Search Interactive Dreams

Three common problems with CD-i players

>> Monday, May 4, 2009

CD-i member Bernard has some experience with CD-i players. There are 3 common problems with CD-i players:

1. The loading belt of the CD mechanism
-the loading belt of the CDI drive is made of rubber, and that decays overtime. This causes the loading tray to not close fully. You need to push the tray inside in order for the disc to be loaded. The solution is buying a new rubber belt. This costs someting like 1 euro at a shop that sells elektronic parts, or you pay $10,- on eBay with instructions (could be helpful, I don't know, I didn't buy it) . Also a very common "problem" is that the CD tray makes squeaking noises when opening or closing. This is mostly caused when the grease under the front wheels of the loading system is becoming old. Removing the wheel and adding some grease solves the problem. Here is a video of me fixing a CDI-210 player:

2. Timekeeper battery
-Timekeeper battery becomes depleted (this affects most CDI players except for the Sony player, the Philips CDI-370, portable Goldstar and LG GDI 700 players). You can check this if the Time setting is remembered after powering down the player. Also check if the save game files aren't corrupted (weird characters in the descriptions, etc.). When the battery isn't totally depleted, and save data becomes corrupted a lot of strange things can happen: crashing games, sound not working etc. etc. After a few weeks the battery is totally dead, and you can use the player "normally" again, but without any save game functionality. The only way to fix the problem is to hack a new battery to the chip: Click here for a guide.
Replacing the Timekeeper module is not a good option for most people, because it requires more technical skills and tools.

3. Laser reading mechanism
-defective laser reading mechanism. this MOSTLY occurs on the CDI-220/60 , cdi-210/40 and FW380i players. These have a CDM 12.4 laser mechanism and that is known to have problems (reading errors, that cause ticks during AudioCD playback and crashes with movies and games) . The CDM 12.1 mechanism used in CDI-470, CDI-450 (and other models), also regularly have reading problems (but much, much less often than 12.4 mechanisms). The earliest CDI players with CDM-9 mechanisms appear to have the most reliable laser reading. (but because of their age, they have the timekeeper problem much more often). The easiest way to solve the problem is to replace the laser mechanism. A CDM9 replacement can be hard to find (hasn't been produced in some time). The replacement for the CDM 12.1 is the easiest to find. The later VAM1201 and VAM1202 drives should be backwards compatible, and should work just fine (Some of the last professional players by Philips also use these drives). Can be bought on eBay for something between 15 and 30 euro.

Thanks to: XCLTempest/Bernard

32 reacties:

Anonymous,  January 9, 2014 at 1:44 PM  

Does anybody know what kind of laser is Philips CDi-660/00 use? Mine does not read at all, when i put a disc inside nothing happens so i guess i need to change it but cant find any info about what kind of Laser replace it with? Thanks for your help!

Lauri Kreen September 29, 2015 at 8:38 AM  

CDI660/00 is using VAM1201P laser unit inside the L121/43P frame. NB! CDI660 uses the MonoBoard from CDI740 so all test and repair instructions are mosty the same (CDI470 Service Manual is freely downloadable).

Miller SI September 30, 2015 at 1:36 AM  

Go on eBay n type Philips cd laser for replacement it's the same thing just find the one that is perfect to yours also type timekeeper battery for that replacement part

Miller SI September 30, 2015 at 1:38 AM  

Go on eBay nmand type Philips cd laser it's the same part just look for correct one like yours also type timekeeper battery and you'll see am the correct one

Lauri Kreen October 15, 2015 at 8:23 PM  


I repaired my CD-I 660 ...

I analysed the problem, then bought new Laser Head unit - VAM1202 (Japan, latest).
replaced it and it started to work: play music (CDDA), video on CD-I, slideshows, games, Photo-CDs, Songs with lyrics, VCDs etc.
But two disks: 2 Unlimited - Beyond Limits 819-1021 1994 and XPLORA 1 Peter Gabriel's Secret World 819-1029 1995 are not
playing fully (some audio and/or video only) and giving all time the message: "the disc may be dirty"

What can be wrong? (the discs are clean / just washed and polished). In BD/DVD player they are perfectly plying audio.
Still some problem with my CDI 660?


