How to Fix a GameCube Read Disk Error

By Philip Dozal

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • Cotton swab

  • Rubbing alcohol (70 percent Isopropyl)

A GameCube Read Disk Error usually happens when the laser lens, which reads the game disk, becomes dirty. Once the laser lens accumulates dust, it becomes harder for the system to read and process information on the game disk. Luckily, you don't need to take apart the GameCube to clean the laser lens. However, one of the major design flaws with the GameCube is that the laser lens is extremely fragile, so do not apply any pressure against the lens.

Turn off and unplug all cables from the GameCube. This prevents possible electrical damage when applying the rubbing alcohol.

Press the Open button to open the disk drive. Remove game disk if present.

Dip one end of the cotton swab into the rubbing alcohol and wipe off the excess. If the cotton swab is dripping, then it is too wet.

Gently rub the cotton swab against the laser lens. The laser lens looks like a small round piece of glass near the center of the opened disk drive. Make sure when rubbing the cotton swab against the laser lens to be extremely gentle; even a little pressure can offset the laser lens.

Gently rub the dry end of the cotton swab against the disk to remove any excess dust and rubbing alcohol. Again, be extremely gentle with the laser lens.

Leave the disk door open and wait 5 minutes for the lens to dry.

Plug in all cables and insert a game disk to test. If the Read Disk Error appears after you clean the lens, then the disk drive may be nonfunctional. Return your console to the manufacturer (if under warranty) or purchase another GameCube. Buying a new console costs less than purchasing repair parts.


A Disk Read Error may reappear within a few weeks, which will require you to repeat the steps above.