Xbox One buyers run into dodgy disc drives

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New Xbox One owners are having the same luck of the draw that took the shine off Sony's PS4 launch. This time, it's the Xbox's slot-loading disc drive that's the problem.

The Xbox One's slot-loading Blu-ray drive.
(Credit: iFixit)

A small proportion of the Xbox One game consoles sold on launch day are falling ill with disc drives that won't read, insert or eject game discs or Blu-rays. A commenter on the NeoGAF forum has collated a list of YouTube videos from disappointed buyers, showcasing various problems with the console. Kotaku received over 150 emails in two days from users with broken Xbox One consoles, compared with only a few dozen broken PS4s.

It's not an especially surprising occurrence; just like the Xbox One, Sony's PlayStation 4 had some new owners experiencing the "Blue Light of Death" straight out of the box.

A Microsoft spokesperson told CNET that the company would work with any affected customers to replace their consoles where appropriate: "Rest assured we plan to take care of our customers. Any customer who believes they are experiencing an issue with their Xbox One should reach out to us."

Microsoft has a tried-and-tested support system for its Xbox consoles that it put in place after the infamous "Red Ring of Death" that plagued the Xbox 360. Generally, Microsoft replaces consoles quickly and free of charge, but limited stock around the Xbox One's launch might lead to longer wait times.

There are no DIY or home-made solutions for the Xbox One's disc drive floating around, and we wouldn't expect there to be; opening the console voids its warranty, after which you're left with a device that is not working that you can't even swap at the store you bought it from. At this point, if you've got a dodgy Xbox One, your best bet is to contact Microsoft and wait it out.

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ADSLNerd posted a comment   

I had my XBO exchanged / replaced via EB Game two days ago. I got my XBO on launch (not Day One Edition), and initially it was making no noise and worked fine, however 2 weeks later I discovered even the two game discs were only spinning up intermittently and would take numerous attempts for the drive to start reading the disc.

So I sat down for 30 minutes, dead quiet room, and just tried the two game discs and monitor the noise and times this occurred. 5 out of 6 times any game disc would not spin up to even be read by the drive, it would take multiple attempts, and then suddenly the grinding noise started (not as loud as most), and then I heard a clunk noise as if the discs are not mounting properly inside the drive. Yet the drive takes and ejects discs no issue. Logically this must be a mechanical issue inside the drive that does not impede the eject mechanism. So, I'd say spindle issue or discs not aligning with the read head.

The next day I rang EB and they gladly exchanged the whole unit for a brand new sealed package - no questions asked. Not the drives MS chose to use for these "next gen" consoles are poor quality - the drives are Made by Lite-On Philips, yes el-cheapo drives with poor quality. I dumped Lite-On years ago due to their bad quality drives and used Samsung / Pioneer / Sony and had no issues in PC's, but Lite-On kept failing - very cheap drives. Im surprised MS overlooked this issue.

Bare in mind these drives are custom built as the XBO discs are reverse burned BD discs which most BD drives cannot read. In this respect MS have gone too cheap and now its burning them badly, and to make matters worse we have not heard the reason behind the noise. This is not really acceptable for a $600 games console.


RichardE1 posted a comment   

Didn't the 360 have this issue at launch as well? And do you have to use an Xbox-certified drive, or will any run-of-the-mill PC-compatible CD drive work?


RichardE1 posted a reply   

I stipulate with SATA ports. It looks as though it's a SATA-based run-of-the-mill drive.


VinceH posted a comment   

Happen to me, I hope that Christmas morning is not bad for anyone this could happen too. Good luck getting anything but you money back with the available stock.


booboosix40 posted a comment   

Unfortunately it's the risk you take when you are one of the first to buy into next gen consoles. Have a ps4 on pre-order and fingers crossed it works.

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