How to Repair a "No Disc" Problem

By James Clark

The dreaded "no disc" error message on a DVD or CD player is commonly caused by a dirty laser lens unable to read the disc. When dust and other contaminants accumulate on the lens inside the component, the player is unable to read the digital information on a spinning DVD or CD. Because the computer chip in the component cannot sense the disc, the "no disc" message displays on the front panel. In rare instances, the machine may be unable to read some disc formats, although using a DVD or CD cleaner will often solve most problems.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Microfiber cloth
  • DVD or CD cleaning disc

Step 1

Isolate the problem by inserting different discs in the player. If one disc will not play but another spins normally, cleaning the disc itself may fix the problem. Clean the disc by adding a few drops of rubbing alcohol to a microfiber cloth and buffing the shiny surface of the disc to remove dirt, smudges and fingerprints.

Step 2

Open the DVD or CD media tray and insert the cleaning disc, then close the tray.

Step 3

Press the "Play" button on the component's remote control and run the cleaning disc for the specified time, usually about 30 seconds. Insert a CD or DVD in the player to check if the problem is fixed.

Step 4

Review the owner's manual for the particular model of DVD or CD player to see which types of media discs are compatible with the equipment, then check the problem disc to see if it is an incompatible format. Recordable DVDs may not play on all DVD players.

Tips & Warnings

  • Let the disc dry completely after buffing with alcohol on a microfiber cloth.