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HOW TO: Repair Xbox DVD by Pot Tweaking

Discussion in 'Xbox - Hardware mods' started by chunkhead, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. chunkhead

    chunkhead Regular member

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    I'm sure many of you have gotten the dreaded "Dirty Disk" error or your drive has completely stopped reading discs. Well, before you go and throw out that drive or replace the laser, try tweaking the pot within the drive. The "Pot" is the drives calibration and is set from the factory, however, it may have become un-calibrated, or in most cases does not allow you to read certain types of discs.

    This tutorial is ONLY for the Phillips 6035\21 drive, I will add in a picture of the Phillips 6011\21 also as this technique works for that as well. This can also be successfully used with the Thomson drive, but different settings will apply. I will give these later.

    Ok, if one or more of the following symtoms describe your problem, then "Pot Tweaking" can help you.

    * Dirty Disc Error
    * DVD Wont read discs
    * DVD Wont read certain discs (DVD-R, CD-R, etc.)

    There is already a few guides available on the net for this, but I found that they were very vague and not much use to the average person.

    Ok, you will need:

    * Small screwdriver
    * Multimeter
    * Patience

    So, for the purpose of this exercise I will assume you can open the Xbox. If not do a quick search on the net to find out how!

    1) Power on your Xbox with the case open and press the button to open your drive. With the drive open, unplug the power cord, this will keep your drive tray out.

    2) Remove the 4 screws from the top of the DVD-ROM, there is no need to remove the drive from the console at any stage! The top should come off easily.

    3) Locate the "Pot", just like in the picture. The "Pot" is actually a screw which is known as a Potentiometer, hence "Pot".
    [​IMG]

    4) Now, with multimeter in hand, set it to 2000 ohms, just like the picture.
    [​IMG]
    Touch one end on the left leg of the "Pot" (Top Arrow) and the other on the top of the screw (Bottom Arrow. You should get a reading. For examples sake, mine read 1014 ohms.

    5) Now, EVER so slightly turn the screw clockwise and re-test with the multimeter. I can't stress enough how little you need to move the screw, when you turn it and re-test you'll understand.

    6) Ok, what you're looking at doing is changing the resistance to a level where it happily reads disks. Move down in increments of about 100 ohms, but no less then 500 ohms as any less will fry your laser. The actual reading which will work for each drive will vary, so this where the patience kicks in.

    7) In order to test your new settings, just replace the top cover of the DVD drive (no need to put the screws back in yet) and test with a disc that normally wont read. My experience found that I got no joy until 564 ohms, where it started to read the DVD-R, but the drive was very noisy and then froze on loading a game. I tweaked it back up in as small a increments as humanly possible and the drive operated flawlessly at 609 ohms!!!

    8) Goodluck!!!



    PHILLIPS 6035\21 No less then 500 ohms

    PHILLIPS 6011\21 No less then 500 ohms
    http://forums.llamma.com/viewtopic.php?t=111
    THOMPSON No less then 800 ohms
    http://www.llamma.com/xbox/Repairs/thompson_potentiometer.htm

    SAMSUNG Pot
    [​IMG]


    I hope this helps someone else out there, comments welcome!!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2006
  2. PAN5Y

    PAN5Y Active member

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    Nice..
    :)
     
  3. chunkhead

    chunkhead Regular member

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    Just a quick addition, the "Pot" determines how bright the laser shines. From the factory it will be set at a low level as the laser will be more powerful, but as the laser deteriates the brightness level will also! The less resistance means the brighter the laser. For example, a 1200 ohm laser after 3 years may only read discs again at 900 ohms, or if it's really bad, down as low as 500 ohms. Anything less then this and you need a new laser as anymore power will actually kill your discs!
     
