For the past year, my original Xbox One hasn’t been working properly.
Specifically, it won’t accept discs. DVDs, Blu-rays, games—they won’t even go into the slot.
Digital games and streaming content work fine, but my wife and I purchased a new television for the living room during the holiday season and were eager to dive into our old movie collection. Plus, as a member of the Writer’s Guild of America, I get award screeners in the mail, and we really needed to watch The Disaster Artist.
I decided it was time to fix the Xbox One. Well, after my wife spent two hours on the floor of our living room threatening to open the console with a screwdriver, I decided it was time to fix the Xbox One.
Opening up an original Xbox One console isn’t nearly as daunting as taking apart a PS4 or disassembling a Switch Joy-Con. Most of the plastic case just pops right off. It does involve voiding the warranty, but I had no warranty left to lose.
Aside from a single tricky ribbon cable at the front of the unit and irreversibly stripping three of the screws holding the top of the inner shell to the bottom, the teardown went pretty well. Once inside the console, all I had to do was pop off a couple of cables and pull out the Blu-ray drive. Removing its metal casing, the problem became clear. There were two discs in the drive at once.
Makes sense. My children, a pair of six-year-old boys, have a great fondness for CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays—anything round and shiny, really. They’re why I don’t own a record player or a circular saw. Circles are pretty great. And circles that might play movies? Even better. They are not, however, big fans of eject buttons.
Fine. I could pull the discs out, and everything would be as good as new. Only they wouldn’t come out. The discs were firmly lodged in the drive. To get them out, I would need to repair this Blu-ray drive to death. After a quick check on eBay replacement drive prices ($30, not bad), I tore in. That’s when I discovered there were not two discs in the drive.
There were three.
To get them out, I basically had to strip the drive down to nothing, saving the daughter board, which needs to be swapped over to a new drive in order to function properly (hooray, soldering!). Apparently my children were trying to watch Transformers: Headmasters disc 2, Real Steel and Trolls, all at once.
Turning the discs over revealed why they weren’t coming out easily. They were stuck together with ... something. I don’t know.
I love my children. I really do.