imac superdrive not reading discs properly

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by dontpanic, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. dontpanic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    #1
    i insert a blank dvd and it comes up with the prompt of asking me what i would like to do with it, ignore i say, knowing that it will come up in the finder and i can do much more exciting things with it that way

    oh wait no, it does not read the disc, i mean it doesn't read it in the sense that it has already told me it knows the disc was inserted and that it's a blank dvd, but you know, it won't let me do anything with it

    any idea how i can knock some sense into this machine before i throw it into the wall?

    i'm using tdk media in case that helps

    also the same happens with cds too, if that helps
     
  2. Reflow macrumors 68000

    Reflow

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    #2
    Did you try to put a DVD movie in to see if that works?
     
  3. dontpanic thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 21, 2004
    #3
    yes it reads normal dvds fine

    it's just blank media it has troubles with
     
  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #4
    I had a somewhat similar problem with blank optical discs in a G4 iMac and it turned out to be a bum superdrive, but in that case it wouldn't recognize blank media at all.

    Since it's telling you it recognizes the media but won't do anything with it, I wonder if there's a stuck cache or temp file or something--you might try running Tiger Cache Cleaner and see if that helps. Something like that could also be caused by an almost-full hard drive, but you should get an error in that case.
     
  5. Reflow macrumors 68000

    Reflow

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    #5
    Try a different brand of recordable DVD to see if it's just the brand you are using
     
  6. BilltheCat macrumors regular

    BilltheCat

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    Jan 14, 2007
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    Sanford FL
    #6
    How does one run Tiger cache cleaner? I didnt realise I even had one.

    Imac 20" core 2 cpu with Tiger as OS
     
  7. dontpanic thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 21, 2004
    #7
    i tried my sony dvd+rw and the same thing happens
     
  8. Reflow macrumors 68000

    Reflow

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    #8
    My guess would be that the drive is bad. Do you still have ac on it. If you do just take it to your nearest apple store and let them check it out for you
     
  9. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #9
    Tiger Cache Cleaner is a piece of shareware--do a search on VersionTracker.com to download it if you want to give it a shot.

    But given that you have a brand new system (for some reason, I was thinking older iMac), it should still be under full warranty, so you can call AppleCare and let them do the troubleshooting (and fix it if it is broken).
     
  10. dontpanic thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 21, 2004
    #10
    so i decided to try running disco and see if i can burn from that and it appears to be working, but still no disc icon on the desktop or in the finder

    i bet there's something really simple you can do that will make it appear :confused:
     
  11. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #11
    Have you tried going up to the top level in a Finder window and see if the blank disc shows there? That is, the level of your computer, where you can see your hard drive and "Network" in a window--you can get there by holding down the command key and clicking the title of a Finder window (it'll be at the very bottom of the popup menu that appears).

    If the blank disc is showing there but not on the desktop or in the sidebar, then it's either because you've unchecked "Show CDs, DVDs, and iPods" in the Finder Preferences, and/or the "Removable media" box in the Sidebar preference... although I would think those only affected "finished" discs, not blank media.

    You might try finding the Finder preference file, dumping it in the Trash, and then logging out and back in--that might fix it if it's just a Finder glitch of some sort.

    You could also try downloading Tiger Cache Cleaner and seeing if running it makes any difference.

    Oh, by the way, do the blank discs show up in Disk Utility? If so, that's another hint that it's just a Finder glitch.
     
  12. dontpanic thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 21, 2004
    #12
    it does show up in disk utility

    where do i find the finder preference file? is it safe to remove it?
     
  13. FoxyKaye macrumors 68000

    FoxyKaye

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    #13
    A few random thoughts on this...

    If your iMac is still under warranty and/or AppleCare, I'd suggest calling them when you have about 2 hours to kill. They have iMac "specialists" who can help out in this case.

    A few notes of observations/caution when talking with Apple:

    * If your problem is software related, they will walk you through a number of diagnostics and other software stuff before even discussing the replacement of the drive. This will range on everything from repairing permissions (for all the good that it does), to booting with your system restore disks and running "Repair Disk" on your volume. In any case, they seem to have an arsenal of software things they'll run you through, which might clear up any problems you're having with Finder and thus correctly reading your disks.

    * If your problem is indeed with the drive itself, depending on your iMac model, you might be eligible for the DIY repair program (which, IIRC, covers the first two iMac G5 models - thereafter the iMacs became non-user serviceable). IF you're eligible for the DIY program, then do it - you'll save a lot of aggrivation over taking it to an Apple store.

    * If the tech on the phone determines that your drive needs replacement but your iMac is not eligible for the DIY program, then be sure to get a case number, ask that the person on the phone document everything you went through with them, ask if they can make sure it will show up under your system's S/N at an Apple store, and if you can, get them to pre-authorize a hardware exchange. Otherwise, you'll have to go through the whole process again at an Apple store "Genius Bar."

    * If you wind up taking your iMac to a "Genius Bar", be prepared to do everything all over again that you've already done on the phone, kill another 2-3 hours, and be asked some relatively inane questions about your system. MAKE SURE YOUR VALUABLE DATA IS BACKED UP before going to an Apple Store. They may want to do all sorts of pointless things to your software, including a complete re-install. If the store determines that your drive needs replacement, be prepared to part with your system for anywhere from 2 days to three weeks.

    * Finally, Apple or the Apple Store may insist that you use only Apple-branded CDs and DVDs with your drive for burning. Tell them this is a load of bollocks since Apple's stuff is more expensive than everyone else's and frankly as a consumer you should be able to read/burn just about any compatible media type from any brand you want.

    Helpful phrases when dealing with Apple at all levels:

    "I'm sorry, this is not an acceptible solution to my problem, can we go another route?"

    "Can I please speak to someone who can help me achieve satisfactory results?"

    "Can I please speak to your manager?"

    The combo/superdrives that Apple ships with the Minis and iMacs are notorious for failure - keep going until either your software problem is resolved to your satisfaction or your hardware is replaced. Good luck - hopefully there will be an easy software fix you can do on your own without ever having to deal with Apple.

    Tiger Cache Cleaner is a good resource for doing simple software maintenance, as is Onyx - also, if it is included with your AppleCare, use your version of TechTool Deluxe (though check Apple's site for a newer version) to run some diagnostics as well.
     
  14. FoxyKaye macrumors 68000

    FoxyKaye

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    #14
    Do a Spotlight search for finder.plist - it should be fine to drag it to the trash. After this, log out or reboot. You may lose some custom window viewing preferences if you've set them, but you shouldn't lose any data.
     
  15. dontpanic thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 21, 2004
    #15
    thanks for the replies

    do you think, seeing as the drive is working and it seems like some kind of software glitch, that if i reformat then it will go back to normal?
     
  16. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #16
    Well, if it does turn out to be an OS-level glitch, not a hardware problem, then you don't need to reformat--just do an archive and install.

    Although before you try that, if you haven't already, try creating a completely new account and see if it behaves the same way. If so, it's something hardware or OS level. If that works fine, it's just a screwed up pref in your account somewhere.
     
  17. dontpanic thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 21, 2004
    #17
    i tried that already and it didn't make a difference

    i'll try a re-install like you said, then i guess i'm forced to call up apple :)
     

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