll Need

  • Philips screwdriver
  • Lens cleaning kit


    • 1

      Unplug the PS3 from the display and electrical outlets.

    • 2

      Place the PS3 on a solid surface and turn the unit over so the cover is facing downward.

    • 3

      Extract the two screws in the corners of the unit on the flat side. These screws have metal flanges that point towards each other. Take out the screws and the metal pieces.

    • 4

      Remove the two screws that sit on the side of the motherboard. With the unit facing downward and the flat side pointing away from you, the motherboard is sitting on the end closest to your body.

    • 5

      Disconnect the motherboard connections for the PS3. The connections are on the side and top of the board. Slide your screwdriver under the ribbon cable and pull up gently until it comes free. There are a total of three connections, two on top and one to the side.

    • 6

      Lift the motherboard up carefully and lay it to the side of the PS3 and remove the ribbon connection off the end of the board.

    • 7

      Flip the PS3 back over and lift off the casing. Removing the board and screws will free the outer shell of the PS3, so it comes off easily.

    • 8

      Take out the five screws holding the reader in place. There will be one in each of the top corners and two on the side of the reader. The final screw sits on the bottom edge of the PS3. Pull up on the edge of the reader and flip it over, once it is free.

    • 9

      Wipe the lens with a cotton swap and lens cleaner. Disk cleaning kits found in a computer or electronics store will have the proper solution for lens maintenance. Dip the swab into the solution and wipe the lens using a circular motion. The lens sits in the center of the open PS3 unit.

    • 10

      Dry the lens with the clean side of the cotton swab, using the same circular motion.

    • 11

      Reassemble the PS3, reversing the steps you used to take it apart.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep the screws in a small dish or other container while you clean the lens. This will prevent them from getting lost.
  • Dry the lens thoroughly before reassembling the unit. Streaks on the lens may also prevent it from reading a game disk. If cleaning the lens does not work, you need to take the PS3 to a repair center for service.
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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images

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