We live in a world where, in home-entertainment terms, digital downloads are on the up and sales of physical media are falling dramatically. And that includes videogames. There’s even an all-digital version of the Xbox One S that does away with the disc drive completely.
But not everyone’s ready to make the jump to becoming a fully-digital content consumer. For many people, physical discs are as much of an interior design statement as they are a means of playing games (come on, who hasn’t been analysing their friends and colleagues’ media shelves in the background of their lockdown Zoom calls?).
Not only that, but discs generally mean smaller downloads (especially important if your household broadband has download limits). And the Xbox One is the only current-gen console that’s able to play 4K Blu-ray discs, making it a relatively wallet-friendly option for an all-round home entertainment system.
As we all know, though, physical discs aren’t without their problems. And if your Xbox One is having trouble reading them, it could be that your console’s disc drive is in need of a clean. So, let’s have a look at how to fix it…
Keeping the laser lens clean
If your machine isn’t recognising a disc when you’ve inserted one, or you’re experiencing issues during playback/freezes during your game, the first thing to do is to check the disc itself.
If it’s scratch- and fingerprint-free, the problem could lie with your console’s disc drive. It’s unlikely to be anything major, though – more often than not, it’s simply a case of dirt or dust on the laser lens getting in the way.
Ensuring your Xbox’s disc drive stays in good working order is a case of prevention being better than cure (much like keeping your console’s fan clean). Make sure the disc insert area on the front of your console is kept dust-free – you can avoid a build-up by regularly wiping over your console with a dry microfibre cloth. The microfibre material will ensure that the dust sticks to the cloth, rather than just pushing it around and potentially directing it into the disc slot itself.
Make sure the disc goes into the console without any resistance or strange noises. If you’re in doubt, eject it and try again. If you’re still having trouble, try using a laser lens cleaning disc – this should clear up any playback issues (you can find these on Amazon for under a tenner).
How to deal with other disc drive issues
If you’re still experiencing problems, there could be a more complex fault with the disc drive that calls for a more drastic solution, such as an internal fix or replacement. However, doing this yourself is not advised, especially if your machine is under warranty. Opening up your console could void its warranty, making it difficult to get it fixed if things go wrong.
If you’re really worried about the condition of your Xbox One’s disc drive, it’s probably worth taking it to a Microsoft-approved repair specialist for a professional fix. It won’t be free, but it’ll probably cost you less than having to shell out for a whole new console.