Getting a stuck disc out of the Mac mini optical drive

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Doctor Q, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Yesterday I helped a Mac mini owner who had a CD stuck in the optical drive. It wasn't a physical jam. The mini simply didn't recognize the CD and therefore didn't offer any way to eject it. The Finder didn't see it. Disk Utility didn't see it. And holding the mouse button down while booting didn't eject it.

    The solution turned out to be as follows:
    1. Switch from a wireless keyboard to a wired keyboard.
    2. Shut down.
    3. Hold the D key while booting to launch the Apple Hardware Test.
    4. Choose Shut Down. The disc ejects.
    I hope this tip will help others in the same situation.
  2. Jolly Giant macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

    Sep 15, 2010
    Hamburg, Germany
    some additional options include:

    credit for the above goes to Kappy
  3. rbimd macrumors newbie


    Apr 14, 2018
    --- Post Merged, Apr 14, 2018 ---
    I had a truly stuck CD and software ejection techniques failed, since my computer wouldn't start up with the CD in the drive. It sounded as though it was continually trying to read it, and therefore wouldn't progress to startup. I read rumors of a physical eject button but despite probing, I couldn't locate it. THERE IS ONE I learned. It also failed in my case, however. I risked disassembly since this was a spare computer that had no important data on it. It is rather easy and non-technical to do. Please sees photos below. Start with power and cables disconnected.

    (1) using a thin flathead screwdriver, gently pry between metal cover and white plastic from the back side of the computer. As a small space opens insert an additional, larger flathead and torque gently open just a bit more. Using the smaller screwdriver, work around the sides of the computer open the space gradually. Additional prying with the larger flathead will open the case. Notice the white plastic clips snap into the groove inside the cover all around the case except the back.

    (2) with the cover removed, access the Superdrive mechanism by removing the 4 small (and very short) Phillips head screws. Gently pry open the cover only 1 inch, leaving the side with the cover-pressure sensor attached. One can then remove a stuck CD/DVD. The optical laser is seen in the upper left of the photo, residing in a groove which allows it to move from edge to edge of the disc. Gently clean the lens with a cotton swap dipped in rubbing alcohol (damp but not dripping). Remove any other debris if found, in the mechanism.

    (3) reassemble, making certain to align the back (power and port side) carefully. It snaps into place easily, white clips into metal groove.

    (4) note the small black inner eject button on the extreme right side of the CD slot is activated by the black rubber "button" on the exterior extreme right of the slot. In my case this was stuck and did not function.

    (5) note the ? PHYSICAL EJECT LEVER inside the CD slot, about 1 inch left of the extreme right side of the CD slot which can be operated with a paper clip or section of coat hanger. It is 1-1.5 inches behind the slot opening. Wont let me upload video clip. 2 pics instead. I'm not truly certain this lever will cause ejection,or if its just a guide.


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