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View Full Version : Strange Problem: Dead PowerBook and Jammed DVD drive




fussball
Dec 18, 2005, 01:39 AM
So, last night at about 1AM I decided to watch a movie to cool down from a 12 hour day in the library. I slide in my rented DVD and the drive quickly sucks in the DVD, as per usual, but then my PB shuts off completely. It is stone dead. Will not reboot, do not pass go, do not collect $200, it is dead.

I fiddle for a while, try the "manual" eject, but it seems my lovely 12" PB lacks a mechanical eject button. I try to coax the DVD out in every way possible. No dice. When I try to start the computer, nothing happens except I can hear the DVD drive (faintly) straining to spin. It will not stop this unless I unplug the power cord and the battery. Hmm... at this point I am only slightly worried that a 25 page paper on oil resource extraction that is due is stuck on a computer that won't boot...


Today I call applecare and they are no help. We try the usual reset of the PMU and PRAM, no luck. They say send it in for a fix. That's super because I have mutiple final papers on the computer that I can't really turn in late. All the repair places within 100 miles are closed for the day (saturday afternoon).

So, I take apart the PB case and I disconnect the optical drive.

Powerbook works perfectly, just no drive. Weird.


I have my papers back now, and backed up on my external drive, as they usually are (I hadn't backed up for the evening last night).

But, WTF happened? what prevented my computer from booting? just a jammed drive? and, how can I get my rented DVD out of the computer so I can return it? Ugh.



mad jew
Dec 18, 2005, 01:41 AM
Did AppleCare get you to try booting up holding down the left mouse button (track pad button)?

mymemory
Dec 18, 2005, 02:22 AM
Apple care sucks!

Try to eject the DVD, when doing that insert another CD into the drive at same time and the drive will eject the stuck DVD.

It seems there is a sensor that does not work well and just do not let CDs to come out.

I have a 12" PB with the same problem and I actually post this info here so people like you can find it IF you had the time to do a search.

You can insert any other flat surface like a hard peace of paper and the DVD will come out. Just do it like that in the rough way. Then the drive will work just fine but you will have to make it eject so you can introduce the other surface in to the drive.

mad jew
Dec 18, 2005, 02:37 AM
Interesting technique mymemory.

fussball, I recommend you be pretty careful if you use this method. It's one thing to have a stuck disk but quite another to have a broken drive. :)

Makosuke
Dec 18, 2005, 06:00 PM
This is just a guess, but one possibility is that the optical drive broke, and was preventing your 'Book from booting (either due to bad data on the IDE bus, or because it was drawing too much power for the 'Book to fire up).

It's also possible that if the disc is for whatever reason physically unable to spin the motor will try too hard and draw down the voltage on the internal supply low enough that the rest of the computer can't get going, but I find it unlikely that there wouldn't be some sort of internal safety to prevent that. Still seems more likely the drive actually failed.

fussball
Dec 19, 2005, 12:52 AM
This is just a guess, but one possibility is that the optical drive broke, and was preventing your 'Book from booting (either due to bad data on the IDE bus, or because it was drawing too much power for the 'Book to fire up).

It's also possible that if the disc is for whatever reason physically unable to spin the motor will try too hard and draw down the voltage on the internal supply low enough that the rest of the computer can't get going, but I find it unlikely that there wouldn't be some sort of internal safety to prevent that. Still seems more likely the drive actually failed.

Though, plugging in the PB should eliminate such a problem... and it did not. I think the drive failed, or somthing.

As for sticking something in to make the drive eject... I cannot becuase there is no power at all that goes to the computer when the optical drive is connected. Not even a startup chime. I tried everything to get the DVD out, trust me. I did do a search, but I felt my situation was a bit different.

Applecare had me reset PRAM, PMU, hold mouse button, hold f12, hold eject, etc. All of these things I tried before I called, anyway.. but so it goes.