I'm reminded of a similar problem with my old PS2. It ended up not playing CD based games, although it could play DVD games just fine. IIRC a laser recalibration would have just performed the necessary maintenance, but I just bought a slim and donated the old one to an acquaintance who wanted to teach himself how to do it and didn't have much money for a new system anyways.
I usually use a ball-peen hammer for my disk compression needs. - sir briax