Dead optical drive? DIY fixable?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by TheBeastman13, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. TheBeastman13 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    #1
    I've had my MacBook 4,1 since fall '08 and last year my optical drive started not reading DVDs or CDs. The computer just spits out any disc after what I assume is trying to load for like 20 seconds.

    Does this sound like a bad optical drive or something else?

    I'd hate to waste money getting a repair at the apple store, so is this something I can manage myself, at home?

    What brand optical drive, and from where, would you recommend?

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #2
    I have replaced a couple of these for friends. A bunch of really tiny screws, but it is not too bad. I bought the drive from iFixit then followed their instructions to install and it worked out fine.
     
  3. TheBeastman13 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    #3
    I'm on OWC checking out their drives, and they sell a package with the drive and "media". I didn't know an optical drive needs it's own media, I thought that was built into the OS software.

    Could it be possible that I deleted my original optical drive media and that's why the laptop spits out after 20-30 seconds of loading?
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #4
    From looking at the OWC page there is looks like they are referring to a disk burning software package they include as "media". There is no software you need to use your optical drive. The OS will recognize it by default. All you need to buy is the bare drive.
     
  5. TheBeastman13 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
  6. TheBeastman13 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    #6
    Okay, so for ****** and giggles I tried testing my optical drive with different media. All my DvDs (I tried 10) load via DvD Player after about five seconds of reading. BUT, and it's just my luck because I need to use a CD for a wedding project, the CD-R won't read. The CD tries for 20 sec to read, but was spat out. I tried my Grateful Dead CD, thinking a professionally authored disc would read, but nope, that CD was spit out too.

    So maybe my optical drive isn't as messed up as I thought. Any thoughts as to why CDs are now the only disc to be spit out?
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #7
    I don't know.. but I do know these darn things are notorious for failing. If you tested with a couple off the shelf music CDs and it won't read those, I'd say its a goner.
     
  8. TheBeastman13, Aug 10, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014

    TheBeastman13 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    #8
    I ended up doing a PRAM reset. The CD-R has opened in iTunes 3/11 times, a grateful dead cd opened 1/2 times, my America CDs is 0/7... Very hit or miss now.

    EDIT: I also went to "system preferences" and changed the CD setting from open iTunes > open iTunes.app

    This works a little better, but it's still hit or miss. Very strange...
     
  9. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #9
    It played a Grateful Dead CD...that is what is important. Few things better than Working Man's Dead. ;)
     

Share This Page