Introduction

Most disc read errors (DREs) can be fixed by replacing the laser lens in your Wii's DVD drive.

Use a metal spudger to remove the white plastic screw covers stuck to the lower case near the front of the Wii. Use a metal spudger to remove the white plastic screw covers stuck to the lower case near the front of the Wii.
  • Use a metal spudger to remove the white plastic screw covers stuck to the lower case near the front of the Wii.

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Remove the two 8.3 mm Tri-Wing screws hidden under the covers you just removed.
  • Remove the two 8.3 mm Tri-Wing screws hidden under the covers you just removed.

Before you start, get a small plastic tray with at least 15 small bins in it, and put the screws you take out in each step in the bins in order. It makes reassembly a LOT easier.

larry - Reply

NOTE: You need a Y1 screwdriver. Be careful when buying the little red screwdrivers on Amazon that claim to fit the Wii - they don’t!! From personal experience.

Robotai - Reply

Remove the single 5.9 mm Phillips screw under the controller port door nearest the faceplate.
  • Remove the single 5.9 mm Phillips screw under the controller port door nearest the faceplate.

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Use a metal spudger to remove the rubber foot stuck to the side of the Wii near the DVD drive opening.
  • Use a metal spudger to remove the rubber foot stuck to the side of the Wii near the DVD drive opening.

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Remove the single 5.9 mm Phillips screw hidden under the foot you just removed.
  • Remove the single 5.9 mm Phillips screw hidden under the foot you just removed.

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Carefully pull the faceplate away from the front of the Wii. Use a pair of tweezers to disconnect the LED cable's plastic connector from the motherboard.
  • Carefully pull the faceplate away from the front of the Wii.

  • Use a pair of tweezers to disconnect the LED cable's plastic connector from the motherboard.

  • Remove the faceplate.

surprisingly, this was the trickiest step for me. I almost completely mangled the wires when my tweezers slipped as I was attempting to remove the connector.

rbelknap - Reply

I ended up using needle nose pliars on this step.

Awesome detailed guide made this very easy, thank you author!

Glenn Woodard - Reply

Can someone direct me to what I need to do? My tweezers slipped and I cut one of the wires on the connector. Where can I find a new Y plug for the wii?

jaredslaweski - Reply

I also broke my wire trying to use tweezers. I should have known better. I use (normally do) a spudger on one side and my fingernail on the other to gently pry these types of connectors out. I ended up buying a replacement faceplate on ebay.

Tyler - Reply

This was the hardest part for me. I tried using my fingernails, two different tweezers, and needle nose pliers, but I ended up cutting both the wires. Anyway, I put some electric tape over the exposed wires and just reassembled the system. Funny thing is that the LED still works and I have not noticed any difference. I'm not sure what those wires did, but they seem to not be important.

Nick - Reply

I also broke off the flimsy wires at the connector. To NOT break the wires, alternate pressing on the right and left sides of the connector with a small flathead screwdriver. Be patient, it will eventually work itself free. There isn't enough to grab onto with the tweezers and you'll only succeed in having them slip off, grab the wires, and yank the wires out.

Good news is that if you do rip out the wires, no worries... I didn't reconnect them and the unit works just fine. I have no idea what those wires are even for. Power LED continues to work no problem.

jasendorf - Reply

I used two small flat head screw drivers, one on each side to pry out the connector. This created less pressure from me and reduced my chance of cutting the wires.

mulkey - Reply

This guide is really marvellous - works a treat. But I would definitely recommend needle nose pliers for this step rather than tweezers. It's really easy if you use pliers and potentially damaging if not, and you get it wrong. I had one sniff at it with tweezers then immediate nipped out to the garage for my pliers!

thepitcanary - Reply

Definitely a tricky step with that connector. I also cut broke the wire accidentally and was going to just give up trying to fix the Wii. However, as others stated the Wii works just fine, including the lights. I do wonder what those wire are for.

darcaesar - Reply

I also had a lot of trouble trying to get the connector off with tweezers. Ended up leaving it attached. It does not really get in the way of remaining steps.