  4. zenwizrd

    zenwizrd Guest

    Ok here is my problem I took it apart and checked it on my meter and it read 390 ohms when I first took it apart. The reason I took it apart was b/c it wouldn't load my Forza game, but it would load everything else. Now I did what you said in the tut and upped it back to 520 and now it won't read anything. I don't know if I need to up the power more or to take it back down to lower than or back to 390. HELLP ME!!! I am going to tweek it some more and see if I can't get it to read something again, but please tell me how it could be working at a lower ohmn than 500 and when I turn it back up it wouldn't anymore.
     
  5. zenwizrd

    zenwizrd Guest

    Oh and it is a PHILLIPS 6011\21 drive. Also i just set it back down to 385 and it will read my halo again, but I haven't tried to read the forza. any thoughts?
     
  6. chunkhead

    chunkhead Regular member

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    Yikes, only reading at 385...

    It shouldn't be that low at any stage, it may just be at the end of it's lifespan. The recommended low point is 500 ohms, try turning it up to the 750 ohm range and tweak ever so slightly around that area!

    Also, if you know that 385 is working for most of your discs, theres no harm in playing around in higher values, just set it back to a working config!
     
  7. zenwizrd

    zenwizrd Guest

    See that's just it. I tried everything from 800 down it only begins to read the disk at 390ish. the box is from 2002 so I figure the thing is just dying out. Where could i get the replacement for the drive or even another drive that is perhaps a better one?
     
  8. chunkhead

    chunkhead Regular member

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    They sell them on eBay and couple of other places, however getting one from a broken Xbox is the easiest!
     
  9. praywink

    praywink Guest

    Do you know or does any one know, how many ohms it should be for the samsung drive??
     
  10. chunkhead

    chunkhead Regular member

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    I had a play with one the other week, it was about 1100 ohms, started working again at 950 Ohms. I'd stick with 500 as your lowest...
     
  11. praywink

    praywink Guest

    hello, can u show me in a diagram form where to put the multimeter when i am testing the samsung drive please thanks
     
  12. chunkhead

    chunkhead Regular member

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    Same as above, one of the legs! You'll know which one it is as it'll be about 1000-1500 ohms.
     
  13. vvcdoctor

    vvcdoctor Member

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    Hi there just tweaked my Philips drive and it seems to be working great it was at 789 so dropped it down to 595 and so far all is well. :)
     
  14. gitiup4o9

    gitiup4o9 Member

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    Can anyone give me the measurements for the other pot? I adjusted that one on accident? I believe it controls the laser focuser...
     
  15. chunkhead

    chunkhead Regular member

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    Which drive?
     
  16. locobrown

    locobrown Regular member

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    I know Samsung is the best, it has been said that the Phillips drive is horrible than the Thompson or vice versa. Is there a difference between a xbox 1.6v phillips against all the other earlier versions? Do the disc trays remain the same or must the box be opened in order to be certain the type of drive it is. I’ve never opened mine but have opened and done pot to others because I haven’t had any problems with my drive yet.
     
  17. chunkhead

    chunkhead Regular member

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    There's two types of Phillips and they're both crap!

    The Phillips look the same, except one has a large bulge on the underneath...
     
  18. bob1299

    bob1299 Member

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    hi yeah im a noob, but im getting there, i have a fryed xbox dvd drive, a samsung d16, then i have a fryed powersuppy to a computer with a dvd drive a samsung sm332, i was wondering is there a way to swap these drives to bring a dead xbox to life, xbox is not a modd, or made could i swap component of these drives, so my xbox can read my original disc again, did a pot tweak did help..
     
  19. chunkhead

    chunkhead Regular member

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    Not quite sure what you're asking there Bob!

    Can you use parts from one Samsung model in the other...? You could try...
     
  20. bob1299

    bob1299 Member

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    well what i mean is, i think it is the laser, could i which them with out any problems?,

    pot tweak did help a tinky bit i can play dvd movies ..not games tho it was 890 ohms took it down to 760,

    is it possible to swap drives, but using the xbox frimware?
     

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