CD-RW/DVD drive on my Powerbook doesn't work

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Gherkin, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. Gherkin macrumors 6502a

    Apr 9, 2004
    I'll put a CD in, the drive makes some noises, and then it just ejects. Is my drive screwed?
  2. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    Is it just one CD or all CDs?

    Slot-loading drives can be picky about CDs. If they're scratched or have something on the top surface that it doesn't like, it'll do that. Sometimes it doesn't even want to spit the disc back out.

    When I ripped all of my CDs (~200), I ran into about three of them that my PB drive wouldn't take. I had to resort to using the tray-loading drive on my old iBook...that worked fine.
  3. Gherkin thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 9, 2004
    This is with a brand new CD I just bought. Never had any problems before. I tried to put a CD-R in yesterday to burn a CD and the same thing happened. I did play a DVD movie yesterday though just fine.

    Sometimes when I pick up my Powerbook, the CD drive will start to make noises like it is loading a disc, but it really isn't.
  4. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    Hmmm...tough to say from just this information. If it continues to have problems on a large percentage of discs, you may have a problem. Keep track over the next few days or so and see how it does.
  5. rzacharia macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2004
    I just made a recent post with this exact problem that went unanswered. Here is what I wrote, which perhaps provides more information:

    I don't use my CD-ROM/DVD drive often, but every now and then I will want to burn a CD or watch a DVD. To my surprise, after no incident or software installation my combo drive doesn't work. When I insert a CD (blank or with data) or DVD the drive makes a noise similar to when you rest your top teeth on your bottom lip and blow air. After roughly 5-10 seconds of this the disk will eject. Any thoughts? How can a drive that is so rarely used simply experience a mechanical breakdown? The system profiler recognizes the drive as follows:


    Firmware Revision: AA17
    Interconnect: ATAPI
    Burn Support: Yes (Apple Shipped/Supported)
    Cache: 2048 KB
    Reads DVD: Yes
    CD-Write: -R, -RW
    Burn Underrun Protection CD: Yes
    Write Strategies: CD-TAO, CD-SAO
    Media: No

    The computer is a TiBook, 800 Mhz with 1 GB RAM running 10.4.5. I have not noticed any other peculiarities with the system but about a year ago I had to replace the hard drive because the S.M.A.R.T. status was failing.
  6. Gherkin thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 9, 2004
    Ok, now this is strange. Every DVD I've tried has worked, but any CD I put in ejects back out about 15 seconds after putting it in.

    Two of the CDs I tried were CDs I bought about a week ago and worked just fine then.

    DANG. I don't think I'm ever buying a laptop again. So far on my PB the HD has crashed and now this. Very frustrating.
  7. Miner Willy macrumors regular

    Apr 30, 2004
    Bradford, UK
    CD issues

    I've had three powerbooks over the last 6 years and every one has had the issue you describe. I'm afraid your drive is no more. I still burn DVD's with the one in my powerbook on a regular basis though, so at a pinch you could carry on using it.

  8. Gherkin thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 9, 2004
    so how much does this cost to fix?

    I just replaced my HD a few months ago. Is this a user repairable kind of thing, or do I have to go through Apple?
  9. Gherkin thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 9, 2004
  10. mahashel macrumors 6502


    May 5, 2005
    "the lab"
    I had a similar problem when I first got my iBook (12" 1.3GHz) last fall.

    Inserting a CD or DVD resulted in a 50% chance of read failure/eject.

    Inserting a blank CD resulted in 50% chance the drive would simply eject the disk. The other 50% of the time, the disk would spin up, but no burning options would ever appear. Finder knew the disk was blank, but was unconvinced it could burn it.

    Convinced my combo drive was bad, I called AppleCare.
    They had me try the following:
    1) Repair permissions, reboot, and try again (I had already tried this)
    2) Create a new user and see if drive behavior was any different
    3) Reload OSX

    I had no luck until reloading OSX. To this day, I have no idea how such behavior could be related to permissions, but it certainly seems like that's what AppleCare was getting at. After a clean install, my combo has been able to read DVD's and read/write CD's perfectly ever since.
    Good Luck! ;)
  11. mrichmon macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2003
    From what you've said, it sounds like a dead CD drive. Drives fail on laptops for various reasons. Some of the contributing factors are: they run hotter than desktops, they are more delicate as a result of the smaller size of the drive and tighter tolerances needed, and laptops get bumped, exposed to dust and knocked from time to time compared to a desktop that just sits in one place.

    If you have replaced the HD then replacing the optical drive is roughly the same level of complexity. If you do not currently have a superdrive, make sure you buy the replacement drive from a place that will supply you with the additional bracket required. I've replaced a superdrive in a 1GHz TiBook with a new drive from OWC and can strongly recommend the drives from OWC.
  12. angel franganil macrumors newbie

    Dec 1, 2006

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