Mac mini optical drive failure

This involves inserting a paperclip, then sliding it as the disc is ejected in an attempt to free it. Inserting a thin piece of cardboard into the optical slot as the disc is spinning can force it to stop and may then trigger the drive to eject the disc. The "try anything" school of thought and a few websites suggested that jamming a second disc into the slot and trying the standard eject methods may be enough to make the drive barf out both discs.

A number of people managed to pull the disc out by inserting two credit cards working one on either side of the jammed disc and using them like pincers to yank it out.

Editorial: Apple's officially over the optical drive, for better or worse

This guy even put up a YouTube video showing the technique in action. Didn't work for me. Still no luck, even after several hours and repeated sessions of fighting with this thing. I was about to pack it in, take the iMac apart and physically remove the drive. But stubbornness and an unwillingness to admit defeat called for a little MacGyvering.


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The approach I settled on was to use a thin, metal putty knife with a patch of heavy duty adhesive two-sided tape. I worked the knife into the drive, pressed it against the disc until it adhered, then tried ejecting the disc, simultaneously releasing the pressure on the putty knife and pulling it out. It took multiple attempts and by the end I was not being particularly gentle, but I was finally rewarded by not just the click of the eject mechanism engaging, but the sound of the disc popping out, still firmly attached to the putty knife by a blob of gooey tape.

Was it a damaged disc, or is the drive shot? I have no idea and I don't plan to find out. Fool me onceā€¦ That drive is now sealed shut, which is one less thing to worry about given the machine is going to the kids' playroom anyway. The DVD itself is gummy and scratched as might be expected give the removal efforts , but I did notice it was extremely flexible. It wasn't cracked, but it bent almost like cardboard, even a day later. I suspect the months it spent stuck in the drive heated it up and baked the plastic, but maybe that was the problem in the first place.

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I'll never know unless one of the kids rips the duct tape off the drive slot and jams another in. So, nearly seven years between posts, two optical drive-related iMac issues are resolved. The next one I buy apparently won't have an optical drive, so don't expect to check in around for a continuation on this theme. Not the tools I usually keep in my computer repair kit, but sometimes you just have to improvise.

Photo by Brad Moon.

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Force eject a stuck DVD the Apple way. Image copyright Apple. View Comments. Sponsored Stories Powered By Outbrain.

How to Get a Jammed DVD Out of an iMac Optical Drive

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FIX: Apple Drive won't physically accept disc

Author: Jason Parham Jason Parham. Thanks for your respose. Did it exactly as you outlined. Still won't accept a CD and one doesn't mount if there's one stuck in there.

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If you have any other ideas let me know. Appreciate it I would replace the SuperDrive. Remember, a Mac mini with an optical drive is more valuable than a brand-new Mac mini that has no optical drive. I know, I recently purchased one. That would be useful if I planned on selling it in the future, but I plan to keep using thi recently out of warranty Mac Mini till the living end. Nov 16, AM. If your confirming it is out of warranty and want a cheaper fix than via an official Apple agent then there are two options for you.

Firstly as it is not letting you properly insert the disc, this means either there is already something stuck in it, or the mechanism to pull it the rest of the way is not working. Since it is out of warranty there is no risk to you to proceeding with the following two options.

First you could dismantle the Mac mini and see if you can spot anything jamming it and even further dismantle the DVD drive itself and see if you can help free up the mechanism. I had an older Mac mini have the same problem and while I did manage to free up the mechanism it unfortunately was still otherwise broken but maybe you will have more luck. The second option is that you could remove the old broken DVD drive and fit yourself a replacement mechnism.

This is what I ended up doing, I bought a replacement mechanism off eBay.

First steps

Obviously if you look at the existing mechanism you can first try finding the equivalent. My drive just started doing this.

10 Answers

We took it apart and found what seems to be the eject lever stuck in the forward position. My guess is the drive is dead because that motor has failed. Oct 22, PM. Oct 23, AM. Oct 23, AM in response to woodmeister50 In response to woodmeister I found it pretty easy to disassemble the Aluminum mini using the instructions on iFixIt.

Some of the connectors are fiddly, but none of them are hard to remove and none of them seem fragile to me. Communities Contact Support.


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Sign in Sign in Sign in corporate. Browse Search. Ask a question. More Less. All replies Drop Down menu. Loading page content. User profile for user: den. Unplug the computer's power cord. Wait fifteen seconds.


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