Tchay's Troubleshooting guide for the Gamecube Disc Drive


Frequent Poster
In light of my new portable handheld Gamecube, I thought I'd give some advice on things to watch out for.

The disc drive is the most sensitive part of the Gamecube; thus, it can often be the cause of the problem in your portable.

Q & A

Q: My DD makes a low pitched noise once or twice, then stops reading my game?
A: Check your Daughter board wiring (21 wires total). One of them is probably loose.

Q: My laser is louder than normal? Is this bad?
A: This can be for several reasons:
- your daughter board wires (21 total) might have shorted somewhere
- your wiring to the laser might be shorting or disconnected somewhere, or your laser could be dying (but that is rarely the case).
- YES, this is bad. It means your laser is working harder than it should have to. Check all connections, and if the problem persists, try switching the laser out with a new one (yes it is safe to switch out the laser - I do it all the time, just don't touch the lens! ;) )

My DD is taking longer than normal to start up?
Q: This is probably because your laser has gotten worn out for some reason (this can happen when you make a portable GC because the DD tends to get abused in the process).
- It is possible that there is a lousy connection somewhere (either not enough connection or no connection at all) - but this ALMOST ALWAYS leads to one of the other problems discussed!
- Keep in mind that in a portable, the shock absorption will not be so great, and this can cause the laser to have to work harder to get going and read games. A lot of it depends on how you install your DD in your portable.

Q: My disc spinning motor is really loud! Louder than the fan!?!?!?!?!?
A: The white ribbon connecting to the motor has shorted/disconnected somewhere. This can happen especially if you use Hailrazer's ribbon extension method, but you fail to get the ribbons connected tightly. Try to reattach the motor ribbon more carefully.

Q: My games are taking really long to load?
A:This is either because your disc drive is not secured properly (with shock absorption pads), your disc lens has guck on it, or your laser is old and worn out. It is most likely the first two problems (used properly, the laser should take a while before it wears out).
- To secure the DD properly, you can copy the original design from the way it was secured in the Gamecube, or you can make your own shock pads that "give" a little when the laser moves back and forth (the first method is the best for load times).
- If your lens has guck on it, there is not much you can do. Even trying to wipe off the lens can make things worse. The lens is almost "floating" in its place, and if you try to wipe it off, it will just move backwards into the shaft. I would suggest getting a replacement laser&lens.

Q: How do I know if my DD is working properly?
A: The sound. NOT the whether the game is read or not! The game can be running fine, but your laser is working overtime to read the game. Listen to a normal GC's disc drive a few times to hear what the normal sound is. You will here the game start to spin, then you will here a short high pitched chime from the laser. This chime means everything is working right.
- any abnormal buzzing, loud spinning, or long chime sound is not a good thing.

- toggle the "disc cover" button and see how long the DD takes to read the game again. It should not take longer than 3 or 4 seconds........mine currently takes 5 seconds :rofl: :rofl: but whatever I'm calling it a day. :rolleyes:

Hope this was helpful! I will probably add more in the future! :)
Here's a good one: If you relocate in, and the laser just keeps ramming itself into the edge, you probably have the laser movement motor wires backwards.

Ehehehe, I did that on accident. Thanks Tchay, if my DD breaks (which it inevitably will) I'll know where to go!