Superdrive ejecting all disks inserted into it; any ideas?

gumbyx84

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 7, 2008
487
0
Hey all. I'm running into a problem with my MBP 4,1. My MBP's superdrive is no longer accepting optical disks of any type (CD or DVDs; regular or writeable). I just found out about it when I was trying to rip a DVD earlier today. I insert the DVD, it pulls it in, then a second or so later, it spits it back out. It doesn't even seem to spin up the disk. I've tried cleaning the drive with canned air but its not working. I'd take it to an Apple Store (I have Applecare on it) but the closest store is closed for renovation until Nov 5th.

Anyone here run into this problem and/or have a DIY/home-spun cure for this problem? The next closest Apple-Store is over a hour away and my car will not survive the trip (borrowing older car from family member ATM). Thanks ahead of time to anyone who can help.

PS I'm thinking my MBP will need to be send in for service. If this is true, I run into another small problem. I swapped out my MBP HD awhile ago with a larger drive. I've heard that this can void your AppleCare (here on the forum to be exact), but I've also heard it won't (also here AND from a Genius). If I do have to send this in, am I better off swapping my old HD into my MBP? I had help doing this the first time and would rather not have to do it if I don't have to. Again, appreciate any help you guys can give.
 

RexTraverse

macrumors 6502
Feb 10, 2008
259
0
Sometimes it's as simple as a dirty laser lens. Buy a lens cleaning disc (usually around $5-10 at Target or RadioShack) and run the disc through. Should fix it.

If you're more tech savvy, you can open up your MBP and tear apart the SuperDrive and clean with lens itself with a Q-tip and some isopropyl alcohol. Cheaper than the disc, but obviously a lot more time consuming and higher risk.

If cleaning the lens doesn't work, AppleCare. Or if it's out of warranty, replace the SuperDrive.
 

velocityg4

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2004
5,017
1,577
Georgia
If you're more tech savvy, you can open up your MBP and tear apart the SuperDrive and clean with lens itself with a Q-tip and some isopropyl alcohol. Cheaper than the disc, but obviously a lot more time consuming and higher risk.
This will instantly void your warranty. If it still has one.

One of the cleaning discs RexTraverse mentioned may work. If it does not the cheapest source for a superdrive is eBay, assuming you no longer have a warranty. They run about $70 from US sellers. The China and Hong Kong eBay sellers are a bit cheaper but then if you get a defective then return shipping costs more and is more of a hassle.
 

gumbyx84

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 7, 2008
487
0
Thanks for the info

Sometimes it's as simple as a dirty laser lens. Buy a lens cleaning disc (usually around $5-10 at Target or RadioShack) and run the disc through. Should fix it.

If you're more tech savvy, you can open up your MBP and tear apart the SuperDrive and clean with lens itself with a Q-tip and some isopropyl alcohol. Cheaper than the disc, but obviously a lot more time consuming and higher risk.

If cleaning the lens doesn't work, AppleCare. Or if it's out of warranty, replace the SuperDrive.
I'll hold off on opening the MBP. The drive swap went perfectly (nothing showing it was opened except the replaced HD) so here's hoping the warranty is still good. Quick question about the lens cleaner: any peticular one I should get? I know some can damage sensetive optic lenses (some "makes" can knock the lense out of alignment on game consoles [PS2 in particular)) or is that just an old wives-tale I stupidly believe?

Also (not to sound rude or ungrateful for the help), if the drive ejects the disks the second they are inserted, how will a lens cleaner actually have a chance to work?
 

RexTraverse

macrumors 6502
Feb 10, 2008
259
0
Also (not to sound rude or ungrateful for the help), if the drive ejects the disks the second they are inserted, how will a lens cleaner actually have a chance to work?
I thought the voided warranty point was kinda obvious. :p

As for this question... if the problem is as simple as a dirty lens, the drive is still trying to read all discs. It ejects it because it can't. So the disc will still mount into the cradle and the disc will spin at first, giving the cleaning disc an opportunity to brush off the lens. Even if the drive spits it out once, try it one or two more times before moving to the next step.

I have a Phillips disc with microfiber brushes that has worked very well. Runs a goofy space station blows up asteroids animation for the disc cleaning cycle.
 

gumbyx84

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 7, 2008
487
0
I thought the voided warranty point was kinda obvious. :p.
Well, I've heard (again on this forum) that people have replaced their own HDs and send the systems in for repair under AppleCare and either got the system back without any changes (excluding the repair) or the new drive was removed from the system and returned to them. Unless the new HD is the cause of the problem, Apple doesn't void the warrenty (again, as I understand it as told by members of this very forum). Also, trying not to think about losing $250+ on a voided AppleCare warranty.

Anyway, heading back out to pick up the lens cleaner. Here's hoping BestBuy allows returns on opened product because if this doesn't fix the problem, I want my $22 back.

