[Mod Files] SPECIAL FEATURE cleaning your PS2 read laser from the inside!

Eventually, your PS2 will reach the magic point in it's life where it no longer wants to read all formats, or becomes hit or miss in what games it will read.  This is an extremely common problem, and while blowing out your PS2 with a can of compressed air or running a CD cleaner inside may fix the problem temporarily, you're going to have to clean the laser manually to really fix the problem.  Personally my PS2 began to switch between reading ONLY the DVD titles, to reading everything but the DVD titles.  Having no problems before and owning one of the launch PS2's, I knew it was time to give my deck an internal cleaning.

I want to stress that performing this operation WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY and I will be IN NO WAY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE THAT MAY OCCUR during this project, even though when this problem strikes your warranty has usually already ran out.  Please, make sure to read each project through completely before beginning or purchasing any new items, David's Video Game Insanity!! will not be held responsible for any damages incurred during modification of your video game systems or items.  Remember, in most instances opening or adding / removing components will void your manufacturer's warranty.  Before a project is listed it's gone though several times to ensure that it is safe to perform, however, modify your video games at your own risk.  The PS2, regardless of what many may think, is a delicate piece of precision technology and you can cause serious damage to your console while performing this project.  Even though, as long as you take your time and don't do anything overly stupid, it is extremely hard to hurt anything inside your PS2... but it always could happen.  Sony charges upwards of $140 to perform this same operation, so just read over the directions a few times, and have confidence that you can do it yourself and save a substantial amount of money.

Okay, lets start by making sure the PS2 is disconnected and then turned on for a couple minutes to make sure all immediate power has dissipated from the unit.  Then turn the main power switch back off.  Make sure you have a work area roughly three times the size of the PS2 as well as a place to put screws and screw caps.

This thing won't be good until Auto Modellista anyway
Remember to remove your PS2 network adapter if you have one.  Take a coin and loosen the two screws on either side and then gently pull it off.

Now you should be ready to open your PS2.  Flip it over so that it is upside down with the controller ports facing away from you.  The amount of screws you need to remove varies with which model PS2 you have.  Anywhere you see a little square (rubber or plastic) remove it gently with the backside of your blade, your fingernail, a butter knife, or any similar tool.  Remove each screw that was hidden behind the square screw caps, make sure to note on a piece of paper where the long screws go.  This will be very important when it comes time to reassemble your PS2.

You will want to flip your PS2 back over upright again now.  Take your knife and cut through the warranty sticker located by the main power switch on the back of the console.  Just follow the groove of the upper shell down and then to the side.  Now that you have that cut made, you're going to want to turn the PS2 so the controller inputs and CD tray are facing you.

Gently but firmly wiggle the upper shell of the PS2 forward a bit, you're trying to get the top shell far enough forward so that it clears the CD tray.  The most important thing here is not to pull upward hard on the right side, after getting the top off, fold it over to the right so it opens like a book.  At this point you can see why I said to go easy on the right side, the reset and eject buttons stay on the top shell and the wires that link them to the PS2 run along the right side.

What you have here is pretty basic, there's not a whole lot inside the PS2.  To the left are all the power components, the controller ports, and memory card ports.  The black box on the right is where the laser is contained, removing that is the next step.

There are four screws to remove this panel.  Two are on the top then toward the bottom there is one on each side.  This is where your precision screwdriver comes in, since the screws are quite small.  Remove the screws then gently lift up the lens cover.

Under the lens cover you will find the CD tray and the laser.  At this point you may want to gently spray out your PS2 with a can of compressed air.  This will completely remove any and all dust from your PS2 from the inside.  If you are spraying out your PS2, remember to get around the fan at the back especially.

Take a cotton swab and coat it with rubbing alcohol, make sure you have no excess dripping off.  Gently yet firmly clean the lens (the little blue glass part) in a sweeping circular motion for 15-20 seconds or so.  Then with a clean cotton swab, buff back over the lens in the same way, this will make sure no alcohol is left on the lens.  That's it, your PS2 is now clean.  Time to reassemble your console.  Start by putting the lens cover back on with the four screws.  Then flip the upper shell back over and slide it into place, you should find this much easier than removing it.

Carefully flip your PS2 back over and put all the screws back into place, paying special attention to where you noted the long ones go.  Then put your PS2 network adapter back on if you have one.  Then connect your PS2 back to power and your television.

And there you have it.  No more read errors and no more skippy audio.  Now don't you feel a lot better than if you would have sent your PS2 to Sony and been $140 lighter?

Truthfully, there is no reason to send your PS2 to Sony to have this "repair" done.  It only takes about 30 minutes tops and that's if you're going really slow and being extremely cautious.  Eventually it seems that all PS2's will run into this problem, mine did and it was behind glass and I cleaned where it was weekly.  Remember how small that little lens is, it doesn't take much to obstruct it.  You really don't have to be mechanically inclined in the least to perform this operation, just take your time and your PS2 will be running like new in no time.

The tools needed for this modification are:

1 xacto knife or similar blade
1 phillips head screwdriver
1 jewelry or small precision phillips head screwdriver
1 small coin (if you have a PS2 network adapter)
1 butter knife (optional)
2-3 cotton swabs
Rubbing alcohol

Written on 12-23-02 by David, insanedavid@classicplastic.net
Last amended 03-02-06 by David, insanedavid@classicplastic.net

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