Xbox 360 says “open tray”, Wont Play Game Problem | Solution
I just bought HALO 1, 2, 3 and ODST because I wanted to play the series from start to finish. I bought HALO 2 and 3 used, and HALO 1 new. When finished HALO 1 and went to play HALO 2 I got a strange error from my xbox 360. The disc would spin up and then just say “open tray”. When I did open the tray the disc would still be spinning and it would slide around on the tray which I’m sure isn’t good for it! The disc didn’t have any big scratches on it so I was confused. After a quick Google, I had found many people were having this problem and a lot of people suggested replacing the DVD drive, which is not something I wanted to wait another 3 weeks for, having just gotten the system back after the red lights of death not even a week ago.
My Solution ended up being pretty simple. You see, xbox and xbox 360 games have a little holographic bar code on the inner ring of the disc. This is like their security system so that you cant just go and copy discs (a normal DVD ripper / burner will not be able to replicate this bar code).
The problem: When I purchased this game at a used game store, they ran it through a cleaning machine, you know, those disc re-surface machines.. Well it applies a coating of god knows what to the disc to try and polish out light scratches. In the process it also left some type of residue or smudge on this bar code area which was preventing the disc from being played. As far as my xbox 360 was concerned, the game was just a pirated disc copy as the security bar code was unreadable.
How to fix it: I used a wet piece of toilet paper (other very soft cloths work too, don’t use anything abrasive like a paper towel!) to thoroughly wipe down the entire disc until I was sure there were no more smudges or residue anywhere on it. After, I rinsed it and then dried it with a very soft terry cloth towel. The surface of the disc was now entirely clean and free of smudges and residue.
Praying that this would solve the problem… I put the disc into my xbox 360 and crossed my fingers. To my excitement, the disc instantly spooled up and the game started to play .
So if just a few of your games aren’t working and you get the “open tray” error, try to clean the xbox / xb0x 360 discs with water and make sure they look flawless. If the drive cannot read from the discs holographic bar code, it will throw the “open tray” error. In this case, a new drive still will not be able to read from the dirty holographic bar code and a new drive will still throw the same error.
If ALL of your games do not work and cause this error, then your drive is probably defective.