Heat up your iron because your new laser should have came with a stactic point. In the picture below you will see three distinct solder pads, when your laser arrives these will all be bridged with a glob of solder. (I just cleaned the tip of my iron dipped it in flux and the extra solder transfered to the tip of my iron, based on your experience and the quality of your soldering equipment you may need to use desoldering braid to remove the point bridging these pads,.....use your best judgment to remove this static point.)
Now with the control board lifted lift the laser assembly up about a 1/2 inch and pull it to the right side while flipping it to face up. (be careful as wires are soldered to it and the control board you will be lifting to get it out, if you prefer you may desolder the wires but there is enough slack in them to replace the laser without doing it.)
From the picture in step 7 remove the screw pointed to in yellow and pull this piece straight off, now remove the two screws in this picture and the rail can be removed and the new laser slid onto it. now follow all steps in reverse to reassemble and your all set!!!!!
My xbox 360 was not reading disks and I did a bit of research and found your posting here. Instead of buying a replacement drive for $100 (which was out of stock in most places), I thought I'd take a crack at replacing the laser.
I bought two from ebay for $10 a piece ('cause you know it is going to happen again). Followed your visual instructions and in about an hour I have my 360 up and running again.
The only tricky thing was reattaching the cable into the laser, but besides that it went really smooth.
I appreciate the time you spent creating this tutorial. It was extremely helpful.
In the spirit of helping out, I've posted a few photos of my own that I took that fill in gaps in your tutorial: [Register or Login to view links]