How to Fix Broken XBox 360 Discs

Updated February 21, 2017

While using CDs and DVDs has revolutionised the video game industry, they aren't perfect and tend to break. Many Xbox 360 users are familiar with the phrase "Error: This disc is unreadable." Users should not automatically assume that their Xbox game is unusable. As frustrating as it may seem, there are a number of ways you can attempt to fix your disc before assuming you're out of luck.

Check the disc for any visible scratches, dirt or other obstructions. These can be cleared or rubbed out by using a soft, damp towel to gently massage the disc.

Put the game back into the console to test it by trying to start it.

If the disc does not work, put in another disc. If the second disc works, follow the directions under the "Disc Solutions" section in this guide. If it doesn't work, try the steps under "Second Disc Doesn't Work."

The first thing you can try is to clear the system cache. To do this, go to your console desktop and select "My Xbox." Under this folder, select "System Settings" and then "Memory." Under this folder, you will see all the hard drives in your system. Select your main hard drive and press the "Y" button on your controller. On this new screen you will see a number of options. Select "Clear System Clear." Run your game when this process completes. If it still doesn't work, move on to "Step 2" in this section.

Is your disc really the problem? Turn off your console and remove the hard drive and any attached memory units such as USB drives.

Restart your console without these peripherals and try to start your game. If your disc still doesn't work, you likely have a serious issue with your console rather than your disc and will have to replace the console or request a repair from Microsoft.

If your disc is the problem and you just purchased it from a store, return the disc for a replacement. As long as you have the receipt and have not visibly damaged the disc, the transaction should be free of charge. If this doesn't work or is not the case, move on to Step 2.

Look online or in your phonebook for a local professional service that restores discs. Prices will vary from store to store. If you prefer to restore the disc on your own, purchase a repair kit such as "Disc Repair Kit" or "Aleratec DVD/CD Disc Repair Plus."

If you do not want to have your disc fixed or the company or kit fails to fix it, check on Microsoft's website to see if your game qualifies for its disc replacement program. The list is small, but includes a number of popular games such as "Halo 3" and "Gears of War 2." Replacement discs cost £13 in the United States. You will only qualify for this program if you live in a region where the Xbox 360 console is sold at authorised retailers.

If none of the steps in this section work, you will have to completely replace the disc by purchasing a new one.


Don't jump to conclusions. Be completely sure your disc is the problem before you request a repair or replacement for your console.

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About the Author

Charles Alex Miller began writing professionally in 2010. He currently writes for various websites, specializing in the sciences. He is a full-time employee in the chemicals and environmental sciences industry.