How to fix a Xbox 360 disc that is unreadable? Is this an issue that’s been bugging your favorite game on your console?
Here, we have the solutions that will get you back to gaming in a matter of minutes.
According to Microsoft, disc errors are one of the most common issues you’re going to face with your Xbox.
After working on these solutions, it didn’t take us 30 minutes to get our console up and running again.
Here are the things that you should do to fix this issue.
To fix your Xbox 360 unrecognizable disc error, the first thing you want to do is clean up your disc. Wipe it down to get rid of the dust and dirt, then reinsert it to play again. If it doesn’t work, you can clear your console’s system cache by going to your Storage Settings and deleting the files there.
What Causes Xbox 360 Disc Unreadable Error
Let’s take a closer look at where this particular issue is coming from so we can tackle them later on when we move to the full fix guide.
These are some of the problems you’re going to face when you see the disc unreadable error pop up.
Check your disc and account for possible issues as these are the most common causes.
1. Dirty Or Scratched Disc And Drive
Dirt and scratches can cause your drive not to read the disc properly.
It’s not a surprise that you’re going to get this issue when your hardware is full of dust and dirt that can affect the optical drive.
2. Account Profile And Licensing
Even if you’re not using a physical disc for some games, you can still experience this issue.
You want to check the profile that you’re using and make sure it’s the one you used to get the game.
3. Storage Problems
Storage, specifically the system cache, can have issues that can cause this error. Certain game updates saved in the cache can give you this error.
4. Temporary Software Issues
There are instances when your Xbox’s software can have temporary bugs and glitches that will show this error.
Now that you have a better understanding of this issue, we can now proceed to the troubleshooting steps.
Knowing the causes will allow you to decide on what solution to take.
How to Fix a Xbox 360 Disc That is Unreadable
Before we go ahead to work on the troubleshooting steps, you want to make sure to eject the disc and reinsert it again.
The disc could have loaded in a suboptimal way, and the drive is unable to read it properly. Additionally, you can also restart your console to resolve any temporary software issues.
In case these steps do not work out for you, here are the next-level solutions you can try to get rid of this error:
Solution #1: Switch to a Different Profile
This first solution is for games purchased online and does not need a disc to run.
Even though it won’t need a physical disc, it can still throw up this error. If this happens, you have switched to a different profile that is unable to play this game.
To resolve this issue, all you need to do is go to the profile you used to get the game and play using it.
It’s easy to get confused, especially if it’s a digital game and it starts to require you a game disc.
Here are the steps to switch to a different profile on your Xbox:
- On your console, go to the Social menu option.
- Select Sign Out.
- Change to the profile you used to get the game.
- Choose Continue.
- Sign in using your account’s email and password.
Note: In case you forgot your account credentials, you will be able to reset your password here.
Solution #2: Clean Your Game Disc and Drive
In cases where you need a disc to play the game, and you get this error, you want to make sure that it’s clean and free from dust and dirt.
You want to take a closer look at the bottom of the disc and check for scratches and smudges that can cause this error.
Here’s how to clean your game disc:
- Get the disc and hold it by the edges.
- Get a soft, clean, damp cloth.
- Wipe the bottom side of the disc lightly.
- Insert the disc into the drive and see if it runs.
Note: Do not use any solvents to clean your disc, as it can cause more damage.
Solution #3: Clear the System Cache
Even though your game needs a disc to run, it still uses your console’s internal storage to save important files.
It’s not just for a particular game, but your Xbox’s system cache saves data like game updates, installation packages, and a lot more.
Some games rely on the cache a lot more than others, and if it’s full or there are corrupt files in there, it can display this error.
Here’s how to clear the cache on your Xbox:
- Press the Xbox button on your controller.
- Select Settings, then System Settings.
- Go to Storage.
- Press the Y button to open Device Options.
- Select Clear System Cache, then Yes.
Note: Clearing the cache can remove game updates, so you will have to download the latest ones for your game again.
Solution #4: Reinstall the Game
If you’re experiencing the disc unreadable error for only select games, a reinstall will be able to fix it.
There could be errors in your game files that are causing the problem. It’s not necessarily from the physical condition of the disc but other factors.
Here’s how to reinstall a game on your Xbox:
- Open your Xbox Settings, then System.
- Navigate to Storage, then choose the drive.
- Go to Games and apps, then select the game you want to reinstall.
- Choose Delete from the menu.
- Insert the game disc to install the game.
Note: If it’s a digital game, you can also go to your game downloads and install it from there.
Solution #5: Disconnect USB Drives and Memory Cards
If you’re using a game disc and this error continues to occur, you’ll want to disconnect USB flash drives and memory cards connected to your Xbox.
These devices can slow down the data transfer between your console and hard drive.
You can disconnect these external storage devices and check if the problem persists.
Here’s how to disconnect your USB drives and memory cards:
- Switch off your Xbox 360.
- Disconnect any memory cards and USB storage plugged into your console.
- Turn on your Xbox.
- Load the game you want to play.
Note: If this solution resolves your problem, you can copy the contents of your external storage drives to your hard drive.
These steps should help you resolve the disc unreadable error that you’re getting whenever you play a game on your Xbox 360.
If you continue to experience this error, you can contact Microsoft customer support for additional help. You can also request a repair to the disc drive.
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Now that you know how to fix a Xbox 360 disc that is unreadable, you can now play your favorite games without any issues.
Remember that this error can occur whether you’re using a game disc or not. Follow the solutions we described, and you’ll be able to fix it in no time.
Kevin has over five years of experience working in various Tech startups and providing Technical solutions. He has contributed to many Tech publications and websites.