Lauri Kreen

Miller SI November 12, 2015 at 8:56 AM  

I have a 910 that won't show the startup screen I just get a blue screen what could be the problem

Bas November 12, 2015 at 10:02 AM  

The reason can be different things! Try to open the player and look at the PCB's, is there something broken/burnt/connection broken? Try to undo the dust, replace the battery and check all the cables (be sure no pin is broken/disconnected)

(When you only get a blue screen, I don't think the timekeeper is the problem)

Good luck!

Miller SI November 18, 2015 at 2:27 AM  

Noting looks burnt I clean all dust out the tray n lens giving me a problem now only problem I see is the white block next to power heats up fast no blown or broken compasitor I hooked up to AV com point and coaxial n it shows up on tv but just the light blue screen before start up stays on and play action also stays on display

Lauri Kreen November 18, 2015 at 9:51 AM  

You probably need some repair expert to help you. In Power Supply some filter or capacitor can be faulty. Nothing shall be very hot there (at least during first 15...30 minutes after switch on). Blue screen can be when some components in video processing or near video sockets are faulty (if you got just Blue signal out from this unit (and no Green and Red) then the screen is mostly blue i.e no contrast (black and white) also (check please with different video cables and sockets if possible). Battery is hidden inside the timekeeper chip at the main board. You can't test nor diagnose it until you will solve the blue screen thing.

Miller SI November 29, 2015 at 11:43 PM  

I hooked it up though AV component and straight coaxial same story each way

C Cherno February 4, 2016 at 5:16 PM  

I recently purchased a Philips CDI 220-77. Seems as if the belt and laser are both dead. I ordered the belt and seems to be an easy fix. I did order a laser off of ebay by searching Philips CDI 220 77, one came up with assembly and all, I just hope it is the right one :/ Anyone have any info on which one is required?

Lauri Kreen February 4, 2016 at 7:03 PM  

I bought such one for my CDI-660 (one of the latest before DVD era):
CD-HEAD CDM-12.1 VAM1201 - it was just the inner part with motors and head. For motors and head you need to solder from the old one 6 wires exactly like they are at old unit. Don't disconnect laser-head cable common shield/earthing before its final connecting to your player - ESD sensitive!

me March 2, 2016 at 6:32 PM  

Hi I have a cd-I 210 player that play audio but not games any idea what I it could be I know the time keeper battery is dead so will be replacing that soon just wondering if that alone could cause game to not work ?

Bas March 2, 2016 at 7:16 PM  

If the timekeeper is dead, it can cause save files getting corrupt. I've heard many strange stories. If it does play audio, the spinning mechanism still works (one of the main problems of CD-i players getting broken).

As far as I know, when the battery if completely dead, your player still works but doesn't save anything anymore.

me March 3, 2016 at 9:42 PM  

Going to give it a try with a number off different games etc I know it not saved anything for a wile now last time i tryed a game it did not load so tryed an audio cd and that worked . One other question is how to reset the CD-I 220 player from shop demo mode some how I have got in to demo mode again did it many year ago and contacted Philips and made note but lost the note 15 year back any one come across it ?

Anonymous,  March 27, 2016 at 8:07 AM  

i got a Sony portable Cd-i viewer model No IVO-V11 i got it like 15 or more years ago been siting up in a box anyway it work when i put it away now it just has a white screen when i turn it on and no screen when i hook it up to a tv what could be wrong with it?

Anonymous,  April 7, 2016 at 10:28 PM  

I just bought a Philips CDI 210 recently and was really excited, as one of the games I own for it is THE APPRENTICE

Unfortunately, the console arrived heavily damaged, and totally filthy with dust
Even the disc tray door wouldn't stay on : (

I managed to get the options screen on, but the screen is gray and flickers/jitters constantly
Not surprised, seeing how damaged it was
I guess I can forget about ever owning one of these things

Anonymous,  February 27, 2017 at 11:04 AM  

If the lens swings into position but the disc won't spin then it's likely that the spindle motor is at fault. I removed mine and tested it with batteries, which was inconclusive as it did spin but I didn't have the means to analyse it under load (I think you need an oscilloscope to do this properly). I ordered a new one anyway, part number D/V 5.9 RF-300C-11440 - cost me £1.95 on eBay. I also tested the motherboard output using a multimeter attached to the spindle motor port, and verified that it was outputting about 2.92V at boot up, which seemed OK.
My motor arrived, but the spindle was about 6mm too long, which stops the drive tray from sliding in. So, I had to cut it to size (carefully!) with a dremel and then smooth the edges of the cut. Once I did this, I put everything back together and it worked!
(the connector was also wrong, so I had to swap it with the old one - I did this by snipping the wires and reattaching, I don't have the crimping tools to do a good job on the connector itself).

