Noisy Superdrive

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MarkF786, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. MarkF786 macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2006
    I have a 15" C2D Macbook Pro, which I bought back in November. I don't use the superdrive much, but when I do use it it is often noisy as hell. If a disk is spinning fast, especially when I'm burning a disk, it mades a very loud noise, like if the disk were very unbalanced, and if I tilt the laptop the sound gets worse and I can hear the disk scraping.

    Is this "normal"? Do disks scrape when you tilt the laptop? I've never experience this problem before with a laptop; you could move it at any angle while it was reading a disk, but with my MBP it needs to be very level or the disk scrapes.

    Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks!

  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    Laptop optical drives, especially slot loading ones, are notoriously loud. It's not a good idea to tilt a laptop during use, especially when the optical drive is being used. It puts the machine out of balance.
  3. MarkF786 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2006
    The comedy of this statement is it's a LAPtop, and when it's on my lap, it's tilted. Apple should install a level so the user can properly position their laptop when using the drive.

    I've used literally hundreds of laptops in my life (my old job was deciding on computing standards for a Fortune 100 company so I tested innumerable laptops) and I haven't seen this problem except when a CD was warped. And from what I've heard, older Apple laptops didn't have the problem either.

    I've found some threads in this and other forums discussing the issue. At least the problem with tilting the laptop is universal, but the unusually loud noise while burning CDs/DVDs is not. I tried burning a CD on my wife's MacBook as a comparison, and the MB sounded normal while mine screams in comparison.

    I have an appointment at the Idiot Bar (sorry, I just can't call a kid with limited computer knowledge a "Genius") today, so I'll see what they have to say.

  4. S2NINJA macrumors member


    Oct 10, 2006
    Actually, apple doesn't call them "laptops", they're "notebooks". Due to heat issues, they recommend against using them on your lap. ^^;;
  5. phoenix78 macrumors member

    Nov 9, 2006
    Yeah the superdrive is dismal w.r.t. noise. It has always been that way as far as i can remember.

    I dont think apple will do anything about it unfortunately as they havent seen fit to do so in all this time. Theres plenty of improvements in subtle things i could suggest for the mac but realistically, it just aint gonna happen unfortunately.

    I think the mac has too many good features to deem it unworthy of purchase. Other manufacturers are certainly no better... they may have dvd drives quieter but im sure they flop n other areas.

    When i played a movie or two on it its not too bad. I guess when it is spinning and streaming data constantly it isnt stopping and starting.

    When im reading data it is a totally different thing. noisy as heck.

    But oh well... i dont use it much so it dosent bug me. If i was a constant user then i would be a problem for me. Perhaps using alternative forms of removable media like a flash driver or a micro HD instead if circumstances allow for a choice. Even using wireless or ethernet to transfer data via shared folders is something i do alot on my home network. Anything to limit reliance on optical media.


  6. deadpixels macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2006
    it seems you already know that your superdrive is getting bad so why the thread??
  7. crees! macrumors 68000


    Jun 14, 2003
    Not to mention the iMac which has a slot-loading drive and is ALWAYS tilted to some degree.
  8. MarkF786 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2006
    Because I wanted to see if this is "normal" in the MacBook Pros. Though both the MB and MBP have double-layer superdrives, they are different parts. Maybe it's a known issue that other MPB owners have seen and getting it "repaired" is pointless. What I'd like to avoid is having my laptop "repaired" and the problem still exists; it's just a waste of time.

  9. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia

    That's a valid point. When I say tilt, I'm referring to the act of tilting a drive whilst it's running, rather than having a drive at a non-horizontal angle from all along.

    Having said that, you shouldn't be haring the disc scrape against the top of the drive so maybe take it in to Apple. It can't hurt. :)
  10. e12a macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2006
    i agree with mad jew

    its like that apple defects wiki: while the drive is running, tilt/shake your drive till it makes noise. You will see that it scratches the CD...can anyone say DUH? Is this a defect? I would say no. If it were to scratch disks when sitting perfectly still i would be worried. but use some common sense, its not a CD walkman with skip protection.

    I just had to quote it for down right stupidity:
    "Step 1: Put in CD/DVD into optical drive.
    Step 2: Wait until the drive gets up some speed (so you hear the nice humm it makes when its spinning.
    Step 3: Pick up your macbook and tilt left and right. (listen for the scratching noises)
    Step 4: Eject the disk and notice that your DVD/CD has nice new pretty white markings on the readable side. (OH NO you just ruined your cd/dvd)"

    like external dvd writers. I'm sure there are some slot loading ones out there. Just because its portable, does not mean you can shake it!

    But the SuperDrive is almost worthless in terms of burning quality. If possible try to use a regular 5.25" drive.
    -sucks especially for audio CDs.

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