Reports Of Xbox One Disc Drive Issues Increase

Reports Of Xbox One Disc Drive Issues Increase
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As we continue to hear from more and more brand new Xbox One owners who say their disc drives don’t work, Microsoft’s solution remains the same: contact customer service.

That’s unfortunate news for affected gamers who thought there could be a DIY fix for what we’re calling, for lack of a catchier name, the “Disc Drive of Doom,” which prevents Xbox One Blu-ray drives from reading discs. People with faulty units have found themselves greeted by a horrid grinding noise when they attempt to insert games or movies.

One YouTuber rounded up some videos to demonstrate the problem:

I first wrote about the issue yesterday morning, and over the past two days, I’ve received roughly 150 e-mails from people who say their systems were affected. Some sent videos; others just echoed what we’ve been seeing since the console launched on Friday. Some complained that they’d had to spend hours on the phone waiting for someone from Microsoft customer service to answer.

We have no way of verifying all of these accounts, but here’s a slice of what my inbox looks like right now:

(I’ve received about 150 e-mails in two days — for context, last week after the PS4 launch, Stephen asked anyone affected by hardware failure to reach out to him, and he received a few dozen e-mails in two days.)

On top of that, three different staff at gaming outlets have run into the issue: one from IGN, one from Polygon, and one from GamesRadar. As of today, nobody at Kotaku had received a defective unit.

Let’s put this in context: Microsoft says they’ve sold a million Xbox Ones. Even if just 1% of consumers had issues, that’d be 10,000 faulty units — and we don’t even know if the count is that high. Plus, launch consoles tend to come in hot. Massive hardware launches always have their problems. Just ask any brand new PS4 owner faced with the Blue Light of Death. (This isn’t a new phenomenon, either — I remember lining up for the Wii at midnight back in 2006, only to get home at around 4am with a console that wouldn’t function properly. I had to swap it the next day.)

But Microsoft isn’t offering much in the way of explanation to those who were affected by this issue, nor are they sharing just how widespread a problem it is. It’s possible that they don’t even know yet, since the console is so new.

We’ve reached out to Microsoft multiple times over the past two days with questions about this Disc Drive of Doom, but they’ve only repeated a single statement: “The issue is affecting a very small number of Xbox One customers. We’re working directly with those affected to get a replacement console to them as soon as possible through our advance exchange program. Rest assured, we are taking care of our customers.”

When pressed further by Kotaku today, a Microsoft spokesperson added this: “Customers have the option for us to send a replacement console right away without waiting until they have returned their old one. This means a customer only has to wait a matter of days, rather than weeks to get back up and running.”

We have no idea how many people have been affected by this issue, but we’ll continue following up on this story over the next few days and weeks.


  • There are two things that can be taken from this: XB1 has more damaged consoles in release OR XB1 users make more noise if things go wrong.

    Customers have the option for us to send a replacement console right away without waiting until they have returned their old one.
    MS will send me a free console if I complain?

  • What did they think would happen by using some oversized leftover relic of a drive from the 80’s?

  • Has Nintendo ever had problems like this? The past few have been pretty rock solid in my experience and I can’t remember any issues. Sony aren’t too bad either. MS are having a bad run. At least the original XB was ok!

    • This isn’t a new phenomenon, either — I remember lining up for the Wii at midnight back in 2006, only to get home at around 4am with a console that wouldn’t function properly. I had to swap it the next day.

      If my memory serves me correctly, I think there was a power issue with some Wii units when it launched back then. If someone with a better memory can confirm that’d be great

    • Every electronic device has about a 1% failure rate. It’s only because the Xbox One and PS4 have sold such a huge amount of units day one that there are lots a dead units causing the issue to get blown out of proportion

      • Up to 5% is acceptable in most new releases – it’s just that with a large number of sales, that percent sounds a lot bigger in unit numbers.

      • exactly. a million people don’t go out on release day and buy the latest kettle or toaster so the abundance of broken ones would be much less than a console. of course the gaming community will be a lot more vocal on the internet when something goes wrong.

        of course i’d be totally annoyed in my new console didnt work on the day i bought it but i understand that with electronic devices theres always going to be a small % that have issues

        • I’ve been building computers for quite a few years, just on a small scale through (friends, work etc) and you see this quite often with builds with new parts, Most of the builds that go flawlessly involve hardware that is a year or so old (great for workstations or your older family member)

      • While not a hardware issue, a very small number of WiiUs were bricked by idiots turning off their console during the day one update.


        • Any forced (or even unforced) update that doesn’t handle power interruptions during the update process is poorly designed IMHO. Many areas of the world have regular power outages and there should be redundancy build into a system to handle this without rendering the device inoperable.

  • And The Microsoft Fan-boys laughed merrily when Sony had its problems with the PS4…

    Can the Loose Hard Drives of the PS4, and the Damaged Disc drives of the Xbox One be the result of mass damage while shipping?

    • The “Loose” HDD’s aren’t the only defects for PS4. it kind of indicates you can put the hard drive “back” in place and the system will work properly.

      The BPoD is indicative of other issues, more than 0.4% if it’s in the thousands. unless sony want’s to say how many users are online concurrently during the day or week, we can’t be sure that it’s not a higher percentage of failures.

      for the ex-bone, even if the slot loader Optical drive is damaged in transport, the system still boots up and it can still play games. same can’t be said for the PS4.

      it’s likely not gouging or scratching the discs like the launch xbox 360 did when people were told it could operate vertically. later drives fixed this issue by using slightly better trays, and quieter loading drives, etc. but they did make some nasty scratches.

