There are few electrical devices which can rival the portable DVD player. Sure, a smartphone or a tablet or a laptop will grant you access to Netflix and Hulu and other video-on-demand streaming services, but none of them offer that thrill, that feeling of nostalgia, that comes from placing a disc inside a DVD player and reclining in anticipation as you wait for it to load.
Yes, a high-quality portable DVD player will give you the perfect combination of convenience and romance, and will bring you nothing but delight.
That is, of course, as long as it is working correctly.
Portable DVD players, like any electrical device, are not invincible and can malfunction. Thankfully, issues are rare if you can get your hands on a portable DVD player from a recognized brand, but they can still happen.
A common issue with portable DVD players – and DVD players in general – is the disc not spinning once it has been inserted. This, of course, means the player cannot read the disc and the movie or television series which you were looking forward to cannot be watched.
Many people who encounter this problem end up throwing their portable DVD player in the trash as they believe it will be too much hassle to fix.
However, there are a number of small measures you can take which may remedy a disc refusing to spin in your portable DVD player. I want to talk you through them now.
Restart The Device
Ah, the old “turn it off and turn it on again” trick. I know this piece of advice seems kind of worn out after almost three decades of electrical devices not working, but it can actually be pretty effective.
If your disc is not spinning in your portable DVD player, take it out and shut down the device. Now, when I say “shut down the device”, I don’t mean just turn the switch from “on” to “off”.
You need to disconnect it from any source of power altogether. If your portable DVD player is charging, unplug the charger and remove the unit’s battery if possible. Wait ten to fifteen minutes before putting the device back together and restarting it.
In my experience, restarting your device in this manner solves the vast majority of portable DVD player issues, so the chances are it will get your disc good and spinning in no time at all.
Inspect The Lid
If completely removing your portable DVD player from any potential source of power before turning it back on did not solve the mystery of the non-spinning disc, there is a good possibility that the problem is stemming not from any interior components of the player, but from the lid of the device.
If you suspect this is the case, take a moment to inspect the lid of your portable DVD player, paying careful attention to the latch which holds it in place when it is shut. If the latch is not working properly, the player will mistakenly believe the lid is still open, which means it doesn’t read the disc (which it thinks is yet to be inserted).
A malfunctioning latch isn’t always easy to identify. Sometimes the lid will come to rest about a quarter of the way above the disc, which indicates an obvious problem with the latch.
Sometimes, however, the latch will be strong enough to hold the lid in place without actually bringing it down far enough for the device to register that it has been shut.
If the latch of your portable DVD player isn’t working as it should, it is most likely due to a collection of dirt within the device. Any fluff or crumbs which may be jammed in the latch can be easily removed with a straightened paper clip or a Q-tip (though you should exercise extreme care when placing either inside your portable DVD player).
Inspect The Lens
As long as we are on the subject of using Q-tips to solve the problem of a disc not spinning, let’s take a moment to discuss the possibility of the problem arising out of a clouded lens.
Portable DVD players, like their stationary counterparts, use a laser lens to read any discs which may be placed inside them. With some portable DVD players, this lens can become smudged after a couple of months in use, which means it doesn’t read discs as effectively, if it reads them at all.
In order to clear the laser lens of your portable DVD player, you should gently wipe it down with a Q-tip. “Gently” is the most important part of that sentence as the laser lens is one of the most delicate components of any portable DVD player and will be unable to hold up under too much pressure.
Some portable DVD player enthusiasts suggest moistening the cotton wool of the chosen Q-tip ever so slightly to further soften it and minimize the risk of any damage coming to the lens.
Consult With The Manufacturer
I know there are a lot of portable DVD player advice forums which may urge you to take your device apart should you not solve the problem of the non-spinning disc using any of the aforementioned methods, but I’m not going to do that.
I know the vast majority of our readers are not technical wizards (that’s why you’re here), so it would be irresponsible of me to tell you to unscrew your portable DVD player from underneath and start digging around inside it.
If your portable DVD player still isn’t reading discs once you have inspected the latch and wiped down the laser lens and, of course, turned it off and turned it back on again, you should consult with the manufacturer in order to establish the problem.
If you purchased your player from a recognized brand, you can be sure that a dedicated expert will be assigned to your case and you can expect a solution within just a couple of days, if not immediately.