Trying to recover a damaged DVD drive which still believes it has a disc stuck inside

March 16, 2014

It all started a few weeks back. A friend of mine asked me if I could fix his Wii.
Apparently his youngest daughter had inserted several coins (fake plastic as well as real metal ones) into the Wii DVD drive when a Game disc was already inside. I got my tools and dismantled the console, took the DVD drive apart and removed the coins and game disc. I could notice some of the internal plastic bits (those which are pushed by the disc when entered) were misaligned and one of the little springs inside was loose. Nothing seemed broken, bent or non functional, including the gears. I decided to dismantle my own Wii DVD drive for reference, just to ensure I put everything up as it was meant to be.
When I finished I put the DVD drive back and turned the console on. The Wii worked straightway, and once in the system menu I tried feeding a game disc to the Wii to test it. Unfortunately the Wii did not want to take the disc. At first thought the sensor was dead, but then I noticed the Wii would only take the DVD in if I tried feeding it right upon booting the console, so the sensor was fine. In spite taking the disc the console would not read the game. The motor spindles the disc, but after a few seconds the Wii would show the following message on screen, forcing me to press the Eject button to recover the disc and power the console manually down.
The error message basically says “An error has occurred. Press the EJECT button, remove the Disc and turn off the power to the console. Please refer to the Wii Operations Manual for details”
I have also noticed that If I tried turning the console, without the disc, and went into the Wii Shop channer, or the BBC iPlayer for instance I would also get the exactly same message, even when no disc was inside the drive.

I thought that “somehow” perhaps the DVD drive would still believe that the Disc is still in, since the coins incident, in spite it was manually removed.
I thought this might be fixed by formatting the Wii memory, but unfortunately it did not.

Finally, I thought the only way to be able to keep using the console, would be softmodding it, by-passing this way the DVD drive issue, and loading the games from a USB drive. After permission from my friend I then followed the softmodding guide from these forums. I swapped the USB HD / SD card from my fully working softmodded Wii to friend’s to test whether the softmod worked. It did, and I launched WiiFlow and tried a to launch some of the Wii Game backups. It seemed all worked well at first but upon launching the game I would get exactly the same error message on screen as shown above.

I tried the same process after physically disconnecting the Wii DVD drive from the power cable, thinking that would sort the issue out, but I got exactly the same error message on screen.

Any ideas?

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