Are Slot-Loading Optical Drives Flawed?

n0cus

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 16, 2012
340
1
Hey everyone,

I have noticed on both my PowerBook G4 and iBook G4 have had issues ejecting discs. Lots of other people have had issues ejecting discs from slot-loading drive. Are slot-loading drive inherently flawed in their design? Luckily, my iMac G3's slot-loading drive has been doing alright. I have never had an issue with a tray loading drive in my life. Even on my Wii I have had issues with the slot-loading drive, back in the day. Slot-loaders just seem like a bad choice functionally, even though they do look very nice. What are your guys' and gals' thoughts?
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,897
407
Inside
They're fine, if you take care of them. Once they start having problems, it's generally a good idea to rebuild them. I've had tray drives that have had problems ejecting before.
 

n0cus

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 16, 2012
340
1
They're fine, if you take care of them. Once they start having problems, it's generally a good idea to rebuild them. I've had tray drives that have had problems ejecting before.
The thing with tray loaders are that you can usually force eject with with the pinhole method. The PPC laptops I have recently bought both had issues, and they overall look pretty nice, at least cosmetically. By the way, I don't want to be seen as a hater, it is just something I have noticed. Maybe slot-loading optical drives are just less durable?
 

weckart

macrumors 603
Nov 7, 2004
5,007
2,263
Dust and lint ingress is an issue but slot loaders also have a paperclip eject mechanism. It is just less easier to find.
 

Zotaccian

macrumors 6502a
Apr 25, 2012
637
2
To me it seems that slot loading drives have much more problems than tray loading drives. It is also much harder to clean slot loads, much of the difficulty is because of the way Apple designed some computers. Getting the drive out from 12" PowerBooks for example is pain. Some time ago I disassembled my PB but forgot to clean the optical drive, the process is too painful to be repeated so now I just accept that the drive has troubles reading some discs.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,897
407
Inside
Dust and lint ingress is an issue but slot loaders also have a paperclip eject mechanism. It is just less easier to find.
Not all slot loading drives have an eject button that can be accessed with a pin. On those that do, it's in the form of an electronic push switch that is just as useless as have the OS eject the disc if the rollers are not properly working.
 

556fmjoe

macrumors 68000
Apr 19, 2014
1,917
1,615
I prefer trays specifically because of the pin eject mechanism. One nice thing about slot loaders though is that there is no tray sticking out to get bent or broken.
 

archtopshop

macrumors regular
Dec 13, 2011
206
1
Hey everyone,

I have noticed on both my PowerBook G4 and iBook G4 have had issues ejecting discs. Lots of other people have had issues ejecting discs from slot-loading drive. Are slot-loading drive inherently flawed in their design? Luckily, my iMac G3's slot-loading drive has been doing alright. I have never had an issue with a tray loading drive in my life. Even on my Wii I have had issues with the slot-loading drive, back in the day. Slot-loaders just seem like a bad choice functionally, even though they do look very nice. What are your guys' and gals' thoughts?
My experience is the same as yours. I've never had a problem with a tray loader, but have had problems with slot loaders. My iBook G4 slot optical died just after a year, and now, I have a iMac G5, which I recently recapped which throws the disks a foot or more out of the computer when it ejects them! It's kind of comical to see, but certainly not a good thing.
 

JohnnyH1012

macrumors member
Jul 12, 2014
98
1
New Jersey, USA
Every optical drive is a mechanical as well as digital piece. This unfortunately means that even a particle of dust could ruin the entire system, and require you to rebuild it. It's not just slot loading drives, it's tray loading drives as well.
 

n0cus

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 16, 2012
340
1
My experience is the same as yours. I've never had a problem with a tray loader, but have had problems with slot loaders. My iBook G4 slot optical died just after a year, and now, I have a iMac G5, which I recently recapped which throws the disks a foot or more out of the computer when it ejects them! It's kind of comical to see, but certainly not a good thing.
My apologize, but that is quite amazing. If you could record a video, you would make my day.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,897
407
Inside
The magical iMac G5 disc shoot is a slight design flaw with the first model iMac G5. There was a free program where you could have your machine serviced to fix it. Basically all they did was add a little felt like thing across the inside of the slot to add more friction to the disc as it is ejected. The later model iMacs with an optical drive could be made to shoot the disc out as well, but the felt friction thing has to be removed first.
 

poiihy

macrumors 68020
Aug 22, 2014
2,285
53
The magical iMac G5 disc shoot is a slight design flaw with the first model iMac G5. There was a free program where you could have your machine serviced to fix it. Basically all they did was add a little felt like thing across the inside of the slot to add more friction to the disc as it is ejected. The later model iMacs with an optical drive could be made to shoot the disc out as well, but the felt friction thing has to be removed first.
hhahahahaha lol the imacs shot out the disk like a toaster?! xD
 

mojolicious

macrumors 68000
Mar 18, 2014
1,561
310
Sarf London
I've never experienced a slot-loader than can't be persuaded to cough up a disc with a little encouragement, but have always thought that vertical slot-loaders are the devil's work. In my experience after a few years half of them will be dead, and those which aren't will make horrific grinding noises.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,897
407
Inside
The Cube G4 needs to learn this trick like a real toaster.
That would be pretty neat. Sadly, the OEM Cube drive isn't able to push with that much force. It's internal design is different than that of the G5 iMac and later slot loading drives.
 

weckart

macrumors 603
Nov 7, 2004
5,007
2,263
xD My iMac G5 would spit the disc out and onto the floor. Slot-loading drives are cool, but way too unreliable. I actually found a custom PC build in the e-waste with a slot-loading drive in it... kinda weird. I have not tried it out yet.
Nah. Plenty of PCs had slot drives once. I built one with a slot drive burner back in the day. I think it might even had been a SCSI burner as others had proprietary interfaces and I favoured SCSI for my homebrew kits. One I did build had to be attached to a sound card for both power and data. Those were kinda weird.
 
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