Wii Disk Drive Noise

I thought I could blame it on the American Idol Encore game that the wife bought but, the fact that the Wii began emitting a horrendous noise when that game arrived in the house was just a coincidence.  Best described as “sounding like a lawn mower”, the noise from the Wii disc drive got so loud that it sometimes overpowered the sound from the TV no matter what the game was.  The noise is well documented on the Internet (see this Youtube video as an example) and seems to be wide-spread.  

My first action was to double-check on the warranty – which had just expired a couple months earlier – and then see if there might be a hidden repair program.  No such luck.  Nintendo support told me that my only solution was to send it in for the flat rate repair:  $75 plus tax.  Yikes!  Back to the Internet I went for a fix.

Googling came back with a number of fixes and I tried all various schemes of loosening this screw or that one to relieve “pressure” on the disc mechanism to no avail. This was the only solution that made the most sense and has been working flawlessly for the last month.  (Scroll to the bottom for the post from scottnic.)  I did make a slight modification, though.

My solution was slightly modified from scottnic’s.  Whereas scottnic created a dimple on the metal arm that holds the plastic disc, I ended up adding a plastic shim to the underside of the metal arm.  Though I didn’t have a chance to take a photo of my work, the arrow in the picture below shows where I attached the shim.

 (picture taken from Scottnic’s post here)

I found a Scotch Pop-up tape dispenser refill stashed in the junk drawer in the kitchen, since I remembered they had pieces of plastic as the backing.  I cut out a circle about 2/3 the size of the underside of the metal arm (just the round portion where the arrow points above) and found some heavy duty double-faced carpet tape to attach it.  (Super Glue may have worked, too.  I’ve had bad luck with Super Glue in the past – which is a whole other post on its own – and I wasn’t sure if it would hold the plastic to the metal.)

Re-assembled the Wii and it now sounds just as it did when new.  I’m interested to see if Nintendo implements a repair program for this at some point.  The worst part is that the plastic disc that is wearing out can’t cost more than a few pennies to produce.  Maybe the new generation of Wii’s have one made out of sturdier plastic?

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