Jun 12, 2010

MacBook Pro SuperDrive won't read any dvd - ejects.

Anar here...

Actually with a good news :) at least for me.

The Problem.

This story started about a year ago. My MacBook Pro 15", late 2008 model, started to complain when writing DVDs. So, he refused some of medias :( I didn't actually pay any attention to it, since I am not burning much. I just tried to use good Verbatim disks, that all.

Some months later, my laptop started to refuse to read some DVD. That was a kind of disturbing... I looked in internet and found a verrrrryyyy long thread on Apple Discussion forum with the similar issue, and all kinds of suggestions how to fix.
I, personally, think, that there you find just similar symptoms, which actually come from different problems/errors. This is why I was very careful, when reading the thread...
Anyway I tried couple of solutions from that thread - none worked for me. Problem persisted.
Well, since I didn't have time (a lot of work) to send my laptop to Apple store to fixe the issue, I decided to give up and just ignore it. Some discs can't be read... not a big deal :)

Now my laptop is 1.6 year old and last Friday I needed to check some important backups (on DVD-R) and.... my mac just refused to read any of the disks!
So, I tried to check some of other DVDs... He just refused to read ANY of them. It spins a disk for a moment and ejects it...
What the FUCK, I thought!!!

The Solution.

NOW, the solution, which actually worked for me.

I could't believe that SuperDrive just got broken. I mean, common... ;)
So after some investigation and googling around, trying all possible solutions I came up to a conclusion, that it is most probably the dust on the lens, which "damaged" my SuperDrive. I mean, that was the only "bug", which can be fixed without sending the laptop to warranty. :)

Now, since that was the weekend and I could'n get a CD cleaner from anywhere... I decided to use some simple "solution". :)

I used a business card and a cleaning cloth, which comes with the mac or iPhone. I switched off the laptop. I wrapped the cloth around the business card and while holding the ends of the the cloth I very gently dived it for a couple of centimeters in the optical drive, pushed and pulled a bit. I cleaned on the left side of SuperDrive, since the lens should be at the left hand side.
This dirty and free trick actually worked. It took me a minute of "cleaning", after that my Mac reads everything I pop in ;) What a miracle :)

Now, I think, my problem is solved. At least I didn't fined any DVD which I can't read now. I also tried to write couple of DVDs. Worked perfectly.
I mean, I know, that I need to get my superDrive cleaned properly and I will do that some time later, but as a short term fix that was a quick solution, I guess :)


130 comments:

Enrique said...

Awesome!!!! That worked for me!

It would have been really difficult to get another drive here in Mexico.

Thank you so much for posting this!!!

Anar Manafov said...

Hi Enrique,

last week I had to repeat this procedure as my drive refused to burn a DVD-DL disk. After a short cleaning I got it working again :) So... obviously there is some dust issue in MacBook Burners...
Best of luck!

GetaRedPanda said...

Wow. I will have to try this. I a experiencing a similar problem. It reads cds and dvds but not dvd-r or dvd+r format...just spits em right back out. I hope this works. I'll have to go get a cleaning cloth from a pharmacy though... I don't think I still have the one that came with the mbp. Do they really come with those? Would an eye glasses cloth work?
I'll post how it went later.

Anar Manafov said...

2 GetaRedPanda,

yeap I think you can also use something like an eye glasses cloth. Should work if your driver is also dusty.

I can only confirm, that it works for me. I just have to do that every 3-4 Months.

Just be very gentle while cleaning :) dive it deeper, especially on the left side of the driver... Hope it helps ;)

Peter T said...

You rock so incredibly hard right now. That completely worked. If you're ever in Fort Lauderdale, I'd like to buy you a beer.

Anar Manafov said...

Peter, I'm glad it worked out for you! ;)

Anonymous said...

thanks bro

Anonymous said...

Worked!
Thanx a lot, been looking for the answer to this problem for a while now.
Cheers

spritrig said...

I used a kleenex wrapped around a business card.

Casasdeluz said...

Thanks kindly for the post/info Anar. This verified my thoughts yesterday as I went searching for a reason why my superdrive read the dvd for about 5 min and then went to error msg of 'Disc Read Error' 'Searching for next readable area'. It then went back to the beginning of the disc and repeated this same process. Moved the disc to another machine and worked w/o problems.
Thanks again -- Have a great day! Next project is to find out why SNL/Safari, Firefox won't talk nicely to facebook and loops the login process.

Anar Manafov said...

To Casasdeluz. You are very welcome. Thanks for the comment, by the way ;)

Anonymous said...

Thanks, it's also worked for me!!!

Anar Manafov said...

;)

Anonymous said...

Anar,
Worked like a charm for me also! Thanks for the suggestion - far better than turning my MacBook over to the repair Nazis for who knows how long! We live in an extremely dusty area (construction) so I'll be repeating the process on all the Macs.
Thanks again.

Anar Manafov said...

glad it worked!
Thanks for the comment ;)

ElektronBlue said...

