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Xbox 360 DVD drive "pot" tweak
This article is going to outline the Xbox 360 DVD pot tweak and how to perform it on your Samsung, Hitachi, Benq, or Liteon Xbox 360 DVD drive. If you are getting dirty disk errors, tray open errors, your games are crashing in the middle of gameplay due to reading errors or your movies are skipping and jumping while playing, then the pot tweak may help. These error's can even occur on new Xbox 360's. This might be because the DVD drive just needs a small tweak to get the DVD laser diode potentiometer to its sweet spot. All drives are different and no 2 drives will have the same base resistance on the DVD "pot". Most drives I've seen seem to be factory set at anywhere between 4KΩ to 6.4KΩ. I highly recommend not lowering the resistance to your DVD laser diode below 3KΩ, this is the lowest resistance that is safe before you risk blowing the diode out in a very short amount of time. DO NOT EVER lower the resistance to your laser diode if you're not having disk read issues, as it shortens the lifespan of your laser. ALSO PLEASE REMEMBER: this is not a tweak that will fix issues with the game disks that have been abused and are scratched beyond recognition by the drive. Although it may help with minor scuffed disks, if game is trashed, then it is trashed!! No pot tweaking or any other thing besides replacement or resurfacing will fix it.
Remember to first inspect the disc thoroughly and test the disk on another console if possible, to make sure that it's not the disk itself. You want to try all possibilities before you tweak your laser. First you'll have to disassemble your Xbox 360. If it is still under warranty, I would suggest contacting Microsoft and possibly sending it in for a free repair. I'm not going to cover the disassembly of the Xbox 360 here, there are plenty of tutorials on that. Once you've disassembled your Xbox 360. You will need to remove and unplug the DVD drive from the motherboard. There are two cords connecting the DVD drive to the motherboard, they are the sata cord and the power cord. Be very careful while unplugging these from the motherboard. Once you have removed the DVD drive from the Xbox motherboard turn it over and you will see four screws holding the case together. Unscrew the screws and open the case of the DVD drive. Pull the bottom cover straight up evenly and it should come right off. Then, flip the DVD drive over into your hand and push the legs through the top cover. This will loosen the cover and now you should be able to pull the top cover away easily. If you have a Light-on or Ben-Q DVD drive, this is all the disassembly you need to do. If you have a Hitachi or Samsung DVD drive, you will need to remove the circuit board from the bottom of the DVD drive so you can access the pot dials. To do this, simply remove the two connecting ribbons, and gently pull back the tabs holding the circuit board in place. You should be able to easily remove it. Do not force it!
Preforming The "Tweak"
You will only need two tools to perform this adjustment. These tools are a multimeter that can read ohms (Ω), and a 2mm screwdriver. The "Pot" adjustments will be very small, moving it a hair can make a big difference. We want to make small adjustments. We use small adjustments and then read the changed resistance with a multimeter after every adjustment. Don't just crank you laser diode down to 3KΩ!! lower it by .2KΩ to .5KΩ increments, and then test until the disks that once gave you reading issues no longer do. Do not attempt to do this tweak without a multimeter. You have to measure your adjustments! Remember the purpose of this tweak is to extend the usable life of your Xbox 360 DVD drive. Do not gamble blowing the laser diode in the first 15 min of using a game in it. That would defeat the purpose of this tweak. Take note to what way you need to turn the pot to decrease the resistance value of the pot. It differs between Hitachi/Samsung and the Lite-on/Ben-Q DVD drives! All the dials that adjust the DVD laser and pots are located on the left, (refer to the pictures) and will be the same when you are physically looking at them. Turn only the dials that are circled in red!!
You do not need to completely reassemble the Xbox 360 to Test the DVD drive. Simply reassemble the DVD drive, plug it into the motherboard, make sure the power and av chords connected to it, and see if your issues are resolved. I hope this has helped and as always, Game On and Level Up!