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Introduction

Is your PlayStation SCPH-550x having trouble reading games? This guide will show you how to extend the life of the existing laser you already have so you can either get another system, or fix the issue with a new laser. Laser assembly failure is a known issue in some of these older PlayStations.

In the case of the system used for the guide, it was only recovered to 50-60% read after adjustment. This one needs a new laser.

Guide notes

  • This is a temporary fix! While you may permanently repair the system, this is very unlikely to be anything more then a short term fix.
  • THIS WILL NOT RECOVER KSM-440AAM and ACM laser assemblies. These fail due to a plastic optical block wearing out. You must replace the laser.
  • This guide is intended to be used on the KSM-440ADM laser. These use a magnesium optical block, so they do not wear down like the plastic one.
  • If you have a issue with this laser beyond the ability to adjust it, the KSM-440BAM laser may work, depending on what model system you have. This is a PSOne laser assembly. Spacers are required during the retrofit installation. Note: If you do this, you will need to adjust the laser trimpot on the board!

Parts

No parts specified.

  1. Before starting, make sure you have a die cast laser. Plastic lasers are non-recoverable.
    • Before starting, make sure you have a die cast laser. Plastic lasers are non-recoverable.

    • If your laser is plastic: You must replace the laser. It is due to uneven wear.

    • If you have a Die cast laser, this fix may help. These lasers fail because of age most of the time. Note: In some cases, the laser will need adjustment, rather then the motor.

  2. Remove the 6 screws from the bottom of the PlayStation using a Phillips #2 screwdriver. Remove the top of the system. Remove the 6 screws from the bottom of the PlayStation using a Phillips #2 screwdriver. Remove the top of the system. Remove the 6 screws from the bottom of the PlayStation using a Phillips #2 screwdriver. Remove the top of the system.
    • Remove the 6 screws from the bottom of the PlayStation using a Phillips #2 screwdriver. Remove the top of the system.

  3. Disconnect the laser from the unit. Disconnect the laser from the unit. Disconnect the laser from the unit.
    • Disconnect the laser from the unit.

  4. Nintendo Switch Kits

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  5. With the laser removed from the system, remove the 2 Phillips PH1 screws hiding the laser. Check if the laser is plastic. If your laser is repairable, it will look like the one shown. If it is not metal, it must be replaced. If your laser is repairable, it will look like the one shown. If it is not metal, it must be replaced.
    • With the laser removed from the system, remove the 2 Phillips PH1 screws hiding the laser. Check if the laser is plastic.

    • If your laser is repairable, it will look like the one shown. If it is not metal, it must be replaced.

  6. Only adjust it enough to reliably read games and music CDs again. If overdone, the laser can physically "burn" your games or the laser will burn out! Consider anything less then a 80-90% read rate a failure. These are hard to reliably recover. Before starting, mark the original adjustment point and write down the factory setting as tested. It will be difficult to take it back to stock without this information.
    • Only adjust it enough to reliably read games and music CDs again. If overdone, the laser can physically "burn" your games or the laser will burn out!

    • Consider anything less then a 80-90% read rate a failure. These are hard to reliably recover.

    • Before starting, mark the original adjustment point and write down the factory setting as tested. It will be difficult to take it back to stock without this information.

    • Adjust the trimpot incrementally using a Phillips PH1 or other compatible bit. Do this until the laser is reliable and consistently reads games. Test the system to see if it is satisfactory.

  7. If you have a reliable reference system, test the games on the good unit first. Improving the read percentage: If you are not happy with the results, keep adjusting the motor. Repeat until you are happy with the rate of good reads or the motor does not spin.
    • If you have a reliable reference system, test the games on the good unit first.

    • Improving the read percentage: If you are not happy with the results, keep adjusting the motor. Repeat until you are happy with the rate of good reads or the motor does not spin.

    • If you see the Insert PlayStation CD-ROM screen, the motor is too slow. Adjust the speed up, rather then down.

    • Partially reassemble the system and test it. If it is sufficient, leave it alone and finish reassembly.

    • To test the read percentage, get a few known good games and see which ones load. A minimum of 5 test games or more is recommended. Only adjust the laser again after each full test is done.

    • If you can get the game to load, play each game for a few minutes to check for stability, and note any issues. Tip: Some early systems are known to have minor FMV issues.

  8. Control system results Control system results
    • Control system results

  9. Repaired SCPH-5501 results Repaired SCPH-5501 results
    • Repaired SCPH-5501 results

Conclusion

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

Nick

Member since: 11/10/2009

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