Thanks for the Tip! Just did it and now my Drive is back to it's old self (2004 old self) again! Yippie!

Anar Manafov said...

;)
Thanks for the comment!

Anonymous said...

I took a more minimal approach. I simply blew into the left side of the drive... took about 5 seconds to fix. Didn't even need to turn of the computer.

Anonymous said...

thanks a bunch!
I had the same problem but haven't thought about that.
and it didn't even charge my credit card... LOL

Holly said...

Just worked for me! Yippee!!!!

Kate (PADgraphics) said...

Unbelievable... I have been searching all the Mac forums for ages for a fix for this... just tried your solution and everything works fine now... you probably just saved me a small fortune, thank you so much :o)

Anar Manafov said...

Kate, thanks for the comment ;)
Be prepared to clean it every two-three months. :D In my case I have to do that so often. :(

All the best,
Anar

Anonymous said...

I just did it without even turning off he computer. Worked perfectly, and I was amazed at how much dust there was on the black cloth. Thanks for the great solution!

Anonymous said...

Wow - I've been trying to fix this for months. I was really skeptical of this, but it worked on the first try. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

thanks a trillion - you are a flippin genius, i salute you sir!

Anant said...

Anar,

This is awesome as I was about to order the new one. The diagnostics and status was showing everything was ok but refused to read or recognize the disks. One indication you may have dirt problem can be had from disk utilities. Where when you click on info button it shows media not present as I was able to somehow keep the disk inside without ejecting. I used the credit/business card trick on another mac for removing the stuck DVD inside.
So far everything seems to be great. Thanks for your blog man you saved me $$.

Anant

Anar Manafov said...

Thanks for the comments guys.
I hope Apple will find a way at least to reduce the dustiness in the DVD-drive.
I have a two years old MacBook Pro, but my fried has a new one and has just reported the same problem after three Month of usage :(

BTW, I heart Apple wants to remove the DVD-drive from the future MacBook Pros. It would be another solution for the issue, I guess :D ;)

derek said...

thank you so much for posting this. i've read forum post after forum post with dozens experiencing the same problem and no known solution. i cleaned my drive like you said and several months of frustration have been ended.

Anonymous said...

That worked to me as well, thanks a thousand.

Anonymous said...

Anar, you are The Man!!! It worked like a champ. Now why in the world could Apple not post this information on their support site? Or, why couldn't the Apple support tech I just talked to have told me this? Very sad that Apple deliberately withheld this simple fix from me.

Greg said...

This rocks my world! Been living with a broken superdrive for six months. This tip fixed it in 30 seconds. Thanks!

Ryan said...

Oh my god it works. Incredible. This post was on the very bottom of my search results, and I was about to give up completely. You have made my day.

Anonymous said...

Holy Sh*t!± it works!! After 2 years of no DVD drive!

Anonymous said...

work for me ,thanks....from greece :DDDDD

Anonymous said...

Okay, I want to give you a big hug! That was the perfect solution. I used the cloth from my iPhone wrapped around my health insurance card (sturdier than a business card). I checked out that link for disassembling and cleaning the drive...too scary! I hope this keeps it clean for a while.

sM3e said...

It only bloody works!! Just done it on my 2010 Mac Mini after losing the ability to read blank DVD -R

Well happy now!

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I had the same issue, all CDs and DVDs were ejected after a few seconds and cleaning the optical drive with compressed air fixed it. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Awesome thank you so much! i had to try it twice but i finally got it to work~

brooklyn said...

Oh. My. God. You saved years from my life by saving me from more stress. Like you I don't burn CDs much so I ignored this and I've been pulling my hair out these last 2 days. Genius. Now, why was your post buried in the search results????

Anonymous said...

If you are ever in Peru, I too will buy you a beer! That did the job!

Anar Manafov said...

:) I am happy the post is actually helping someone. :)

Jon said...

I just came across this post and tried it in my 2007 MBP. It now reads DVDs. Although I did use a lens cd cleaner for it.

You saved me a lot of time. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Worked for me too, amazing. Thank you. :D:D:D Nothing else had worked until I came across your post!

Aayush Agawal said...

You are a motherfuckin' genius. :D

SACViper said...

Awesome man it worked. keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

thanks dude!! you saved me a lot of money on that one...

Anonymous said...

worked great to solve a year old problem! thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great tip!

Anonymous said...

Have been having the same problem for 2 years, now it's solved. Thank you very much!! I'm beyond happy

mr. m said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mr. m said...

Gentleman, scholar etc.

Seriously, thanks so much for the hint with cleaning the lens. I just used a tissue wrapped around some cardboard bookmark + a few drops of isopropyl alcohol. Couple of swipes later no more ejecting blank disks, much obliged <3

Ed Callahan said...

Just crazy! It worked for me. Thank you for the tip.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this! It worked for me.

Anonymous said...

... and worked for me too. I can't believe it.
Thanks for the info.

Rico said...

Wow, I was about to bring my mbp to the shop but this tip worked just as great as described.
Thanks soooo much

Brian said...

this is quite amazing. i personally used the microfiber bag that comes with oakley sunglasses.