  • And for anyone in Australia (I don’t the rules in other countries) there’s no reason at all to deal with MS – you can just go back to the retailer for an on the spot replacement or refund. You don’t need to wait for a repair. It’s your choice what the remedy is.

    Of course, this might not be the best option for a Day One console, but for standard edition it should mean no wait time for a repair or replacement.

    • It’ll only work if the retailer has stock, of course. If not, you’ll be waiting much longer for the retailer to get new stock than you will for Microsoft to sort the problem out for you directly.

      • Of course. I didn’t think I needed to state that the retailer needed to have stock in order to do a replacement…

        • The underlying point is that when a store suggests you go to the manufacturer instead of through them, it’s not always because they’re trying to be dodgy and avoid their responsibilities. There are cases where that’s true, but the majority of times a retailer suggests you go to the manufacturer it’s because they know you’ll get faster or better service that way.

    • a) there needs to be available stock (which won’t be until about a week before Christmas)
      b) in store needs to be able to replicate the problem.

      Dealing with Microsoft, especially with this issue, is going to be easier than dealing with retailers just because their going to have no stock till mid-December or so. You’re more likely to get a new console within a week with MS.

  • Man they’ll do anything to get people to go digital only!

    Seriously sucks though for people buying day one.

      • I’ve always bought day one release for nearly all my tech. I have personally never had issue. Nothing wrong with wanting to have some new when it is new.

        • Everyone thinks they have the right answer for this when in reality, even picking one or the other is stupid. “Do what you feel like” is the only answer that comes from someone who isn’t an arrogant internet creature. I’ve bought half my consoles day one and i’ve never had a single problem. Conversely, i’ve had at least 3 that i’ve bought months even years after release fail on me.

          Yeah, NEVER buy day one.

  • Okay… I’ll admit it,I was looking forward to the issues with the xBox One, just for the sake of the fan boys eating a little crow…
    Every one always seems to forget that the mass production is a new line, and they’re likely to be teething problems, I’m glad the article pointed this out (“Massive hardware launches always have their problems”). This is the issue with early adoption, and it’s why I tend not to do it anymore, let the unit get tested and refined, and a bunch of games I actually want (as opposed to buying to justify my purchase) to get released.
    I’ll wait for the PS4 till Second Son is released, or maybe longer (I’m not shelling out till there’s a bunch of games I like the look of).
    Have’nt seen anything that’s “must play” for the xBox One yet, but there are a bunch of games that look good.
    Hopefully but the time they get a few must play exclusives their hardware issues will be resolved.

    • Skynet won’t reveal it’s self awareness till it has a bigger audience to inslave atm only has million plus units sitting at home’s, gotta learn our patterns and weaknesses before striking.

    • Not yet – MS HQ did broadcast a “Kinect, become sentient” message over the weekend, but after four failed attempts by Kinect to respond to voice prompts, they gave up and reverted to controllers.

  • While my Xbone is working as it should, I wouldn’t blame anyone for holding out on getting an Xbone.

    The OS is terribly underdone, I mean it’s clear as day that they only just managed to get that thing out the door for November 22. I get the idea that it’s largely the fault of the major changes which were made following E3 (the DRM stuff).

    My surround sound doesn’t work (I have that crazy optical format that’s been basically the standard for the past 10 years), it’s really hard to access any of my old music, it can’t run anything off a USB stick, as far as I can tell it’s impossible to play a custom soundtrack over the top of in-game music (which has been a feature since the original Xbox).

    The games are great though and all appear to be working fine (apart from Battlefield which I couldn’t log into for the first 24 hours). Controller is great too.

    • You might already know this, but surround sound is disabled by default and will become default in a future update. You can turn surround sound on in options.

  • It can never be said enough, if you buy something from a store that doesn’t work, take it back and get it replaced (or get a refund). Don’t listen to any crap about contacting the manufacturer or the store’s policy to not give a replacement because of X reason. If your product doesn’t work, they are legally obligated to replace it for you.

    Read up on this and know your rights.

    • If you want a replacement, you won’t get one because no one has stock. It’s going to be easier using MS than going back to the retailer until they can give you a on-the-spot replacement.

  • XBox Support have just advised that the Advance Exchange Program is ONLY available to the US and Canada.

    Bad news for all effected people outside of the US.

  • I know there are cost reasons as to why this happens, but this drive looks like a separate unit that is dropped into a ‘cage’ ala PC … so really these units should of been qa tested independently prior to entering the bone’s supply chain for assembly…it’s a bit piss poor.

    • Bloody space crafts who go through the most rigours of QA still have issues, lots of issues. Unless you can back it up that neither Sony nor MSFT didn’t QA test their products ease up. Because realistically you know they would’ve tested these machines, MSFT even posted videos of them testing these machines(At least some components were shown).

      • I don’t have to back up any claims about qa testing as I think it is pretty obvious…my point (the bit you missed) was that the component that is giving them trouble has been produced in some form for about the last 20 years, is an independent component (not integrated like the PS4 drive) and therefore should of been tested by the manufacturer (not MS) BEFORE it entered the bone’s manufacturing supply chain. New console hardware can rightly expect a failure rate, but it really shouldn’t of been the basic blu-ray drive unit which have been produced in their millions prior to this generation.

  • Hopefully both sides on the console war have had some humble pie now. Hardware issues at launch are a completely expected thing, and if you’re not aware of that possibility and flip shit if there’s something wrong with yours, you need to get ahold of yourself.

    Unfortunately it’s this vocal minority that gets these things blown outta proportion, and I hope the vast majority are enjoying their shiny new toys 🙂

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