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Old Sep 6, 2008, 06:41 PM   #1
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Safe to use laser lens cleaner?

This is quite possibly common sense, and I may just be paranoid, but thank you for bearing with me.

I've been having issues with my DVD drive on my Macbook Pro (Leopard, purchased in October 07). When trying to play any dvd, it continually skips and claims to be skipping over damaged areas that don't exist.

Anyhow, I purchased a Philips laser lens cleaner to see if that will fix the problem at all. I had never actually purchased one of these discs before and didn't really know how they worked, or if they all work the same. This one has two little brushes on the underside of it (are they all like this?). My main question, though, is if this is safe to use on a Mac CD/DVD drive? The instructions show it being placed on an ejected tray-style drive. And it just specifies not to use it on gaming systems.

Is it safe to use on a Mac disc drive?
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Old Sep 6, 2008, 08:03 PM   #2
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As a general piece of advice, always use Apple's 1-year warranty while you can before attempting DIY procedures. If you purchased in October of last year, all manufacturing defects are covered until October of this year (08). Try talking to them because this seems like a defect. My old iBook's drive worked for over 3 year with alot of newbie abuse (my first apple mac) and it works fine and was never "cleaned" or replaced with these kinds of products. Try going to the apple store and talking with them about the issue, maybe bring a brand new dvd still in shrink wrap and using that dvd as a test case. Good luck!
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Old Feb 8, 2011, 06:12 PM   #3
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Hello! I would like to ask you, the same question as kfunque did. It is safe to use a laser lens cleaner with my MacBook Pro? And if yes, what brand do you propose?

I have a problem with my DVD drive. I can not burn anything...

Thank you in advance for your help!
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Old Feb 9, 2011, 03:46 AM   #4
John T
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I've often wondered the same thing! Depending on the environment the machine is used in, the lens in the optical drive is sure to eventually collect dust. I occasionally use one on my CD and DVD players. They both have disc trays and not the "slot" type used in the iMac.

Theoretically, there should be no reason why such a cleaner shouldn't be used. After all they're nothing more than a disc with a brush attached!
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Old Feb 9, 2011, 07:36 AM   #5
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Back when I was having this issue, I ended up taking my Macbook Pro to the Apple Store. Unfortunately, it worked fine at the store, and they couldn't recreate any of the problems I was having.

I ultimately decided against trying the lens cleaner, as the brush that is on the bottom of those discs didn't seem like a good idea to try to jam into the slot.
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Old Feb 9, 2011, 01:59 PM   #6
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Orthodox answer: No, it's NOT safe on a slot-loading drive. They have tighter tolerances than tray-loading drives, and those cleaner discs with the little brush on them are usually only intended for tray-loading drives. There's a decent chance you could end up breaking the drive if you try it. They may make ones specifically for slot-loaders (maybe for video game consoles?), but I haven't personally seen any.

That said, my 1st gen MBP had the optical drive stop working due to what I believed was dirt/dust, and since it was out of warranty and I was going to need to replace it anyway, I figured I'd give a cleaner disc a shot. it sounded awful, which lead me to believe the warnings were accurate, but it actually worked--the drive kicked back in for at least a while.

This was with an older Maxell DVD cleaner, looks like this one:


The product page doesn't say anything about laptop drives, but the Amazon product page specifically says not to use it on them, and I'm pretty sure the box does, too. Again, it DID work, so if your computer is out of warranty anyway, there's not much harm in trying a cleaner. I'd try to find one with the lowest-profile brush possible, though.
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