Ron Even - Reply

Open the controller port cover until it is perpendicular to the black controller port bezel. Pull the controller port cover straight up to release it from the outer case. Repeat this procedure for the memory card port cover.
  • Open the controller port cover until it is perpendicular to the black controller port bezel.

  • Pull the controller port cover straight up to release it from the outer case.

  • Repeat this procedure for the memory card port cover.

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Remove the two remaining 4.1 mm Phillips screws along the top edge of the black plastic controller port bezel. Lift the bezel from the long edge furthest away from the controller ports and remove it from the Wii.
  • Remove the two remaining 4.1 mm Phillips screws along the top edge of the black plastic controller port bezel.

  • Lift the bezel from the long edge furthest away from the controller ports and remove it from the Wii.

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Remove the two 5 mm Phillips screws above the controller ports.
  • Remove the two 5 mm Phillips screws above the controller ports.

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Use a metal spudger to remove the three highlighted screw covers stuck to the side of the Wii.
  • Use a metal spudger to remove the three highlighted screw covers stuck to the side of the Wii.

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Remove the following screws:
  • Remove the following screws:

    • Two 5 mm Phillips screws

    • One 8.2 mm Tri-Wing screw

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Use a metal spudger to remove the two rubber feet stuck to the bottom face of the Wii near the rear ports.
  • Use a metal spudger to remove the two rubber feet stuck to the bottom face of the Wii near the rear ports.

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Remove the two 8.2 mm Tri-Wing screws hidden under the feet you just removed.
  • Remove the two 8.2 mm Tri-Wing screws hidden under the feet you just removed.

had a little trouble with theses screws. they were just barely too deep for my 54pies bit driver kit to reach. I ended up inserting a small wad of paper into the shaft of my driver so the tri-wing bit stuck out far enough to engage the screw. (I used the tweezers to remove the paper when I was done) :)

rbelknap - Reply

Lift the outer case straight up off the body of the Wii.
  • Lift the outer case straight up off the body of the Wii.

This step could use at least another picture from the backside so it's clearer what comes up and what stays down.

Jose Vazquez - Reply

I used a spudger around the edges of the outer case to gently ease it upward since I could not lift it out with my fingers. Then it came right out.

Marko - Reply

hey marko that really helped me thanks\. als if you need help figuring which side is up, its the one with the nintendo engraving on it

Aryan Garg - Reply

Remove the small Phillips screw securing the battery door to the bottom panel. This screw is captive to the battery door.
  • Remove the small Phillips screw securing the battery door to the bottom panel.

  • This screw is captive to the battery door.

  • Pull the battery door out of the Wii.

  • This is a good time to change the CR2032 battery if it hasn't been changed recently.

The screw on the battery door of my Wii required a Phillips #000 screwdriver, which is not listed in the required tools.

Ben - Reply

The screw is a PH0000 (quadruple zero) requiring an exceptionally small Phillips screwdriver to remove. If this is your first time in here in a while, this may also be a great time to change the CR2032 battery.

Steve Bonds - Reply

Remove the 8.2 mm Tri-Wing screw that was hidden beneath the battery door.
  • Remove the 8.2 mm Tri-Wing screw that was hidden beneath the battery door.

Note - this screw is a machine screw (e.g. not self-tapping). It screws into a hex nut, and that nut is captive in a slot in the case. When reassembling, ensure that this hex nut is still captive, and has not migrated out to other areas within the Wii.

dyanetti - Reply

Remove the two 8.2 mm Tri-Wing screws securing the DVD drive shield near the controller ports.
  • Remove the two 8.2 mm Tri-Wing screws securing the DVD drive shield near the controller ports.

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Lift the DVD drive shield upward and remove it from the Wii.
  • Lift the DVD drive shield upward and remove it from the Wii.

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Remove the four 9 mm Phillips screws securing the DVD drive to the bottom panel.
  • Remove the four 9 mm Phillips screws securing the DVD drive to the bottom panel.

