I bought two Xbox consoles from a thrift store to fix and sell. They seemed to work fine until I noticed something was wrong. When the DVD Tray was empty it would open and close without any problems but when I placed a DVD inside it wouldn't open very often, maybe one out of five tries would be successful. Don't worry this is one of the easy Xbox fixes. Here's how you do it:
Step #1 Get The DVD Tray Open
If your Xbox is like mine you can try opening it a few times until it finally works. At this point don't hit the the power button on the Xbox this may cause the tray to close instead simply unplug the Power Cord with the tray still open. (Don't worry your Xbox will be fine). Now let's say your tray never opens not even sporadically, no problem you can still open it with the manual release. Get a paper clip and look for a small button within Xbox logo on the front of the tray press it with the paper clip and pull out the tray.
Step #2 Opening Up Your Xbox
Turn your Xbox over and unscrew the screws holding it together four screws are underneath the rubber pads so gently peel them a little bit off so you can get to the screws. I wouldn't peel them all the way off they may not stick back on. They also have some screws under the stickers so unscrew those too. You will need a Torx head screw driver you can get a set from most tool shops. Now turn the Xbox right side up and pull the top off it may take some wiggling and wrangling because it is on there pretty tight.
Step #3 Taking Out The DVD Player
Next unscrew the middle plastic divider that holds the Hard Drive. We aren't going to do anything with it but you can't get to the DVD with it there. You could disconnect the Hard Drive and get it out of the way but I just kind of leave it connected but hang it outside the Xbox case. This makes it easier to put back together later. Now that that's out of the way look for two screws connecting the plastic DVD holder to the Xbox casing, unscrew them. Take out the whole thing.
Step #4 Opening the DVD Drive
Pull the DVD Drive out of it's plastic holder and turn it upside down unscrew all the screws. Holding it together turn it upside up again (we don't want to lose any parts). Now take the top off look for a small rubber belt this is more than likely the culprit. As the DVD Drive gets older the rubbber belt gets looser and more dirty so it doesn't work so good anymore.
Step #5 Take Out The Belt
Depending on what DVD drive your Xbox uses this could be very easy or could require some skill. If you a can get to it with your finger try to pull it out gently. We don't want break any gears inside. If you can't get to it with your fingers try some tweezers to pull it out.
Step #6 Cleaning and Tightening The Belt
These rubber belts get loose and dirty over time. To fix it try the following. Get out a coffee cup and fill it with water put it in the microwave for one to two minutes. Take it out of the microwave and put the rubber belt in the water this will clean the belt and seems to also make it shrink back a little. Let the water cool a bit and dry off the belt and place it back in the DVD drive. Now screw the DVD drive back together and put the Xbox back together again and test it.
If it still doesn't work you may have to buy a new rubber belt take the broken one to an electronics store and ask them to find you a match. Replace it and try again.