Luckily I'm back on my mac writing this thread but this is just to be here for anyone else possibly encountering this problem. I was burning a cd in iTunes but the second I pressed "Burn" I realized the disc's layout wasn't right so I pressed cancel. iTunes said "will take a few minutes to cancel" so I went away to do other things. Half an hour later I came back and the disc drive was still busy and iTunes said "this will take a few minutes" - nothing had happened. I then pressed Eject on keyboard and nothing happened. I Force Quitted iTunes and the drive just kept spinning so I decided to reboot. The Apple chime came along with the usual whitish screen... but nothing happened. Except the disc drive tried to make sense of the partially burnt cd. At first I tried hitting Eject again but nothing happened. Then I went away for a few hours and came back to finish my disc thing. The thing just didn't boot so I took my trusty VAIO and googled around and tried pressing X on boot, tried pressing Alt/Option on boot, tried pressing the mouse button... Nothing did the trick. It just stood there and the disc drive was doing a harakiri trying to make sense of the cd. So I went away and came back later again. I tried the mouse button trick a few more times and just left the machine alone while googling around some more. After 5 minutes or so I glanced upon the iMac and saw that the Apple logo had appeared and the loading flower icon thingie was spinning as usual and 10 seconds later, OS X loaded. I then started hitting the Eject like a madman (until it apparently stopped working, must try again after reboot) because the disc drive was still trying to identify the disc. About 15 seconds later from my Eject-frenzy the disc drive threw the disc out and everything apparently returned to status quo. I'm really mad about both the bug in iTunes/OS X (or the disc drive firmware) and the fact that even the mouse down trick didn't work and all you could really do was wait patiently and hear the disc drive mechanism try to kill itself. (Yeah I know, it probably didn't get harmed in this incident, it's just not nice to hear a mechanism trying to repeat the same task over and over and over when it just fails) I was wondering if anyone knows does the Intel iMac have hidden paperclip-release thing for the optical disc (like apparently the G5's have)? So, when a failed disc ruins your boot, just wait for a while if the supposed tricks do not work. Of course, I'm a recent switcher so if there's something I could/should have done instead I'm glad to hear about it. Otherwise this thread is for future panicked searchers.