PS2 TEST Debugging Station I screwed up my laser replacement! Help?

I have a DTL-30001 PS2 TEST Debugging station that started to show signs of a bad laser: FOREVER detecting games (but would load eventually), not playing burned discs, not improving with cleaning. I’ve had it for about 10 years and I vaguely remember it playing burned discs, or at least it’s supposed to.

I ordered a laser from AliExpress and replaced it. I had watched a video several weeks prior, but not during. When I finished, the unit would power up and boot but would not spin at all, or spin up any games.

I took apart everything and re-seated all ribbon cables. Nothing. I put in the old laser. Nothing. I think I messed up the height adjustment torx during this process and that is my best guess why the lasers are not working. I didn’t touch the potentiometers. If I open it and run a disc with the PS2 drive open, the laser will track on its bars and come immediately to rest as close to the spindle as it can. It’s as though the spindle motor is dead, but I assume it’s because the laser is not detecting media that it’s not spinning.

I don’t have any photos because I just put the unit back together to avoid any part loss or further damage, but if you have never seen the innards of a TEST station, they are a little different:

-No fancy shiny Emotion Engine or RAM chips on the main board. All the chips are regular looking and boring…..
-They don’t have that monster heat sink greeting you as soon as you open the case.
-They don’t use a ribbon cable to connect the power/eject buttons, but a round bundle of very fine wires that behave nicely and never try to rip or pull. I REALLY like this.
-Instead of one wide flat ribbon cable from the optical drive to the main board, it actually has two, one a little wider than the other, and you install them into their two little homes on the board, one covering the other. I assume this means the data is sent out separately for CD and DVD data, not sure why. Obviously the main board is a little different to support the two ribbon cables coming off the optical drive rather than one.

ALL This means right now is that I can’t just pull an optical drive out of any other garden variety fat PS2 and call it a day (which was my plan), unless I can get the board that controls the ribbon cables off the bottom of the optical drive assembly and swap it and I don’t think I can.

Advice?

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