DVD drive problem

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by C. Alan, May 18, 2014.

  1. C. Alan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    #1
    I replaced my optical drive a few months back in my Mac Pro 4,1 with an asus drw 24b1st, and I am having an unusual problem with the drive. About half the time when I hit the eject key on my keyboard, the icon on my keyboard comes up, and then nothing happens. The drive no longer appears on my finder, and any dvd related actions I try to take (like run disk utility, or open the cd/dvd preference panel) results in a spinning wheel, and no action. I have to reboot my computer to get the disk drive to eject.

    I am trying to figure out if this is a software or hardware issue. When the dvd drive is working, it seems to work fine. Does anyone have an suggestions as to how to trouble shoot this?
    Thanks,
    C. Alan

    FYI, I am running 10.8.5
     
  2. crjackson2134 macrumors 68020

    crjackson2134

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    Charlotte, NC
    #2
    When did it start acting up? Has it been working well all along and then suddenly fouling up?
     
  3. C. Alan thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 23, 2009
    #3
    I tend to use the drive only a few times a month. Even with these low usage rates, a DVD drive only lasts about 18 months before it fails to burn. This latest drive I installed in February. I've used it to burn about 10 disks since then. I just noticed the problem about a week ago.

    I checked all the console logs last night, and could not find anything that looked out of place.
     
  4. crjackson2134 macrumors 68020

    crjackson2134

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    #4
    If I'm understanding this correctly, you have to replace the drive an a regular basis. It works fine for a few months then dies gradually.

    I've owned dozens of drives over the years (I had 12 PS's at home, and even mor at work). I've only had about 3-4 drives fail in all that time, usually a tra ehjection problem as well.

    What brand of drive are you buying? I have to wonder if there is an issue causing incorrect voltage or other power issues to the drive. I think I would buy an external drive next time.

    I think I would make a full backup and then test with a clean install to rule out the software question. What burning software are you using when the problem?
     
  5. C. Alan thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 23, 2009
    #5
    That pretty much sums it up. I admit, I go cheap on the drives. This latest drive is an Asus drive ($22 on Amazon). Its funny you mentioned the ejection problem, as that is where I seem to have the most trouble. I go to open the drive bay, and nothing happens.
     
  6. macuser453787 macrumors 6502

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    #6
    When you replace your drives, do you tend to switch brands or have they all been ASUS? If the same brand, then try switching to another brand (I've used Pioneer over the years and more recently LG, and they have worked well for me). If you've used different drives, the issue could be OS-related as already mentioned, in which case an OS reinstall would certainly rule that out or confirm it.
     
  7. crjackson2134 macrumors 68020

    crjackson2134

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    #7
    I think I would go with a better quality drive next. Perhaps an external. I've always purchased Pioneer, Plextor, etc... Since I switched to Mac I've only bought one drive, refer to my sig. I think they are both HGST (Hitachi-Goldstar Storage Technology). I haven't owned them long enough to know lifespan information.

    At some point you gotta ask yourself 'How long do I really expect a $20 drive to last'.
     
  8. C. Alan thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 23, 2009
    #8
    I think the rabbit hole may go deeper than just my dvd drive. Now if the drive fails to eject, I cannot shut down my computer any more. I just goes to a gray screen and hangs there. I am thinking I may need to do a clean install. At least my time machine is up to date, so I shouldn't loose anything.

    And yes, I may have had enough of $20 DVD drives.
     
  9. crjackson2134 macrumors 68020

    crjackson2134

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    #9
    I've had an occasional hang like that from an errant DVD hang before too. Usually some proses has hung related to the DVD that causes that.

    If you can get to a terminal you can force the shut down usually. If not, do a hard shut down with the power button.
     
  10. macuser453787, May 19, 2014
    Last edited: May 19, 2014

    macuser453787 macrumors 6502

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    #10
    I don't believe the price of the drive is the factor.

    Check out this link from Micro Center:

    http://www.microcenter.com/search/s...4294958365&NTX=&NTT=&NTK=all&sortby=pricehigh

    ...and note that every listed model under $20 is priced that way because those drives are sold OEM (meaning without retail packaging). The drives above $20, except for the "Pioneer BDC-207DBK Internal Blu-ray Reader and DVD/CD Writer Combo", are priced that way because they have Retail packaging (and likely include software also). That's where the higher cost comes into play. Optical drives are just really inexpensive anymore, so I suggest not focusing on the price of the drive as in indicator of quality.

    The external drive is a good idea for purposes of troubleshooting, but the issue may very well be something about the OS install, particularly since it's happened before (and even more so if it's happened with different brands of drives).

    I assume you've already done this, but just in case: Have you double-checked that your power/data cable is fully connected/properly seated to the back of the drive?
     
  11. C. Alan thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 23, 2009
    #11
    I did some digging around in my logs last night, and I think the problem may be related to the DVD player not waking up from power saving mode. I am going to research this a little more, and turn off the drive shut down in preference and see if this makes a difference.
     
  12. crjackson2134 macrumors 68020

    crjackson2134

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    #12
    Now that you mention it, I've read about others having a similar problem due to not waking from sleep. I don't have that issue myself but I can see that happening. There have been lots of sleep issues since 10.9 came out.

    Let me know what you figure out.
     
  13. C. Alan, May 20, 2014
    Last edited: May 20, 2014

    C. Alan thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Im running 10.8.5.

    I found the following error in my log file that has lead me to believe it is a power management problem:
    Code:
    5/19/14 9:48:04.000 PM kernel[0]: IOSCSIPeripheralDeviceType05::setPowerState(0xffffff803364b400, 1 -> 4) timed out after 100737 ms
    
    I went ahead and turned off the disk drive sleep mode in power settings, and so far I have not had any problems with the dvd drive failing to eject, and my system freezing up. I think I may have solved the problem. (knock on wood)...
     
  14. crjackson2134 macrumors 68020

    crjackson2134

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    Charlotte, NC
    #14
    Excellent! Fingers crossed.
     

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