The two left hand screws were very difficult to relocate during reassembly. I was coaching my 8 year old through this, and this was probably the only step that he couldn't do. We dropped these screws several times, and used magnets to retrieve. Miniature needle-nose pliers gripping the 'washer' surface of the screw were too wide. We managed to purchase the 'button head' of these screws with the needle-nose and drop the screws into their hole, and push with the phillips until secure. I would like to hear how others install these screws, please.

dyanetti - Reply

I had the same problem as you and eventually found an easy way round it. I wrote this to be added to the instructions but it was rejected: "Once the DVD drive has been removed, remove the 4 rubber washers from the screws removed earlier and insert them into your new DVD drive. Because two of the screws are difficult to reach, it is best to insert these two screws into the washers and then slide them into place ready for securing to the base plate".

The rubber washer holds the two screws roughly in position, you can then reach them with your screwdriver through the two holes (about an inch away) and finish tightening them up.

Gary -

For the two screws at the front of the chassis, use a three-pronged parts retriever to lift them out after you unscrew them.

Walter - Reply

Helpful tip: Use a magnetized screwdriver for the 2 screws nearest the DVD face because they are set in deep sockets

Blake Minghelli - Reply

During reassembly, it can be tricky to position the recessed screws. To temporarily magnetize your screwdriver, rub the tip against a magnet for 5-10 seconds. (A refrigerator magnet will do.) You should then be able to put the screw on the tip and gently lower it into position.

Matt D - Reply

Another method for getting the front screws back in is to insert a small pair of tweezers through the DVD slot to guide the screw in. I just dropped the screw in between the tweezers which held the screw just above the hole. Then I was able to use the phillips screwdriver to guide the screw into the hole and screw it in. Done in just a few seconds.

Another option would be to stick a dab of hot glue on the screw to your screwdriver and then when the screw has been driven home either the glue stays on the driver and is easily removed or it stays on the screw and you just pull it off with tweezers or needle nose pliers.

accts4mjs - Reply

The screwdriver provided in the kit by ifixit is a magnetized screwdriver and works perfectly!

mulkey - Reply

If you are disassembling your Wii because, say, a two-year-old has shovelled pennies into it (yes, that was me) you will also need to partially disassemble the drive itself, which is not covered in this guide. Luckily it's really easy. Unscrew the 4-5 larger Philips/cross head screws on the top of the frame (NOT any of the smaller darker ones) around the edges, and the frame on top of the drive will lift right off. Be careful as there is cabling running to it, so don't yank it or pull it too far off. You will now be able to get any coins or other foreign objects out.

thepitcanary - Reply

I didn't have a magnetic screwdriver, so I applied a tiny amount of fabric glue to the head of each screw, waited a minute for it to start to harden, inserted my non-mag screwdriver into the screw head, and the screw stuck to the screwdriver long enough to insert it into the hole.

Lee Crooks - Reply

Lift the side of the DVD drive opposite the controller ports enough to access the cables on its bottom face.
  • Lift the side of the DVD drive opposite the controller ports enough to access the cables on its bottom face.

  • Carefully pull the DVD drive power cable out from under the plastic shroud near the heat sink.

When reversing these steps to reassemble the Wii, at this point it is possible to do a quick test before screwing the drive to the case. This will save you a lot of time if something is wrong.

Don't touch anything you don't have to while the case is off.

Carefully plug the power cable into the back of the Wii, then use a screwdriver to gently press the white button next to the glowing yellow LED on the front. You should hear the DVD drive power up and whir. Then press the white button again, wait for the yellow light to come back, and unplug the Wii.

If you didn't hear the drive start up, most likely one of the two ribbons isn't connected to the drive correctly. Doublecheck the previous 3 steps.

Matt D - Reply

Pull the DVD drive power cable away from its socket on the DVD drive.
  • Pull the DVD drive power cable away from its socket on the DVD drive.

