A '06 Mini's Optical Drive 'failed'. Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by OverSpun, May 22, 2011.

  1. OverSpun, May 22, 2011
    Last edited: May 22, 2011

    OverSpun macrumors 6502a

    OverSpun

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #1
    Specs-

    2006 1.66 Intel Duo w/ 2gb Ram (OSX 10.6.7). It is a fairly old machine.

    I do have the current firmware ( SMC Version (system): 1.3f4) so I still cannot decide if there was something newer or any other options. Weird.
    I didn't burn dvds/cds very often for the drive to failure. It's just a bit strange.


    I first noticed that I couldn't burn dvds randomly so I needed to copy data to an external drive to my UMBP. Obviously it isn't too helpful doing that.

    I somehow could manage watching DVDs on the Mini.

    Recently I then realized that the drive can't even load a CD installation disc for anything, so I had to download the .dmg from the manufacturer site.

    Besides- I could have missed something that could be an error about permissions or anything running the drive unless it is actually just a defective hardware part?


    I haven't noticed any other superdrive failures in the mac mini, so.. Thanks in Advance if anyone has any info that could help me. I know its an old machine that given, since I use it as a media center attached to a TV for the last years and its pretty helpful.

    :)
     
  2. jdryyz macrumors regular

    jdryyz

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    #2
    Yeah, sounds like it is going bad. Nothing surprising here, though. I have experienced this in two different Mac Minis that I own. I replaced the drive in one unit with a Sony Optiarc AD-7630A. It was kinda pricey but it is a nice replacement. Since you have an Intel Mini, it would work well in that also. If you have never opened up your Mini, now would be a good time to learn since the machine is likely not under warranty. Once in there, you can also just try to clean the existing drive first.

    I wouldn't be surprised to find a lot of trapped dust in a 2006 Mini. That can cause a lot of problems.


     
  3. OverSpun thread starter macrumors 6502a

    OverSpun

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #3
    Ah, you know. Before my AppleCare ran out, I forgot at that point and I think it worked at the store until I got home, but I guess its just poor luck ~2009 then. I've heard them said in other issues saying... "Bring it back next time."

    I can for sure just blow it out if it helps. I found the sony drive and worked? It looks a bit different but I haven't ever opened the mini. (http://www.amazon.com/Sony-Optiarc-AD-7630A-01-Slim-Drive/dp/B001TOD5H6)

    My mini had a bunch issues before dropped off to the store from hardware replacements, etc.
     
  4. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #4
    Opening the mini is a pain. On such an old machine I would just go for a $35 external USB writer. Save some money and a lot of hassle.
     
  5. jdryyz macrumors regular

    jdryyz

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    #5
    The photo has the faceplate which is to be removed when installing in the Mini. :)

     
  6. keekl macrumors regular

    keekl

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Location:
    PA
    #6
    My dvd quit working though the cd part still works (burned a disc yesterday)~~an external works cheaply and nicely for now:cool:
     
  7. OverSpun thread starter macrumors 6502a

    OverSpun

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #7
    I agree spending $35 for an external would for sure saving time tacking on causing a 'surgery' on the mini. I wonder if Apple will be able find my complain about the drive a few months before my warranty ended. I'd assume they wouldn't care.
    That would be pretty slick slapping that in since it is only $75, but is it fairly difficult opening the mini? I'm never worried modding anything. I had a dell laptop before switching to macs. I convinced Dell during my warranty that I was an authorized service center for computers so they could send me replacements from issues (their junky parts) and It wasn't bad. I feel that the Mini is a bit different taking it apart. :)
    Yikes. Your issue sounds exactly like what mine did. I haven't been able to burn a dvd in my mini after a few years now, and in the past year everything broke burning cds or reading anything. =/
     
  8. three macrumors 6502a

    three

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Location:
    Washington State
    #8
    I have opened my Mac mini several times for various part upgrades, etc. Opening the mini isn't too hard if you have a putty knife. Here's how I open my mini.
    1. Stick the putty knife in-between the metal casing and the plastic (rubber?) bottom.
    2. Start prying upwards with your putty knife.
    3. Continue all around the mini.
    4. You will hear popping noise, that is just the clips. You didn't break it.
    5. Carefully lift the top case off. There's the mini!

    Hope this helps. :D Also OP did your optical drive make a loud grinding Noise and freeze OS X?
     
  9. OverSpun thread starter macrumors 6502a

    OverSpun

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #9
    Thanks!

    My drive didnt grind or anything, but it just will not load cds now. I guess its my fault forgetting taking the mini to the store before applecare ran out.
     
  10. rideincircles macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    #10
    My superdrive stopped burning dvd's a while ago but worked with cd's no problem. I just got my new imac this weekend and moved my G4 mini into another room and was transferring files when it froze up. Now it is stuck loading into a blank blue screen or the DARWIN/BSD screen and won't load OS X.

    I think it may be near death, but it's six years old and has been on 90% of the time. I am hoping to save it if possible, but it's not worth investing much into it. I posted this issue in another thread, but i had similar issues with my superdrive. Gave up on making dvd's a while ago.
     
  11. OverSpun thread starter macrumors 6502a

    OverSpun

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #11
    Yea, my mini has been on nearly 24/7 since I use it often enough. I run time machine on it, so I guess when it totally blows up, then I'll get a 27" i7 iMac. I only use my mac mini for "Back to my Mac" on MobileMe since I don't carry a bunch data in my laptop.
     
  12. OverSpun thread starter macrumors 6502a

    OverSpun

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #12
    I have another little mac mini question that could be a part if the logic board is having issues with the optical drive, but here it is-

    I recently noticed that my FW400 port does not exactly work or load an external drive that has been used for years and I at first thought maybe the external enclosure wasn't working properly and I swapped it out with a new one, but it didnt fix it. I ended up switching over to USB 2.0 which is obviously pretty slow for time machine and also dragging files on to it.

    Does anyone have any ideas how to test the FW400 port and to see what the deal is? When I plug in the FW400 cable and then turning on the external drive, it doesnt do anything... Sometimes it'll randomly turn on after a long while, but its clearly not working properly.

    Also, back on the optical drive- would this work in the mini? Its only $50 and it could be worth for giving it a shot?

    http://www.amazon.com/Sony-Optiarc-Optical-Drive-Ad-7690h-01/dp/B004CJKVO0/ref=dp_cp_ob_e_title_1
     

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