QUOTE(TheGMan91 @ May 26 2012, 03:30 PM)
I've replaced many Phat dvd drives, repaired many xbox's in my time lol. My drive is really loud when loading games, sometimes it won't load at all. Its not your typical "grinding" noise but more of a loud screeching. I haven't got around to actually taking it apart, most I've done is just blown out the dvd drive with canned air. I know the S drives are much more expensive, but I rather have a backup just in case I cant fix mine. I have had good luck with the POT but also some terrible experiences.
That sure sounds like an easy fix. Just open that bad boy up and make sure all the moving parts are intact. I would not expect you to need to adjust the POT in a slim because it hasn't been out long enough for the laser to wear that much. Although I can't be sure without actually seeing it, id say that dust got in there and the laser is riding on dusty rails, and/or the worm gear that moves the laser is clogged with dust. The sound you are referring to is a sound I've had with phat drives when the laser is riding on unlubricated rails. So I think a simple cleaning of everything, and relubrication will fix your problem. And you're right, backup drives are nice, but I really don't anticipate you ever needing one, at least not until the new Xbox comes out in a year or two.
Also look for dust in places you wouldn't expect because blowing the air in it without it being opened would have loosened dust, but also made it gather in random spots around the drive. Just depends how much is in there.