How to Troubleshoot Problems Loading a Disc on a DVD Player

Updated February 21, 2017

DVD players can accumulate dust and dirt on the internal laser lens over time, affecting performance. The DVD "loading" message on a TV screen or computer monitor means the DVD player is trying to read the information on the disc for playback. If the component takes an unusually long time to load, or flashes the dreaded "disc error" message, it's time to troubleshoot and possibly clean the equipment so it will work once more.

Remove the problem DVD and replace with a different disc to isolate the loading difficulty. If the second DVD plays normally, the first disc may need to be cleaned.

Spray a light mist of the cleaner solution on the shiny underside of the DVD, then wipe dry with a clean microfiber cloth to remove dust, dirt, fingerprints and other contaminants that can make it difficult for the player to load the disc. Let the DVD dry completely before returning it to the storage case.

Test the problem DVD once more to see if it will load normally for playback.

Open the DVD player tray and insert the lens cleaning disc, then close the tray.

Press "Play" on the DVD player control panel to launch the lens cleaning process. The disc will typically run for 15 to 20 seconds before stopping automatically.


If these troubleshooting techniques fail to resolve the loading problem, the DVD player may need to be serviced or replaced. Depending on the brand and model, it may be less expensive to replace a DVD player with a new product than to repair an older machine.


Avoid abrasive cleaners that can scratch the surface of a DVD.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild soap and water solution in a spray bottle
  • Clean microfiber cloth
  • DVD laser lens cleaning disc
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About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.