iMac g3 won't fully eject CD

AL1630

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 24, 2016
351
291
Idaho, USA
As shown in the gif, the cd peeks out, only to be sucked back in a couple seconds later. Are there any fixes for this?
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
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I don't normally deal with iMacs, so I have no specific solutions for you on this. However, here is something you could try.

Tilt the Mac forward and try ejecting the disk. Leave enough room so that if the CD comes out it's not going to bump whatever the Mac is sitting on.

Some of the slot loading PowerBooks I have had used to have this particular little issue. I used gravity to my benefit by tilting the optical drive downward.
 

RhianB

macrumors 65816
Sep 3, 2016
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505 USA
Isn't this similar to the cube eject problem? I'm pretty sure there is a thread fix about this on MRF somewhere. IIRC the little wheels that grip the cd on the drive shrink and harden over time, so OP put layers of tape around the inject/eject wheels on the drive to help it grip to the cd.

It was something like that anyhow. Sorry that's not more help. I've successfully used Erik's suggestion on my wife's old bondi imac. There were a few times where the CD was extra stubborn where I used some rubber tipped tweezers to catch the edge of the cd and help pull it out. I also successfully used two butter knives one time when I couldnt find my tweezers in my desk.

:D
 
Last edited:

Xandros

macrumors regular
Sep 19, 2010
211
11
Common problem with those slot loaders. Mine started doing it years ago and now it's so ****ed it doesn't even spit them out a tiny bit for me to grab with something.

I always assumed it was the two rollers that had worn down as RhianB suggested so they didn't grip the cd anymore. However I took mine apart last year when I was bored one day and decided to have a look. Basically the two powered rollers that grip the cd and pull it in/spit it out are driven by a little rubber band/belt thing. The problem with mine at least is the belt has worn out and become loose over the years and now when the rollers grab a cd (they're spring loaded incidentally) the belt just can't handle the added pressure when the disc gets to a certain point and it slips meaning the rollers stop spinning.

It's fine when you're putting a disc in as obviously you can just push it until it goes in. It's the ejecting that becomes a problem. Short of replacing the belt, and possible the rollers (not sure they need to be replaced in my drive as they didn't look worn out), I think the only fix is to just buy a replacement drive.
 

RhianB

macrumors 65816
Sep 3, 2016
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Hmm, interesting. Do you think you could replace the stretched out belt with say ... a small rubber band, thin gasket etc.?
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,225
14,948
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
Hmm, interesting. Do you think you could replace the stretched out belt with say ... a small rubber band, thin gasket etc.?
Might work for a while, but I doubt long term.

My parents had this VCR they got in 1983 that I used for a while. Belts were worn and would't play because of that. In the early 90s when I had it finding a belt for it would have been impossible so I tried short rubber bands. Ended up snapping them after a short amount of use so that VCR got thrown out at some point.

Not the same as this optical drive but the stresses are the same I think. Rubber bands are made to stretch but will fail when overstretched or can just stretch out over time. They don't hold their tension for long.
 

CooperBox

macrumors 65816
Nov 28, 2010
1,266
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France - between Ricard & Absinthe
Might work for a while, but I doubt long term.

My parents had this VCR they got in 1983 that I used for a while. Belts were worn and would't play because of that. In the early 90s when I had it finding a belt for it would have been impossible so I tried short rubber bands. Ended up snapping them after a short amount of use so that VCR got thrown out at some point.

Not the same as this optical drive but the stresses are the same I think. Rubber bands are made to stretch but will fail when overstretched or can just stretch out over time. They don't hold their tension for long.
So true. A rubber band of smaller size than the original drive belt will probably work, but is only a very short-term solution. There are several YT videos which advise on this. Type in 'How to repair a CD/DVD drive that won't eject the discs - HD' into the YT search bar. Even if the optical drive is not identical to the one shown in the video, the principle is basically the same. I've tried a 'rubber-band' fix on an iMac G4 optical drive, and it worked until I could find a replacement drive for 5 euros.
A less elegant fix may be found in this YT video. 'Repairing a non ejecting dvd drive part 2'. I've never tried this, so unable to advise further.
[doublepost=1489938126][/doublepost]
I don't normally deal with iMacs, so I have no specific solutions for you on this. However, here is something you could try.

Tilt the Mac forward and try ejecting the disk. Leave enough room so that if the CD comes out it's not going to bump whatever the Mac is sitting on.

Some of the slot loading PowerBooks I have had used to have this particular little issue. I used gravity to my benefit by tilting the optical drive downward.
[doublepost=1489938202][/doublepost]
Isn't this similar to the cube eject problem? I'm pretty sure there is a thread fix about this on MRF somewhere. IIRC the little wheels that grip the cd on the drive shrink and harden over time, so OP put layers of tape around the inject/eject wheels on the drive to help it grip to the cd.

It was something like that anyhow. Sorry that's not more help. I've successfully used Erik's suggestion on my wife's old bondi imac. There were a few times where the CD was extra stubborn where I used some rubber tipped tweezers to catch the edge of the cd and help pull it out. I also successfully used two butter knives one time when I couldnt find my tweezers in my desk.

:D
You are correct, these later iMac drives are similar to those in the Cube. Have spent many hours trying to perfect a solution on the rubber rollers, so far without success. What I've never done however is changed the drive belt between the plastic drive pulleys. During next tear-down I'll measure the drive belt and see if anything similar is available on-line.
 
Last edited:

Xandros

macrumors regular
Sep 19, 2010
211
11
Hmm, interesting. Do you think you could replace the stretched out belt with say ... a small rubber band, thin gasket etc.?
Probably not a rubber band since they tend to become brittle after a while, so as the others said it'd be a temporary fix. But a rubber gasket or a o-ring might work, again if you can find the right sort of size and thickness. If anyone does want to undertake this sort of fix though I do recomend they evaluate the costs and time/effort involved though as you may find it'd just be easier even if only slightly more expensive buying a replacement drive that works. That's why I didn't even bother repairing mine, I just put it back in the iMac and forgot about it since in my particular case I've got an external firewire enclosure with a DVD-Writer in it if I need to read a disc (which is ten times better than the internal cd-rom drive anyway).

Only downside to the external firewire drive is for some reason my iMac G3 (summer 2000) can't boot from external firewire drives. So when it invariably comes round to me needing to boot into the Tiger installation disc I wind up having to use my PowerBook G4 in Target Disk mode. Which is ironic because that connects via FireWire. Why the hell the iMac can boot from another drive in Target Disk mode via FireWire but not an external FireWire drive is beyond me. I guess th enclosure is just crap or something. But anyway I digress.
 
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