When reversing this step, be careful re-inserting the connector. The pins are very delicate and if you aren't at the proper angle, you can bend them and ruin the drive.

jisakoff42 - Reply

Use your fingernail to flip up the retaining flap on the DVD drive ribbon cable socket. Be sure you are prying up on the retaining flap, not the socket itself.
  • Use your fingernail to flip up the retaining flap on the DVD drive ribbon cable socket.

  • Be sure you are prying up on the retaining flap, not the socket itself.

  • Pull the DVD drive ribbon cable out of its socket.

  • Remove the DVD drive from the Wii.

When reversing this step, make sure the ribbon is all the way in. For some reason I found positioning it with my replacement drive was much harder than with my old drive. The gentlest tug after lowering the brown clip would show that the ribbon was not actually being held tightly. I thought for a while that the clip itself was broken, but eventually I got it to hold the ribbon correctly.

Matt D - Reply

Be careful with this step. I too had difficulty re-inserting the ribbon. I even popped off the brown clip and thought I broke it. Thankfully it snapped back into place.

Dana Kennard - Reply

It is difficult to tell, but be aware that the brown piece is the retaining flap, not the light piece , which is the actual socket.

Dan Neunaber - Reply

Pull the disc detector ribbon cable straight out of its connector with a pair of tweezers.
  • Pull the disc detector ribbon cable straight out of its connector with a pair of tweezers.

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Use the tip of a spudger to push the sides of the ZIF connector fastener securing the spindle motor ribbon cable directly away from the connector. Disconnect the spindle motor ribbon cable by pulling it straight out of its connector with a pair of tweezers. Disconnect the spindle motor ribbon cable by pulling it straight out of its connector with a pair of tweezers.
  • Use the tip of a spudger to push the sides of the ZIF connector fastener securing the spindle motor ribbon cable directly away from the connector.

  • Disconnect the spindle motor ribbon cable by pulling it straight out of its connector with a pair of tweezers.

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Remove the piece of black cloth tape that covers a portion of the lens ribbon cable. Remove the piece of black cloth tape that covers a portion of the lens ribbon cable.
  • Remove the piece of black cloth tape that covers a portion of the lens ribbon cable.

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Disconnect the lens ribbon cable by first pushing the two locking tabs of the ZIF connector towards the ribbon cable with the tip of a spudger. Use a pair of tweezers to pull the lens ribbon cable straight out of its connector. Use a pair of tweezers to pull the lens ribbon cable straight out of its connector.
  • Disconnect the lens ribbon cable by first pushing the two locking tabs of the ZIF connector towards the ribbon cable with the tip of a spudger.

  • Use a pair of tweezers to pull the lens ribbon cable straight out of its connector.

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Remove the two 5.0 mm Phillips screws securing the DVD drive board to the drive housing.
  • Remove the two 5.0 mm Phillips screws securing the DVD drive board to the drive housing.

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Lift the DVD drive board off the drive housing by first lifting the side with the lens ribbon cable connector. Pull the opposite side of the DVD drive board straight out while lifting the entire board straight up to free it from the small black plastic tabs holding it in place. Pull the opposite side of the DVD drive board straight out while lifting the entire board straight up to free it from the small black plastic tabs holding it in place.
  • Lift the DVD drive board off the drive housing by first lifting the side with the lens ribbon cable connector.

  • Pull the opposite side of the DVD drive board straight out while lifting the entire board straight up to free it from the small black plastic tabs holding it in place.

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De-route the cables that are soldered to the DVD drive board from underneath their black plastic tabs with the tip of a spudger.
  • De-route the cables that are soldered to the DVD drive board from underneath their black plastic tabs with the tip of a spudger.

I found it was easiest to unwind red and brown first and then white, blue, gray, yellow.

Carol - Reply

Lay the DVD drive board next to the DVD drive in such a manner that the cables soldered to the DVD drive board are out of the way (as shown in the picture)
  • Lay the DVD drive board next to the DVD drive in such a manner that the cables soldered to the DVD drive board are out of the way (as shown in the picture)

  • Remove the single 5.0 mm Phillips screw from the DVD lens EMI shield.