Total time for this repair would be about twenty minutes for somebody competent - it took me more like an hour and a half...

By the way, Google suggests that removing the bottom spindle platter is best done with a pair of screwdrivers, but I'd recommend easing it off with a pair of guitar plectrums instead. This won't cause any damage to the plastic, whereas screwdrivers will.

Hope this can help someone anyway, good luck!

Anonymous,  March 29, 2017 at 10:05 AM  

If it doesn't effect the 370 portable what could the problem be with the save data being arased when it's powered off? The battery pack at the back of the console is dead I can't use it unless the power cable is plugged in could that be the reason for the 370?

Guru Larry May 11, 2017 at 5:25 PM  

Hi would you happen to know what laser the CDi 350 used at all? Just bought one but the laser is dead on it sadly.



YahelVelazquez May 19, 2017 at 4:08 AM  

I have a 200 model and since I recently got a wired controller, I sent my wireless thumbstick controller to a friend to use with his 220 cdi. Unfortunately it isn't getting picked up by his cdi. Is the wireless thumb stick from a 200 compatible with 220? Our worry is that the issue is with his cdi itself. He doesn't have any other controller for it but it plays discs, goes through game, demos etc. Could it be the IR reader on his console?

marcus9199 June 29, 2017 at 4:18 AM  

Does anyone know what Laser replacement I should get for the Magnavox CDi 550? TIA for the help.

Lauri Kreen June 30, 2017 at 7:40 PM  

Open it and study the type. In most cases CD laser heads 1990...2000 from Philips and similar shall do the job.

Lex,  August 2, 2017 at 6:34 PM  

The LCD screen of my 370 isn't working anymore :(

Anonymous,  October 18, 2017 at 4:36 PM  

What kind of laser use Philips CDi-210/20 ?

Anonymous,  December 7, 2017 at 7:21 PM  

I have a Philips 450/17 model, that has MAGNAVOX on the top
I am having a minor issue with it, and I have asked all over with not much results
When playing LITIL DIVIL or THE APPRENTICE, the music will randomly get stuck in a repeating
On the Apprentice, if I turn sound effects off, this won't happen, but there will still
be random slight skipping sounds at times
the games themselves don't freeze up or crash, it just seems to be a minor audio issue
I am not certain if it is the timekeeper battery or the laser

Robby Wittert May 27, 2018 at 3:45 AM  

I have a 220 one and it was working fine until now. Its making a clicking noise and the little LCD Screen wont come on. Could the battery be dead or is it something else?

Robby Wittert May 27, 2018 at 3:47 AM  

Mine was working fine until it started to do a clicking noise. But its not from the Drive. Its from where the little LCD screen is. Don't whats wrong.

vext01 April 7, 2019 at 8:09 PM  


Not sure if anyone can help me here.

I've recently picked up a CDi 220, which skips. It has a CDM12.4 laser pickup, which you note above has a defect that may cause this. I've removed the laser mechanism, and now I'm wondering what I should replace it with.

Presumably another CDM12.4 will have the same problem?

I've read that a VAM1204 would work. Would that be better than a CDM12.4?

It's not clear if the VAM1201 or VAM1202 would work as a replacement to the CDM12.4. Any ideas?


Hidden_Hetero June 11, 2019 at 5:17 PM  

I recently got a philips cdi 220 but everytime I turn it on the disc motor only turns. Im not getting any signal on my tv and I tried cable and av cords, the digital display on the 220 will not light up, and the buttons on the console will not work (besides the power button). The only thing that works is the disc motor thats turing and I have to replace the belt on the disc tray that helps open the disc tray, I doubt thats causing this.

Somebody please help.

Hidden_Hetero June 11, 2019 at 7:08 PM  

I bought a cdi 220 but the system dosnt seem to be booting. The only thing that works is the cd motor spining and the power button. Other than that im getting no signal on my tv (I tried av and cable), the digital display on the system is not working, and the buttons (besides pwr button) on the console dosnt seem to be doing anything. The cd tray belt needs to be replaced, but I doubt thats the cause of the problems im having.