The lens cleaner I am getting: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Digital...95959&skuId=8814394&st=lens cleaner&cp=1&lp=5
 

RexTraverse

macrumors 6502
Feb 10, 2008
259
0

velocityg4

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2004
5,017
1,577
Georgia
Also (not to sound rude or ungrateful for the help), if the drive ejects the disks the second they are inserted, how will a lens cleaner actually have a chance to work?
If the ejection is occurring immediately then the drive is faulty.

If the lens is dirty or something is wrong with the reader you will hear the drive spin up 3 or 4 times in an attempt to read the disc and it will take at least 20 seconds of trying to read before spitting it back out.

As for lens cleaning. One trick I read about is getting a thin and soft cotton cloth damp (not wet enough to drip) with rubbing alcohol. Wrap around a credit card and swipe pass the lens (you should not need to force it). The lens is in the left corner about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in. A couple of passes aught to clean it.

Many responses said this worked. Though it did not for me as the CD reader was faulty though DVD's still worked.
 

gumbyx84

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 7, 2008
487
0
Oh Jesus... please don't buy from Best Buy.

Go to Amazon and search for laser lens cleaner.

$22 is a ripoff (as most things at Best Buy are). Don't pay more than $10...
I would buy it online, but I need it now.

Worst Buy will only give you $22 in store credit, be advised.
I'll have stuff to get (DVDs are on sale).

If the ejection is occurring immediately then the drive is faulty.

If the lens is dirty or something is wrong with the reader you will hear the drive spin up 3 or 4 times in an attempt to read the disc and it will take at least 20 seconds of trying to read before spitting it back out.

As for lens cleaning. One trick I read about is getting a thin and soft cotton cloth damp (not wet enough to drip) with rubbing alcohol. Wrap around a credit card and swipe pass the lens (you should not need to force it). The lens is in the left corner about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in. A couple of passes aught to clean it.

Many responses said this worked. Though it did not for me as the CD reader was faulty though DVD's still worked.
That is what I am worried about. I went out to get the lens cleaner, so I'm going to try it.

Update: Trying lens cleaner. Takes 2 seconds to eject from the drive. Here's hoping I can return as taking the train into Boston will be costing me $15.50 (x2 with me going to drop it off and going back to pick it). :( I'm extremely worried now. More so that my warranty will be voided and I'm out $250+.
 

RexTraverse

macrumors 6502
Feb 10, 2008
259
0
Update: Trying lens cleaner. Takes 2 seconds to eject from the drive. Here's hoping I can return as taking the train into Boston will be costing me $15.50 (x2 with me going to drop it off and going back to pick it). :( I'm extremely worried now. More so that my warranty will be voided and I'm out $250+.
Sorry that it didn't work. Hope they let you return it.

As far as the HDD goes, just to be absolutely safe, I'd suggest putting the old drive back in before taking it into AppleCare. My understanding of Magnusson-Moss Warranty Law is that in order for them to deny you warranty coverage of your SuperDrive over something like the replacement of a HDD, they need to prove that this action was the direct cause of the damage that you're bringing the machine in for warranty service for.

It's in your best interest to return your Mac to factory configuration lest the Genius that opens up your machine sees a non-original HDD and then tries to make up some reason to deny service because of it.
 

gumbyx84

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 7, 2008
487
0
Sorry that it didn't work. Hope they let you return it.

As far as the HDD goes, just to be absolutely safe, I'd suggest putting the old drive back in before taking it into AppleCare. My understanding of Magnusson-Moss Warranty Law is that in order for them to deny you warranty coverage of your SuperDrive over something like the replacement of a HDD, they need to prove that this action was the direct cause of the damage that you're bringing the machine in for warranty service for.

It's in your best interest to return your Mac to factory configuration lest the Genius that opens up your machine sees a non-original HDD and then tries to make up some reason to deny service because of it.
Ya had a feeling I should swap the drives out. Sadly, I probably won't as I think I'll do some damage to the system swapping it out. I'm probably going to wait until next week when the easier-to-get-to Apple Store is open again. So I have that time to make up my mind about swapping the drives and finding my AppleCare paperwork. Seems it got "misplaced" during my move back home. Still have the AppleCare packaging and included paperwork; Just can't find the paperwork Apple sent me after I registered said warranty to my MBP.

Keep your fingers crosses for me guys. :(

Appreciate the help, RexTraverse and Techhie.
 

n3092

macrumors newbie
Mar 3, 2009
22
0
you need a new superdrive i had mine replaced twice because of the same thing save your money and just wait for the store to reopen
 

gumbyx84

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 7, 2008
487
0
you need a new superdrive i had mine replaced twice because of the same thing save your money and just wait for the store to reopen
Thanks for the heads up. I'll probably just wait. I can rip the DVDs on my other laptop (Thinkpad T60p).
 

velocityg4

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2004
5,017
1,577
Georgia
Ya had a feeling I should swap the drives out. Sadly, I probably won't as I think I'll do some damage to the system swapping it out. I'm probably going to wait until next week when the easier-to-get-to Apple Store is open again. So I have that time to make up my mind about swapping the drives and finding my AppleCare paperwork. Seems it got "misplaced" during my move back home. Still have the AppleCare packaging and included paperwork; Just can't find the paperwork Apple sent me after I registered said warranty to my MBP.

