Mac Mini won't read cd's or DVD's

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by huckleberrylane, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. huckleberrylane macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2013
    I have a Mac mini 10.6.8. The mac worked great but after about a year it just stopped reading Cd's and DVD's. It makes a noise as if it's trying to read and then there is a grinding noise which it might repeat several times then spits the CD out. There is a possibility that the cd rom program was deleted when the computer was being "cleaned up" so I was wondering if someone could give me some pointers wether or not the rom is broken or if I need to download the program again.... I really need to download a program via CD!!!!

    Thanks for any help!
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Some folks have had success "recovering" faltering DVD drives by spraying a little "canned air" into them (WARNING -- you do not want anything in the can except "air" -- I have heard that some cans of "air" have chemical contents as well, you don't want them).
    This blows dust out and gets things working again.

    I've also heard that it's NOT a good idea to use a "CD cleaning disc" with a slot-loading drive such as the Mini has.

    If nothing will revive the internal drive, you can connect an external DVD/CD writer via USB. They can be found for relatively low cost from "the usual sources"….
  3. MattA macrumors 6502


    May 15, 2006
    Orlando, FL
    I used a credit card + a microfiber cloth + some isopropyl alcohol.

    put some alcohol on the cloth, wrap it in the credit card, and very carefully insert it partially into the slot with a wiping motion. This same issue happened to my 2009 Mac Mini, and doing this removed all the crud from the lens. It worked perfectly after that.

  4. Razzerman II, Apr 16, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013

    Razzerman II macrumors member

    Dec 13, 2011
    Scunthorpe - yes, that place
    Broken drive...


    My 2009 mini did the same thing - DVD drive conked out after a year. Probably explains why they've stopped putting them in. Your best bet is to get a cheap external one.



    ** Edit**

    Or try cleaning as above :)
  5. spatlese44 macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2007
    I had the same problem and ended up putting a new drive in. The one I got only cost $50 and I installed it myself. Not a simple job, but easier than the Macbooks I've taken apart.

    As for the credit card and soft cloth cleaning method, I get the idea, but that didn't work for me. After pulling the drive, I inspected the lens and it was quite clean after all the effort I put into cleaning it. A word of warning: I damaged the fabric slot lining by getting too agressive with the credit card. Really should have given up on it earlier.

    As for the new drive, it works great, but I had a problem with firmware not updating. It's the same drive make and model but fails every time I do a software update. I have tried everything, including posting something about the issue yesterday. I don't have a clue how to fix it and after 300+ views and zero posts, it would seem nobody else does either. Were I to repeat the process and assuming I was keeping the computer I would put an SSD where the optical drive was, set it up as a fusion drive and get an external superdrive.
  6. WharfRat1971 macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2013
    I used one of the CD cleaners on an 09 mini. Did the trick.
  7. barkmonster macrumors 68020


    Dec 3, 2001
    If cleaning the drive doesn't work, get a data doubler or similar, yank out the drive and add a second hard drive for extra storage.

    External DVDs are dirt cheap these days. You can even get Mac compatible Blu Ray writers for about £60 or so.

    I removed the DVD in my Mac Mini and use it externally with a £6 USB to optical SATA lead whenever I need to burn anything.
  8. GrafikFeat macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2011
    Gold Bar, WA
    CD Being Phased Out

    My mini did it also after an update from Apple. My guess i they are fighting piracy AND moving you to the "CLOUD".
    That's too bad... Since I'm a Graphic Designer I still give files to clients...
    Bad Move APPLE.
  9. Farley macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2008
    Hi, is the insertion of the credit card wrapped with the cloth done with computer on? or off? and how far into the slot should I put the card. Thanks.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 9, 2017 ---
    Hi, is the insertion of the credit card wrapped with the cloth done with computer on? or off? and how far into the slot should I put the card. Thanks.
  10. MattA macrumors 6502


    May 15, 2006
    Orlando, FL
    When I did it, I did it with the computer off and made sure not to lose the card in the drive. Be careful, as there's stuff in there that can break. You're only trying to clean the lens, not need a new drive. :)

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