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Old Dec 3, 2005, 09:20 PM   #1
Mal
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Yikes! CD Drive in PowerBook freaked out!

This morning, I picked up a cd in my room, unlabeled but obviously one of mine, and stuck it in my computer to see what it was so I could label it and put it away, and immediately, chaos broke out. My screen freaked out, looking like some lines jumped up and others down, making it almost unreadable, and the entire system stopped responding. I had to shut it down and hold down the mouse button on startup to get the disk out, and I didn't even get the Apple logo on the screen until it finally successfully eject the disk. I tossed that disk out immediately, and went on with my day, since it started working fine after that. Well, now I put a disk that was freshly burned into my computer, and it makes this horrible noise and doesn't mount, and finally ejects itself after some time. Does anyone have any ideas what could do this? Will a disk cleaner work on it, or is this likely a completely failed disk drive?

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Old Dec 3, 2005, 09:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skywalker
This morning, I picked up a cd in my room, unlabeled but obviously one of mine, and stuck it in my computer to see what it was so I could label it and put it away, and immediately, chaos broke out. My screen freaked out, looking like some lines jumped up and others down, making it almost unreadable, and the entire system stopped responding. I had to shut it down and hold down the mouse button on startup to get the disk out, and I didn't even get the Apple logo on the screen until it finally successfully eject the disk. I tossed that disk out immediately, and went on with my day, since it started working fine after that. Well, now I put a disk that was freshly burned into my computer, and it makes this horrible noise and doesn't mount, and finally ejects itself after some time. Does anyone have any ideas what could do this? Will a disk cleaner work on it, or is this likely a completely failed disk drive?

jW
According to Apple you should never use CD or DVD cleaners in the slot loading superdrive. Having said that, the symtoms you describe seem to match what happened when I had my superdrive die.

You may want to try a few different discs including commercial CDs and writable CDs or DVDs to see if there is any change in the behavior. When my superdrive went I was ripping some CDs and suddenly one of the discs would not be accepted. For the next week or so the drive would not mount a disc and ejected it after about a minute or two.

My drive then started working again for about 10 minutes before it gave up the ghost again. While the drive was working I put a CD cleaner into the drive since I already figured that the drive was toast and thought it was worth trying a cleaning disk on the reasoning that if the cleaning didn't help or the cleaning disk got jammed then I wasn't that much worse off. The lens cleaner didn't do anything to help in my case so rather than deal with an ittermitant drive I just ordered a replacement drive and swapped the bad drive out.
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Old Dec 3, 2005, 09:45 PM   #3
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Thanks, I'll try that. How much are the replacement drives from Apple? I can get a SuperDrive replacement from OWC for $139, so if it's not a good bit less (I'm guessing not) I'll try getting that one.

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Old Dec 3, 2005, 10:24 PM   #4
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If your computer is under Applecare, installing your own drive will void the warranty. If it's under Applecare, they should replace the drive for free.
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Old Dec 3, 2005, 10:27 PM   #5
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Heh, this is an 867MHz original model Aluminum PowerBook. Even if my dad had bought AppleCare when he got it (day of release) I don't think it'd be good anymore, but AppleCare still isn't available in FL anyways (though it will be soon). Not worried about that, though if I didn't have to replace it at all I'd be very happy.

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Old Dec 4, 2005, 01:00 AM   #6
mrichmon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skywalker
Thanks, I'll try that. How much are the replacement drives from Apple? I can get a SuperDrive replacement from OWC for $139, so if it's not a good bit less (I'm guessing not) I'll try getting that one.
jW
Getting the drive from Apple is rather expensive. $139 is an OK price. I got my drive from OWC a few months back and paid something like $129. If you shop around you can find them for a bit less but I've always had good experiences with OWC so I was happy paying an extra $10 over other places to deal with a trusted store.

You should be aware that getting into the aluminium Powerbooks is not a trivial task. But if you have moderate skills with tools and take your time working on a big clean desk you should be fine. Be particularly careful with releasing the clip above the CD slot to release the palm rest area. If you search online you can find the disassembly instructions... I believe OWC send the instructions with the drive.

Also, you should save one of the plastic dummy credit cards that come in credit card offers in the mail. Take the fake card and rub it on some sandpaper to sharpen one of the edges a little and the result is a perfect tool for prying open a powerbook without leaving marks on the case. (Also good for prying open iPods.)
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Old Dec 4, 2005, 07:59 AM   #7
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Thanks, I've asked for one for Christmas, so hopefully I won't have to pay, but I'll probably go with the OWC drive if I don't get this thing working. I found a few on eBay for less (~$70) but I'm a little leery since they're all pulls from scrap computers.

Good tip about the credit card too, thanks.

jW
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