Keep your fingers crosses for me guys. :(

Appreciate the help, RexTraverse and Techhie.
They will have your information on file so no need to go scrounging for it. They just look up your Mac's serial number.

If you want to be sure it is on file check the Service and Repair page.
 

maddin4j

macrumors member
Jul 28, 2009
95
0
This is a common problem and I had this problem as well with my 15" MacBook Pro (early 2008). I just bought a can with compressed air and everything was ok again :)
 

gumbyx84

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 7, 2008
487
0
This is a common problem and I had this problem as well with my 15" MacBook Pro (early 2008). I just bought a can with compressed air and everything was ok again :)
Already tried canned air, but had no luck. Thanks for the help though.
 

Dizzler

macrumors regular
Apr 28, 2009
124
6
My MBP's superdrive is no longer accepting optical disks of any type (CD or DVDs; regular or writeable). I just found out about it when I was trying to rip a DVD earlier today. I insert the DVD, it pulls it in, then a second or so later, it spits it back out. It doesn't even seem to spin up the disk. I've tried cleaning the drive with canned air but its not working. I'd take it to an Apple Store (I have Applecare on it) but the closest store is closed for renovation until Nov 5th.
Have you tried shutting the system down and then rebooting? It may do a hardward check when you reboot. Worth a try.
 

bigmike625

macrumors newbie
Dec 12, 2009
1
0
If the ejection is occurring immediately then the drive is faulty.

If the lens is dirty or something is wrong with the reader you will hear the drive spin up 3 or 4 times in an attempt to read the disc and it will take at least 20 seconds of trying to read before spitting it back out.

As for lens cleaning. One trick I read about is getting a thin and soft cotton cloth damp (not wet enough to drip) with rubbing alcohol. Wrap around a credit card and swipe pass the lens (you should not need to force it). The lens is in the left corner about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in. A couple of passes aught to clean it.

Many responses said this worked. Though it did not for me as the CD reader was faulty though DVD's still worked.
Thanks! Thanks! Thanks! Didn't have to leave the house or spend a dime. Credit card around sunglass cleaning cloth with a little alcohol worked like a charm! Star Wars Episode III not only doesn't eject after a 10 seconds but looks and sounds better than ever on my Powerbook G4 17" thanks to your tip ...
 

aoitsukinosuke

macrumors regular
Jun 13, 2011
116
0
As for lens cleaning. One trick I read about is getting a thin and soft cotton cloth damp (not wet enough to drip) with rubbing alcohol. Wrap around a credit card and swipe pass the lens (you should not need to force it). The lens is in the left corner about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in. A couple of passes aught to clean it.

Many responses said this worked. Though it did not for me as the CD reader was faulty though DVD's still worked.
That's amazing. I was very reluctant to try it at first. But, then I said "What the heck! It isn't working anyway."
And know my superdrive is back to life again.
Thank you so much for this tip.

PS= I used nail polish remover borrowed from wifey and an eyeglass cleaning cloth just like @bigmike625 described.
 

alksion

macrumors 68000
Sep 10, 2010
1,708
111
Orange County CA
That's amazing. I was very reluctant to try it at first. But, then I said "What the heck! It isn't working anyway."
And know my superdrive is back to life again.
Thank you so much for this tip.

PS= I used nail polish remover borrowed from wifey and an eyeglass cleaning cloth just like @bigmike625 described.
Reviving..

Did not work for me on a 27 iMac..... Annoyed, my HDD and SuperDrive are both failing on this Mac.... AppleCare is going to be getting a little visit from someone
 

aoitsukinosuke

macrumors regular
Jun 13, 2011
116
0
Reviving..

Did not work for me on a 27 iMac..... Annoyed, my HDD and SuperDrive are both failing on this Mac.... AppleCare is going to be getting a little visit from someone
Gosh, it's been a while.

I'm also back to step one after a few days.
Good luck alksion.
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
91
Poole, England
I've given up on the "Super"drive in my MBP a long time ago and use an external LG BR burner. It's always struggled to read many discs, even commercial DVDs that play perfectly fine in other computers and dedidated BR or DVD players.

I suppose I should have taken it to Apple when it was still under warranty, but I just couldn't be bothered. It normally makes horrible noises for quite a while - probably about 30 seconds and then spits the disc back out. Sometimes the whole computer beach balls and stalls whilst this is happening and sometimes it resumes, but the disc won't come out forcing a restart and force eject. Super drive seems like an oxymoron to me.
 
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