Ok, let me put this in context so you can understand what the fuck is going on... Ever since I got my PS2 mod-chipped, which was just a few months after buying it (around 2004 or something), Sony probably put a curse on me, because the damn thing never worked properly again (that, or the guy who did the job seriously fucked up). At first it stopped booting the games right away, usually needing 3 or 4 tries, if not a lot more, before finally properly reading the fucking disc. Eventually it lost the capability to play PS1 games (which, at the time, I thought it was just the PS1 processor inside the PS2 that died), and it started to occasionally freeze. Not in the middle of a game, but right on start-up, the fucking piece of shit would freeze on the console's main menu.
Still, the major problem was not reading the games. This started to escalate to the point of me having to spend 5 to 10 minutes for the console from hell to boot a fucking game (can you picture it? craving to play a game and having to sit next to that pile of shit, putting the dvd in and out, hoping that it would finally play the next time you turn it on? for fuck's sake...), which was the reason why, some months ago, I completely forgot about the system, decided to ignore it until I was able to afford a new, functional, console.
The reason why I never attempted to fix it was because I have limited knowledge of electronics, and according to pretty much everyone on the web, my problem was a dying laser, which could only be solved with a new, expensive, one. Yesterday, however, I decided to give it a go. After opening it up (which was more difficult than opening up a Dreamcast or a Saturn, but still way easier then opening an Xbox 360...), I was impressed by the sheer amount of dust accumulated throughout roughly 4 years of intensive use. Even more scary, there were spider-webs on the mainboard and, even worse, a fucking living spider! Gasp! (I'm arachnophobic, you know...)
After dealing with the arachnid from hell, I proceeded to examine the dvd drive, more exactly the laser, which seemed to be the cause of all my troubles. Just cleaning it didn't solve anything, so I thought about calibrating it (it worked with my Dreamcast). The problem was, I had no idea how to do that! In the older models there this big-ass white cog that you just had to turn in order to adjust the laser, but in my PS2 there was no such thing! After countless hours on the web I finally discovered than in my model there was not one, but two little cogs, hidden below a shit-load of plastic, barely visible and hard to reach. Fuck!
(that's the fucking cog that, if present, would've made my job a lot easier...)
Still, my patience was running strong that day, so I then proceeded to initiate a routine where I would do just a minor adjust, try it out, turn it off and repeat ad nauseam, until I find the sweet spot where it loads the games just fine. Was I successful? Well, if not, I wouldn't have the patience to write this post, would I? It still occasionally freezes and it doesn't boot PS1 backups, but it boots PS1 originals, PS2 games in CD and PS2 games in DVD. Fuck yeah! Looks like spending a whole after-noon around the damn thing paid off! :D