Hello, I’m Nathan, and I’ll be assisting you today. My livelihood depends on your positive feedback, so your satisfaction is my highest priority.
Sorry to hear you’re having trouble, Harvey.
This type of problem is often caused by a contaminated laser lens. You've already done the first cleaning step that I'd suggest. Next you can try a specialty cleaning disc (Allsop 23321 Ultra Pro Carbon-Edge DVD and CD-Drive Cleaner) which has little brushes that clean the lens more thoroughly. You can also swab the lens gently with a qtip that is lightly moistened with rubbing alcohol.
If neither of these cleaning steps help, then this is more likely a hardware fault, which could include a bad laser emitter or pickup, faulty spindle motor or laser transport, bad d/a converter, etc. Any of these issues would require repair/replacement. That type of fault is common to see with normal age related wear and tear, as this is a 15+ year old model.
There is a repair service available to do a flat rate repair on this model for $300, and as an alternative you could instead consider hooking up an external cd player to it.
Let me know the results, and I'll advise further, if needed.
If the manual cleaning didn't work, the brush/disc is not likely to make any difference either. This points to either a problem with the transport (the lens isn't able to move out past that position) or a board problem.
I wouldn't even bother with the disc at this point, though it won't hurt.
I would suggest you start looking into repairs via MyBoseRepair (http://www.myboserepair.com/ship_to_us.htm) which will be the quickest and cheapest option, as bose factory service will no longer support these.
I'm sorry, Harvey, but the system does not work quite like that.
In cases such as this I'm limited to diagnosing and explaining the problem and giving you practical advise for how to proceed, ie: how to hook up an external player, or referring you to a repair service that costs 1/4 what a replacement system would cost.
I am an independent technician and I've spent my personal time, unpaid, in an effort to assist with the question for which you solicited my services. This site works on the honor system, and to that end, I have prioritized working with you ahead of other paying customers.
Although you’ve already paid your fee to the site, I am only compensated for my efforts when customers such as yourself leave positive feedback for my work. Again I apologize there is not a better outcome here, though this is really beyond either of our control. I do hope you’ll consider leaving a 5 star rating for me, rather than “shoot the messenger”, so that I may get credit for my time spent in good faith to answer your question accurately. Rating 1 or 2, or not rating at all, does not produce a refund, it only penalizes me for trying to help.