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The side of the EMI shield with the slot for the DVD lens ribbon cable has two small metal clips that fasten to black plastic tabs on the DVD drive housing. Use the tip of a spudger to bend the two metal clips up enough so that they are no longer fastened to their respective plastic tabs. The EMI shield is made of a soft, malleable metal. It can be easily be bent out and back into shape, but excessive fatigue may cause the clips to break.
  • The side of the EMI shield with the slot for the DVD lens ribbon cable has two small metal clips that fasten to black plastic tabs on the DVD drive housing.

  • Use the tip of a spudger to bend the two metal clips up enough so that they are no longer fastened to their respective plastic tabs.

  • The EMI shield is made of a soft, malleable metal. It can be easily be bent out and back into shape, but excessive fatigue may cause the clips to break.

  • Make sure both clips are pushed back down into their original positions at reassembly.

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Small tabs on the EMI shield sit in two holes on the outside edge of the DVD drive housing. Insert the tip of a spudger into the hole that is closer to the red and pink wires that connect to the DVD drive board.
  • Small tabs on the EMI shield sit in two holes on the outside edge of the DVD drive housing.

  • Insert the tip of a spudger into the hole that is closer to the red and pink wires that connect to the DVD drive board.

  • Rotate the spudger to pry the first tab out of its hole on the DVD drive housing.

Regarding Step 32 and 33 - I did this a little differently, and didn't need to bend (plastic deformation) the tin. Complete Step 31, but instead of 'bending' the clips, you release them and pop the tin up over the plastic 'barb' to release the EMI shield. Then, then repeat Step 31 (popping the tin clips off of the barb) for the two tabs on the opposite side (screw side) of the EMI shield. The EMI shield can then be withdrawn, e.g. released to the bottom of the picture in steps 32 and 33, without bending the tin as advised in step 32 and 33. The only mildly tricky part was releasing the clip from the barb near the (blue/yellow/grey/white) wires connecting the laser stepping motor - I used a fine flat screwdriver.

dyanetti - Reply

Agree with dyanetti; the two end tabs in step 32-33 are not intended to be bent. Should release all four of the clips on the sides of the plate first, then it will rotate up and the end pins will just slide out (and in when reversing the process for reassembly).

If you take the top off the dvd drive, these tabs are easy to unlatch from the other side.

ChrisV - Reply

Repeat the action in the previous step to pry the second tab on the EMI shield out of its hole on the DVD drive housing. It may be necessary to hold the opposite edge of the EMI shield to keep any of the clips or tabs from reseating.
  • Repeat the action in the previous step to pry the second tab on the EMI shield out of its hole on the DVD drive housing.

  • It may be necessary to hold the opposite edge of the EMI shield to keep any of the clips or tabs from reseating.

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Grasp the EMI shield by the two edges that are free and rotate the entire piece slightly towards the edge that is still held down until the final two remaining clips are free. Lift the EMI shield straight off the DVD drive.
  • Grasp the EMI shield by the two edges that are free and rotate the entire piece slightly towards the edge that is still held down until the final two remaining clips are free.

  • Lift the EMI shield straight off the DVD drive.

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Remove the 5.0 mm Phillips screw that is closer to the yellow, blue, white, and grey wires.
  • Remove the 5.0 mm Phillips screw that is closer to the yellow, blue, white, and grey wires.

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While holding the DVD drive with one hand, grasp the DVD drive lens retaining pin (closest to the screw that was just removed) with a pair of needle nose pliers. Slide the retaining pin out towards the edge of the DVD drive housing. Freeing the pin will require some force, and will then become very easy.
  • While holding the DVD drive with one hand, grasp the DVD drive lens retaining pin (closest to the screw that was just removed) with a pair of needle nose pliers.

  • Slide the retaining pin out towards the edge of the DVD drive housing.

  • Freeing the pin will require some force, and will then become very easy.

