How to Repair a DVD Player With a Disc Error Message

Updated February 21, 2017

If your DVD player is giving you a "no disc" error or similar error message on the display screen, it usually means there is something wrong with the laser reader. If the laser is cloudy, dirty or blocked, it cannot read that there is a disc in the player. The simple solution is to clean the lens and disc and see if that works. Over time, playing dirty discs in the player can leave particles of dust, grease and dirt on the lens. Fortunately, most people find it easy to repair a DVD player with a disc error message.

Examine the DVD itself for traces of dirt, grease or scratches. Wipe it off with a soft cloth. Use a CD-repair kit to smooth out any scratches (see Resources).

Look at the label on the DVD to see if it is compatible with your DVD player. Many DVDs bought from foreign countries will not play in American players. Find out by checking your DVD player's manual to see what types of DVDs it can play.

Re-insert the DVD into the player and see if the error message pops up. If the DVD is clean, then the problem lies with your DVD player's lens.

Unscrew the top of your DVD player to lift off the cover.

Remove the DVD and look for a tiny, transparent button that lies underneath the DVD. This is the lens.

Soak a cotton swab with isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and gently clean the lens. Clean the circuit boards, which are green. Look at the cotton swab to see if it's dirty. If so, then you have likely solved the problem. Allow the rubbing alcohol to dry for a minute.

Spray a can of compressed air inside the player to dislodge dust.

Replace the DVD cover and reinsert the DVD. It should now play normally.


Bring your DVD player to a repair shop or bring it back to the store if it still does not work.

Things You'll Need

  • DVD player
  • Cotton swabs
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Soft cloth
  • Compressed air can
  • Screwdriver
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About the Author

Susan Reynolds has been a writer since 2008. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of South Florida and is a licensed real estate agent in Florida.