Dying to buy iMac ... disc scratching issue scaring me off

Discussion in 'iMac' started by BigG94, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. BigG94 macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2012
    Hi, registered here to toss this question out. I need to replace our main desktop computer at home. It's a PC. However, I've used a Mac for about 17 years or so at work, currently a 27-inch 2.66 ghz Intel Core i5 iMac, so I have knowledge of "both universes."

    I'm dying to get an iMac for home use, the 21.5-inch model (that will suit my needs at home, don't need a 27). I don't think PCs are crap, I just like Macs better and would like to totally dive into the Mac pool and be in the same universe both at home and on the job. I've been telling my wife, whose only computer experience has been with PCs and has been resistant to make the change, for years that if she ever got her hands on a Mac, she'd never go back, and she's finally amenable to trying.

    I've been shopping around and had about decided on a refurb from the Apple Store ... when I came across the issue of the superdrives in iMacs scratching discs. And, on reflection, I think it's happened a few times with my iMac at work. I've brought some personal discs to put things on iTunes and later noticed scratches on the discs, and I'm quite anal about keeping discs in pristine condition.

    I know I'm a Luddite in the era of "the cloud," and that probably within a decade or so recordable media like CD-Rs and DVD-Rs are going to be about like VHS. But in the here and now, in my personal computer usage at home, I still do an incredible amount of disc usage and disc burning.

    I do to the point where this is scaring me off, because having the drive scratch discs really is a deal killer for me. I've read the stuff at various forums about how you have to take the discs out just a certain way, but the human reality is you're not going to do that 10 times out of 10 (plus other people, including kids, would be using this computer at one point or another and it will be impossible to guarantee that they do it right 10 out of 10 either). I've read about people taping up the slot and using a Dremel to burr the aluminum down, but I'm not inclined to do that to something I'm going to spend so much loot on. I'm also not inclined to spend that much on a computer and plug an external burner drive into it.

    This is my question ... this issue apparently was very prevalent on the 2010 iMacs. I've gotten mixed information on whether it was fixed in the 2011 iMacs (most of the refurbs available at the Apple Store are 2011 models). Would I be less prone to have this issue by spending a little extra and buying a new, recent production iMac as opposed to a refurb?

    I know I seem to be dwelling on an issue that might be inconsequential to some folks, given the other advantages to a Mac. But again, I use recordable media so much, and some of the things I have on recordable media that I often insert into my computer to do things with are so irreplaceable, to where really any chance of this issue happening is, as I said, a deal killer.

    Thanks in advance for any help.
  2. clibinarius macrumors 6502a

    Aug 26, 2010
    If you're scared of the iMac but want one, you can always buy an external h/d for pretty cheap and use that when you need it, and put it away when you don't. Yes its not stylish, but at least it doesn't have to be on the desk at all times!

    It would also allow you to view CDs without scratching them.
  3. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008

    I don't own an iMac, but know a bit about them and about computer manufacturing. Chances are, the drives used in the 2010 model and the 2011 model are different. Somone more knowledgeable about it will come along and tell you.
  4. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    I've got a 2 year old iMac for which this is an "issue". I've scratched maybe 1 or two disks out of hundreds I've inserted. You can be careful with the disks, or I suppose you could put some tape on the slot lips if you are very concerned. It's not something to lose sleep over.
  5. doctorjj macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2008
    I have a 2011 iMac 27" and have not had any scratching of discs whatsoever. At first I was also worried about the slot loading drive scratching my CD's but I've checked them all after ejecting them and have not noticed one problem.
  6. throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    1. have had multiple slot loading drives, never scratched a disk with them
    2. i have actually scratched a disk on a caddy drive (YMMV of course)
    3. scratches can be polished out, IF you scratch a disk. The media is on the other side, the label side.

    If you want an imac, get one, this is nothing to worry over :D

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