  • Once the pin moves easily, grab it with your fingers and pull it out of the DVD drive housing completely.

There is a small piece of black plastic next to the last screw which was removed. Lifting this up a millimeter or two will release the retaining pin so that it can be moved out easily.

FRAC - Reply

What to do when these Clips Break?

Marco Bienert (RodneyMcKay) -

It's important not to scratch this rod with the pliers. I would use fingertips or plastic tweezers for this step, or wrap the needlenose pliers with tape first.

ChrisV - Reply

Grab the DVD drive lens assembly by the side that the retaining pin was just removed from. Remove the lens assembly from the DVD drive housing.
  • Grab the DVD drive lens assembly by the side that the retaining pin was just removed from.

  • Remove the lens assembly from the DVD drive housing.

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Remove the 4.2 mm Phillips screw that secures the white plastic bracket to the lens assembly. Lift the bracket off the lens assembly.
  • Remove the 4.2 mm Phillips screw that secures the white plastic bracket to the lens assembly.

  • Lift the bracket off the lens assembly.

  • If you are going to install a new lens, make sure to transfer the white plastic bracket and screw to the new laser lens before installation.

May need an additional step when replacing with a new laser sled assembly: The new one will have a solder blob across two signals for esd protection; this must be removed after the new laser is installed, otherwise it will be completely unable to read the disk.

ChrisV - Reply

agree with Chris V you have to de-solder the solder dot on ribbon just make a straight vertical line compare it to the replacement laser this should be step 39 because if you don't do this the laser lens will not be able to read properly

keytechllc - Reply

Had the same issue. I wasted a couple hours troubleshooting the new laser before figuring out that I needed to de-solder the solder blob shorting the 2 signal lines.

Christopher Daun - Reply

Any tips on removing the screw from the white plastic bracket that needs to connect to the new part? It is not loosening on the old one at all. New mini-philips on order to see if they will fit better and hold but I don't think this is going to come free. Does anyone know where a new white plastic bracket can be ordered?

eljuline - Reply

Correctly sized philips was all it took. Came off right away. So all set to put it back together tonight.

eljuline -

Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

90 other people completed this guide.

David Hodson

Member since: 04/13/2010

124,360 Reputation

138 Guides authored

11 Comments

Many thanks for the excellent guide - my wii is working again!

Niel Viljoen - Reply

WOW! I have seen a lot of repair manuals and guides, and this has to be one of the best!

Appreciate the care and craftsmanship it took to put this together.

One suggestion: Please add pics of the screws with specs to compare the sizes.

Terry - Reply

very informative...if the laser is dirty or the lens is broken....will the tray from the drive come out and go inside...as normal ....please assist...

Techy - Reply

All went well. The main problem I had was tweezers of low quality. Also, during assembly, some screws was to tricky, so I needed to magnetize screwdriver and for that purpose I used - a speaker :)

Great tutorial, in deed. David just saved Christmas for me and my family.

Dragan - Reply

This is one of the best set of instructions I have ever used. Easy to follow steps with accurate illustrations. Very well done, I don't know how you could make it any better! A++,

camoore4800 - Reply

Me too. After solder blob removed, my Wii was able to read GameCube disks and most of my Wii disks.

debrota - Reply

Me too. After solder blob removed, my Wii was able to read my GameCube disks and most of my Wii disks.

debrota - Reply

Me too. After solder blob removed, my Wii was able to read my GameCube and most of my Wii disks.

debrota - Reply

Very useful and detailed.

John Rosenberger - Reply

Dare I try this on my own?

Simon Clark - Reply

Hola el lente de mi wii no intenta leer, al introducir un dvd el lente da un golpe y luego tres golpes mas, no suena como si intentara leer el disco, de echo tampoco se oye girar al disco, Quisiera saber si este problema es por el laser dañado o si se daño el motor que hace girar el dvd. Mi correo es david19_4@hotmail.com si pudiera ayudarme le agradeceria, puede responderme en ingles yo puedo traducirlo. Gracias

david19_4 - Reply

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