Finder reads cds as "empty"

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by circusarts, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. circusarts macrumors newbie

    Mar 28, 2008
    My problem is that whenever I insert a homemade cd, it comes up on the desktop, but when I click on it, it's empty (reads: 0 items, 1.3 MB of 702.8 MB. used on disc). I can put the cds in either of my other macs (ibook & powerbook) and they show all the contents, but not on my imac. This is not a problem with premade cds or any kind of dvd. This is only a problem with burnt cds, from either mac or pc, with various types of contents, and with various brands of cds - verbatim, maxell, memorex, imation and hp. It doesn't matter if the discs were burnt with the finder, itunes, disk utility, or Toast.

    I'm using an IMAC 1.8Ghz G5, OS 10.4.11, with the apple installed Matshita dvd-r uj-825. I have run Disk Utility. All permissions are fine. And I've used a lens cleaner cd.

    Up until a few weeks ago there was no problem at all. Any suggestions? Thanks!!
  2. Vanyasteen macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2008
    This is likely a hardware problem. There's two lasers inside your optical drive, and it sounds like the one for reading CDs is slowly slipping out of alignment. Usually the DVD laser fails first, due to the tighter calibration required.

    The only good news it that if your iMac is a G5 without the built-in iSight, it's pretty easy to do the replacement yourself.
  3. circusarts thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 28, 2008
    Thank you

    Thank you for your help. I'll prob. order a new a new internal superdrive. I found one at MCE Technologies for under $100.

    Thanks again!!
  4. Hankster macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2008
    Washington DC
    It's your optical drive that's the problem. May want to clean the drive or replace the drive.
  5. aseriesofdigits macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2008
    Got the same problem

    My iMac G5 hasn't been reading any burned media from other computers. It does fine with media I have burned or commercially produced media. But if I get a cd-r of images burned else where I get a message that I have inserted a blank CD. But if I take the CD to my brother's Powerbook, it has no problem reading it.

    I was concerned it was dirty since I run a humidifier during the winter. But Apple support said it should go to be serviced and that they did not recommend cleaning it. I'd be more suspicious of dirt if not for the fact that it reads store bought audio CDs but not burned CD-Rs. So the lens works? Same for DVD-R and now I am having errors when burning DVDs.

    Looks like I need a replacement. How was the MCE superdrive upgrade? Was it an easy install?

    btw - I have had three power supplies replaced on this machine due to manufacture defects, praise be to warranties. But now my extended apple care is expired.
  6. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    The replacement should not be too difficult. Here is Apples guide for replacing the Superdrive on an iMac G5 20 inch (PDF). If your model differs here is Apples listings of manuals and do it yourself guides for the iMac. You will need a slot loading drive for laptops that can. They are relatively tough to find but you can get one through that is likely cheaper, faster and handles more media types than an official Superdrive. You may also be able to find one that does Blue Ray though more expensive without movie support.
  7. circusarts thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 28, 2008
    MCE upgrade/replacement

    Sorry to hear that you're having a similar problem.

    The new superdrive from MCE is working fine. It came with illustrated instructions for installation. (hey, three big words starting with "i")
    It took me about 20 minutes to replace, and cost $100.

    It was a problem with one of the lasers. I went the replacement route only after nothing else worked and a non apple employed repair tech's recommendation.

    ps - I'm glad you got your power supply issues resolved. Almost every time I've dealt with any form of mac tech support, the problem is never with their product, and I'm left feeling like I'm overlooking something. I've found dealing with an Apple authorized repair company (even for free advice) has been cheaper, faster, and much more straightforward than dealing with apple - either online, on the phone, or at their stores.
  8. aseriesofdigits macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2008
    Uh, What's this screw?

    FYI. I got the MCE superdrive upgrade and the installation guide laid out a very easy replacement guide. I liked the list of required tools: Phillips #2 screwdriver and a soft cloth. How could I go wrong.

    Well, it did.

    I get to the point where the instructions read, "Remove the screws that hold the screened outer metal bracket and the logic board connector to the original optical drive and replace the bracket and connector onto the MCE optical drive upgrade." There I run into a screw head that I have no driver for. Certainly no Phillips #2 screwdriver is going to fit. Several tiny screws with a six pointed star-head, what is that and what screwdriver do I need for it?

    Seemed like kind of essential information there. Surprised MCE failed to mention it in their instructions or list of required tools.

Share This Page