You insert a disc into your DVD player and hit the Play button.
The disc takes a long while to load (you may hear a strange ticking sound) and when the loading process is complete, it shows No Disc. The disc tray may eject without you doing anything.
If this happens on your subsequent attempts with different discs then you have a problem to fix.
Before you troubleshoot a DVD player not reading a disc, it’s important to note the possible reasons why a DVD Player doesn’t read a DVD.
Why Your DVD Player Doesn’t Read a Disc
The possible reasons are :
- The DVD doesn’t sit properly on the disc tray
- The DVD is dirty or damaged (see below for a fix)
- The DVD disc format is not compatible with the DVD player. This happens when a burned DVD is used. Some older DVD players accept only DVD+R or DVD-R only. Some don’t accept rewriteable discs like DVD+RW or DVD-RW.
- The DVD player has an outdated firmware version. (this is not usually the main problem)
- The DVD player loading tray isn’t functioning properly.
- The DVD player laser lens is dirty and needs to be cleaned. (see below for a fix)
- The DVD player servo mechanism isn’t working well.
- The DVD player doesn’t support the DVD region. For example, you can’t play a Region 2 DVD (Europe) over a Region 1 DVD Player (USA). If you want to play an out-of-region DVD, you would have to use one of the Best Region-Free DVD Players.
The above are the possible reasons why a DVD player can’t read a DVD.
However, you may want to try the following fixes first, if your DVD won’t play, before looking into any of the above causes in detail.
Quick Fixes for DVD player Not Reading Disc
Power Off/On DVD Player
This is the first step you should try before looking at the other fixes.
With the DVD in turn off the DVD player. Wait for a while and then turn it back on. See if the DVD loads correctly.
Check DVD Surface
If your other DVDs can be read without a problem, check the DVD that’s unreadable.
See if the surface has a smudge or a scratch. If so fix that first. If you think there’s no problem with the disc, try playing it on another device, maybe a computer DVD drive.
If a scratch is visible to the eye, then use a DVD cleaning kit – scratch remover – disc repair kit.
If the lens that directs the laser onto the DVD is covered with dust, debris or other contaminants your DVD player may not read your disc.
Use a DVD lens cleaner with a dry-brush system to keep your DVD player lens in tip-top condition.
Check out a top DVD lens cleaner.
Laser Burnout and Servo Mechanism Error
If the problem persists, the laser may be already burned out.
Also the servo mechanism that control the DVD spinning may be misaligned. This may cause the DVD to be unrecognized and return a No Disc error.
The above two problems would require professional handling, unless you know what you’re doing.
You may want to have a qualified technician check this. But the cost and hassle may put you off.
A better option would be to ditch the old DVD player and buy a new one. Prices of DVD players are now taking a dip, with Blu-ray being the in-thing. You can grab a brand new DVD player for as low as $25.
Going Digital with Your DVD Collection
DVD may have been an attractive option a decade or two back. Today, they’re no longer so.
So, if you don’t want to put up with DVD rot and your DVD player not reading a disc, you should convert your DVD collection to digital files (MP4 preferred). Just in case your DVDs and DVD player start acting up.
You can do this easily with free DVD rippers.
Once your DVDs are converted into digital files, you can play them back directly through your HDTV, TV box, computer, or smartphone. You can also store them in a cloud service and access them anywhere you’re in the world with an Internet connection.