Can anyone help?

Post a Comment

Games 0-F

3rd Degree - PF Magic
7th Guest, The - Philips Freeland Studios
Accelerator - SPC/Vision
Adventure of the Space Ship Beagle, The - Denshi Media Services
Affaire Morlov, L' - Titus
Alfapet - Adatek
Alice in Wonderland - Spinnaker
Alien Gate - SPC Vision
Alien Odyssee - Argonaut
Aliens Interactive CD-i - Dark Vision Interactive
Ange et le Demon, L' - Smart Move
Apprentice, The - SPC Vision
Apprentice 2, The - Marvin's Revenge - SPC Vision
Arcade Classics - Philips ADS / Namco
Asterix - Caesar’s Challenge - Infogrames
Atlantis - The Last Resort - PRL Redhill (Philips ADS)
Axis and Allies - CapDisc
Backgammon - CapDisc
Battle Chess - Accent Media (for Interplay)
Battleship - CapDisc
Big Bang Show - Infogrames
BMP Puzzle - Circle (for ZYX)
Brain Dead 13 - Readysoft
Burn:Cycle - Trip Media
Caesar's World of Boxing - Philips POV
Caesar's World of Gambling - CD-I Systems
Cartoon Academy - Bits Corporation
CD-i mit der Maus - SPC Vision
CD Shoot - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Change Angels Kick-off - HMO
Chaos Control - Infogrames
Christmas Country - Creative Media
Christmas Country - The Lost Levels - Creative Media
Christmas Crisis - DIMA
Clue - 3T Productions
Clue 2 - The mysteries continue - 3T Productions
Connect Four - CapDisc
Creature Shock - Argonaut (for Virgin)
Crime Patrol - CapDisc
Crow, The - Philips POV
Cyber Soldier Sharaku - Japan Interactive media
Dame was Loaded, The - Beam Software
Dark Castle - Philips POV
Dead End - Cryo
Defender of the Crown - Philips POV
Deja Vu - Icom Simulations
Deja Vu 2: Lost in Las Vegas - Icom Simulations
Demolition Man - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Demon Driver - Haiku Studios
Discworld - Teeny Weeny Games
Dimo's Quest - SPC Vision
Domino - Wigant Interactive Media
Down in the Dumps - Haiku Studios
Dragon's Lair - Superclub / INTL CDI
Dragon's Lair 2- Time Warp - Superclub / INTL CDI
Drug wars - Crime Patrol II - CapDisc
Dungeons & Dragons - PF Magic
Earth Command - Visionary Media
Effacer - CapDisc
Escape from Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Evidence - Microids
Falco & Donjon & The Sword of Inoxybur - BMi / Zephyr Studio
Family Games I - DIMA
Family Games II - Junk Food Jive - DIMA
Felix the Cat - Philips Sidewalk Studio
Flashback - Delphine/Tiertex (for US Gold)
Flinstones Wacky Inventions - Philips Funhouse
Fort Boyard: The Challenge - Microids
Frog Feast - Rastersoft

