Can't eject disk Powerbook G4

Sepultura

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 10, 2013
155
1
Got a Powerbook G4 that won't eject the disk. I tried all the common things like holding down the mouse/trackpad, reboot with eject key, spamming eject key, tilting it on it's side, using a paperclip, using a credit card, reset pram, etc.

This computer has a dead hard drive, but I wanted to see if I could run the Leopard disk. Before I put the disk in, screen was on and I had the flashing Mac and ?

After I put the disk in, nothing happened it just made noises. I restarted the computer and the screen was black. Since then it's remained black after 30+ restarts. It doesn't chime on startup, it makes some clicking noise. The computer is also extremely hot, like burn your skin hot.
 

swamprock

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2015
974
1,288
Michigan
Boot your 'book holding command-option-o-f to get into Open Firmware. Type "eject cd" (without the quotes) at the prompt. Boom. (Usually, unless your drive is hosed...)
 

Sepultura

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 10, 2013
155
1
Boot your 'book holding command-option-o-f to get into Open Firmware. Type "eject cd" (without the quotes) at the prompt. Boom. (Usually, unless your drive is hosed...)
Yeah I tried that and it didn't work.

I am in the process of taking the whole thing apart but I got a stripped screw to deal with before I can get to the cd rom.
 

d-oost

macrumors 6502a
Jan 10, 2016
707
827
It makes noises, right? Then something is stuck inside, either the disc or the mechanism. Both my iBooks have stuck optical drives. Those slotloading drives really weren't that reliable. You'll have to open it up to see what's wrong.
 

Sepultura

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 10, 2013
155
1
I had to drill out the stripped screw and I have now removed the hard drive, but I remember now that you have to disassemble nearly the whole machine just to the optical drive. What a pain these Powerbook G4s are...
 

Sepultura

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 10, 2013
155
1
Not the Aluminum 17" PowerBooks. Those are pretty easy.

My wife's 12" PowerBook on the other hand sends me screaming from the room if I have to work on it!
I have no experience dissembling the 17", but the 17" and 15" definitely look easier. The innards of the 12" is just awful. Everything is crammed together, tiny wires and tiny cables that can break so easily and of course having to disassemble so much just to get to the hard drive and optical drive.

I got the the optical drive out now. My Leopard disk still works, not scratched or damaged. Funny enough the Powerbook's optical drive was replaced, it's from OWC.

This Powerbook has been nothing but a pain. Going to try to sell it off now.
[doublepost=1459031184][/doublepost]I feel like this arm shouldn't be sticking up.


 

Gamer9430

macrumors 68020
Apr 22, 2014
2,229
1,203
Central New Jersey/ North Virginia, USA
Not the Aluminum 17" PowerBooks. Those are pretty easy.

My wife's 12" PowerBook on the other hand sends me screaming from the room if I have to work on it!
I haven't taken the 17in apart, but it looks a bit more complex than the 15in. I find the 15in the easiest to take apart, the 17in is 2nd hardest, and the 12in is the most difficult (for the first few times). The 12in has become easier as I've done it more. Last time my disk wouldn't eject because a metal tab became bent down in front of the ODD. Luckily it was an easy fix to bend the tab back, but if I had to take the ODD out... :eek:
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,427
15,241
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
I haven't taken the 17in apart, but it looks a bit more complex than the 15in. I find the 15in the easiest to take apart, the 17in is 2nd hardest, and the 12in is the most difficult (for the first few times). The 12in has become easier as I've done it more. Last time my disk wouldn't eject because a metal tab became bent down in front of the ODD. Luckily it was an easy fix to bend the tab back, but if I had to take the ODD out... :eek:
Well, I've not yet had the priviledge of working inside the Aluminum 15". So, I suppose you could be right.

I have worked inside the TiBook though and other than ram, HD or Airport cards everything else usually requires some dissasembly of the damn thing.

Once you get the top case of the 17" off everything is accessible and it doesn't require removing the logicboard to get something done - except if removing the logicboard is your goal.
 

Sepultura

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 10, 2013
155
1
Does anything look off in those above pictures? I have had this Powerbook on my desk in pieces for nearly a month now. I need to make sure the optical drive isn't going to hold onto my disk again, because I need to install OS X once I get a hard drive.

edit * Yeah I am thinking this optical drive is broken. Looking at a picture on ifixit, as well as a another user's comment - "I was able to get the disc out but the drive was shot, good thing I got a new to put in. A spring- loaded lever in the front of the drive was in the up position so it would let the disc out."

edit 2 * OWC denied me my warranty because I opened the optical drive. What a joke. There is a sticker that says "warranty void if label removed" but nothing about physically opening the drive.

 
Last edited:

Cox Orange

macrumors 68000
Jan 1, 2010
1,787
234
@OP
From the replacement drives I have, I can see that when there is no disc in it, the "arm" in your picture should be down not reaching up.
You could have tested though, if when you just remove the Powerbooks case not the cover of the drive, but the lid, and then hold down the "arm" with something flat, if the media gets thrown out then and the "arm" goes back into normal position afterwards.
Those slotloading drives really weren't that reliable.
That is what I have experienced myself a lot until I noticed that
a) for stuck CDs/DVDs or CDs/DVDs coming out slowly, almost sticking or sticking completely, how long they last depends on how often they are used. Funnily if they are used very often, they last longer and will give out the CD/DVD better, than after a long time doing nothing. Look at car CD-players that are used regularly and don't have the CD stuck. I recently did only drive 6000km/year and didn't often hear music and then had the same issue you get with Macs and their slot-drives.
b) can't write or read CD, but DVD or can't w/r DVD, but CD. Ususally not both media capabilities fail at the same time -> broken
 

Sepultura

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 10, 2013
155
1
@OP
From the replacement drives I have, I can see that when there is no disc in it, the "arm" in your picture should be down not reaching up.
You could have tested though, if when you just remove the Powerbooks case not the cover of the drive, but the lid, and then hold down the "arm" with something flat, if the media gets thrown out then and the "arm" goes back into normal position afterwards.
That is what I have experienced myself a lot until I noticed that
a) for stuck CDs/DVDs or CDs/DVDs coming out slowly, almost sticking or sticking completely, how long they last depends on how often they are used. Funnily if they are used very often, they last longer and will give out the CD/DVD better, than after a long time doing nothing. Look at car CD-players that are used regularly and don't have the CD stuck. I recently did only drive 6000km/year and didn't often hear music and then had the same issue you get with Macs and their slot-drives.
b) can't write or read CD, but DVD or can't w/r DVD, but CD. Ususally not both media capabilities fail at the same time -> broken
I tried many different methods to get the disk out but nothing worked. The only way to get it out was to physically disassemble the drive.

Once I get a new hard drive for this Powerbook I am just going to install OS X via Target Disk Mode and then sell the computer on eBay.
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
May 3, 2014
7,259
4,341
Kentucky
.

Once you get the top case of the 17" off everything is accessible and it doesn't require removing the logicboard to get something done - except if removing the logicboard is your goal.
I'm in agreement on the 17"-I find it fairly easy to take apart, and consider the 15" about equal. The internal layout is different(HDD is under the trackpad) but aside from that it's not bad. The 15" aluminum MBPs are laid out very similarly to a 17" Powerbook(HDD under the left palm rest).
 
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