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The laser module won't move on the tracks while discs spin - help?

Working on fixing my PS1 (Model SCH1001), need a little guidance.

The console powers on, shows the white Sony screen, and the black PS logo screen, but then kicks me right back to the home menu, and won't read discs.

The discs spin, as I can hear the motor going, and when I open the tray the disc is spinning, but it just asks me to insert a Playstation CD ROM every time. It reads data off of music CDs, but skips rather aggressively.

I took the PlayStation apart, and removed the laser module briefly to look at what was going on to no avail, however I noticed the laser module itself is very hard to move by hand though I assume it should be able to move up and down the track freely by nature of the fact it needs to read the whole CD.

I booted the Playstation up again with the cover switch held down, and could see the disc spinning quickly, but could not hear the laser moving.

How can I get the laser module to move up and down the track again? I’m nearly certain this is the issue.

I've tried flipping it upside down with no luck.

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Reading a CD but with skipping suggest either a dirty lens or a failing laser. I would first clean the lens using a cotton swab and some alcohol. Be gentle as the lens is supported by small fine wires only. Next, clean the rails that the laser assembly rides on.

What happens is this: The laser will fire and try to detect the CD/DVD. Assuming that it can see the disk (in your case it can), then the disk will spin and the optics will attempt to read the index track. It looks like the index is being read for the CD but not in the case of the DVD/Game. DVDs and games require higher laser power to be read. A sign of laser failure is to read CDs but not DVD/Games. Sometimes cleaning resolves the problem.

The skipping can be the laser as well. But most often, is dirt on the rails. The lens will move enough to read a few tracks before the motor kicks in for the gross movement of the entire assembly.

Try cleaning and report back with the results.


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This is the clearest response on the internet regarding this issue. Thank you!

I do have a similar issue, where the laser unit moves once and then it tries to read the disc (it spins) with no luck. The laser unit never goes back to its original position. And it's hard to move it manually (maybe the rails need to be cleaned? It does not seem to be the case, but I'm out of ideas!).

Thanks again! :)


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