CD-i Games Index G-M

Go - CapDisc
Golden Oldies - SPC Vision
Golden Oldies II - SPC Vision
Golgo 13 - Japan Interactive Media
Great day at the races, A - CD-I Racing, Dove Films, Total Vision
Guignols de l'Info, Les - Canal+ Multimedia / INTL CDI
Heart of Darkness - Amazing Studio (for Virgin)
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The - Philips Kaleidoscope
Holland Casino CD-i - HMO
Hotel Mario - Philips Fantasy Factory
Inca - Coktel Vision
Inca 2 - Coktel Vision
International Tennis Open - Infogrames
Jack Sprite vs. The Crimson Ghost - PF Magic
Jeopardy - Accent Media
Jigsaw - Novalogic
Joe Guard - DIMA
John Dark: Psychic Eye - CapDisc
Joker's Wild!, The - Accent Media
Joker's Wild Jr., The - Accent Media
Kether - Infogrames
Kingdom - The far reaches - CapDisc
Kingdom 2 - Shadoan - CapDisc
Labyrinth of Crete - Philips Funhouse
Laser Lords - Spinnaker
Last Bounty Hunter, The - CapDisc
Legend of the Fort - Microids
Lemmings - DMA Design / Psygnosis
Lettergreep - Wigant Interactive Media
Lingo - SPC Vision
Link - The faces of evil - Animation Magic
Lion King, The - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Litil Divil - Gremlin Graphics
Litil Divil 2: Limbo Years - Gremlin Graphics
Lords of the rising sun - Philips POV
Lost Eden - Cryo (for Virgin)
Lost Ride, The - Formula (Lost Boys)
Lucky Luke - The video game - SPC Vision
Mad Dog McCree - CapDisc
Mad Dog McCree II: The lost gold - CapDisc
Magic Eraser - Circle (for ZYX)
Mah-Jong - Japan Interactive Media
Making the Grade - 3T Productions
Man Before Man - Cryo
Marco Polo - Infogrames
Mario Takes America - CIGAM
Master Labyrinth - AVM AG/HQ
Mega Maze - CapDisc
Memory Works, The - Compact Disc Incorporated
Merlin's Apprentice - Philips Funhouse
Microcosm - Philips Freeland Studios
Micro Machines - Codemasters
Monty Python's Invasion from the Planet Skyron - Daedalus CD-i Productions
Mutant Rampage - Body Slam - Animation Magic
Myst - Sunsoft (for Cyan)
Mystic Midway - Rest in pieces - Philips POV
Mystic Midway 2 - Phantom Express - Philips POV

Compact Disc Interactive

Compact Disc Interactive

Games N-Z

Name that tune - Philips Fantasy Factory
New Day - Bits Corporation
NFL Hall of Fame Football - Philips POV
Othello - HMO
Pac Panic - Philips ADS / Namco
Palm Springs Open - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Pool - SPC Vision
Pinball - CapDisc
Plunderball - ISG Productions
Power Hitter - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Power Match - Two's Company
Pursue - BEPL
Pyramid Adventures - Compact Disc Incorporated
RAMRaid - PRL Redhill
Return To Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Riddle of the Maze, The - Fathom Pictures
Riqa - Bits Corporation
Rise of the Robots - Mirage Technologies
Sargon Chess - Spinnaker
Scotland Yard Interactive - AVM AG/HQ
Secret Mission - Microids
Secret Name of Ra, The
Shaolin's Road - Infogrames
Skate Dude - Viridis
Smurfen, De - De Telesmurf - Infogrames
Solar Crusade - Infogrames
Solitaire - BEPL
Space Ace - Superclub / INTL CDI
Space Ranger - Studio Interactive
Special Operations Squadron - SPC Vision
Sport Freaks - SPC Vision
Star Trek - Philips POV
Star Wars: Rebel Assault - LucasArts
Steel Machine - SPC Vision
Striker Pro - Rage
Strip Poker Live - Greenpig Production
Strip Poker Pro - Interactive Pictures
Super Fighter - The Super Fighter Team / C&E
Super Mario's Wacky Worlds - NovaLogic
Surf City - Philips Sidewalk Studios
Tangram - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Taco's Toyroom Troopers - Creative Media
Tankdoodle - Creative Media
Tetris - Philips POV
Tetsuo Gaiden - Creative Media
Text Tiles
Thieves' World - Electronic Arts
Tic-tac-toe - BEPL
Tox Runner - ISG Productions
Treasures of Oz - Philips Kaleidoscope
Ultra CD-i Soccer - Krisalis
Uncover featuring Tatjana - SPC Vision
Uninvited - Icom Simulations
Video Speedway - ISG Productions
Vinnie the Pinguin - Pandemonium Labs
Voyeur - Philips POV
Voyeur 2 - Philips POV
Whack-a-Bubble - Creative Media
What's it worth - Marshall Cavendish Multimedia / Spice
Who shot Johnny Rock? - CapDisc
Wordplay - BEPL
World Cup Golf - US Gold
Zaak Sam, De - Toneelschool NL
Zelda - The wand of Gamelon - Animation Magic
Zelda's Adventure - Viridis
Zenith - Radarsoft
Zombie Dinos From The Planet Zeltoid - Philips POV

  © Interactive Dreams Version 5 by The Black Moon Project 2013

Back to TOP