Anonymous said...

you know what i did to fix it? since i didn't have my cloth... i took a can of liquid air, aimed into the left side of the dvd rom and sprayyyyyed for a few seconds. all better.

Edu Menke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edu Menke said...

I can't believe it really works!!! Funcionou mesmo!!! I used a spatula and this cleaning cloth!!! Tks!!!

flashfroze said...

Sir, If you ever happen to come to San Jose, I will buy you a beer. I was having such trouble with my computer, and your suggestion completely eased my suffering immediately.

Michael Chew said...

it works!! Amazing... and I'd left that drive for dead. I used a stiff business card and a clean hanky (gave it a few good shakes first).
thanks a million

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU!!! Finally found something that works!!

Matt Ogden said...

It worked for me too! Thanks a ton man!

Jordan said...

You Absolute hero, thanks so much, worked a treat!

Anonymous said...

You're awesome, it worked!

Anonymous said...

This is so awesome. I tried a million different things to no avail. Your fix worked on the first try.

THANK YOU!

Mike Weller said...

I used your technique with a credit card and cloth, and now my super drive which hasn't been able to read a disk since 2008 has magically started working.

Thanks!

wz said...

This is magical! My drive suddenly screeched to life after using an alcohol-soaked microfibre cloth to 'explore' its innards. Thanks!

Sebastian Fascie said...

Did the trick for me too! Great solution! If only my Imac 4,1 drive worked the same way...thanx a million man!

Anonymous said...

If cleaning doesn't work, try the procedure outlined at http://www.macos.utah.edu/documentation/hardware/pm_g5_superdrive_fix.html. It worked beautifully for me.

Motormusic said...

Well Done... Mine hadn't worked for a year and i thought i needed a new drive.. just tried your idea and it's suddenly working again!

Thanks!!

Kenzy said...

I have to say, after having bought my Pro for only 5 hours only to find this problem was very frustrating for me. I Googled non-stop in hopes for a solution then I came across your blog and attempted your solution.

At first I tried wrapping the cloth with my Credit card and inserted it sideways (not edges) and then that failed.

I almost gave up, but I tried one more time. This time, as I insert the Credit Card, I blew inside the CD driver really hard several times and then inserted my card and stroked back and forth.

Voila! My CD now works! :) You saved me the trouble of having to go back to the Apple Store, thank you very much! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm amazed. I tried your method and it didn't seem like I was doing anything since it wasn't a very tight fit. In addition, the cloth didn't show any dirt/dust but holy cow, my dvd drives works once again after so many months of non use. Thanks so much!!!

Elena said...

Anar, thank you SO much for posting this!! I'm extremely happy with this simple (and free) solution. I was a bit skeptical at first, but it works GREAT.

The superdrive of my MacBook Pro only rejected DVDs (CDs were running fine) but now it reads all discs without a problem. You're a hero!

(BTW: Only 73 comments in more than two years? How come? This solution should be common knowledge!)

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devlin black said...

Wow - I can't believe this worked. THANKS SO MUCH for the tip. It looks like you could start a global beer tour with all the happy customers offering you drinks.

Anonymous said...

Excellent solution to a problem which I thought was due to broken drive. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

You are a genius! After almost throwing out a bunch of DVD's, I found your post! Awesome!

Waldemar said...

Thank you for the simple but great solution. :)
I'v got the same problem with my MacBook Pro 15" 2008. The SuperDrive rejected any trial to burn a DVD.
Now it works.
Greeting from Poland. :)

alessandro davoli said...

Thanks a lot, you saved me! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot Bro !! You saved me some $$$.

rajesh said...

Magnetic power connector keeps falling off. Thanks Apple, for solving a non-nagging problem that I wasn't having, by replacing it with a new, actual problem. Can't thank you enough. I have dropped notebooks, stepped on them and cracked the screen, spilled breakfast cereal on the keyboard, but I have never had a problem with the power connector not disengaging and causing a fall or a break. Have you? Really? Naaaah. Macbook pro repairs.

Anthony Nash said...

Thank you so much for this post - tried everything else and all my dirty Mac needed was a bit of TLC. i will be cleaning the cd drive on a ore regular basis from now on thanks again

Regards

Big Tony

CD replication said...

Good macbook information. I appreciate the writer for the efforts to make this article so informative for the people

Anonymous said...

Worked like a charm on my mid-2009 MBP. The drive was refusing to see any blank CD and now it's back to normal again.

Thanks a bunch!

spookbird said...

Anar, many many thanks for this post, you've helped many people avoid a needless and expensive replacement. My drive sat useless for two years, I couldn't even put a disc in. Then, trying to solve an intermittent WIFI connection problem, I reset the PRAM. This had the unexpected bonus of allowing the DVD drive to accept discs again, although, it would not read any information on them. Then your suggestion returned it to full operation. Can't thank you enough.

Chris said...

Brilliant, many thanks, a low tech solution that works extremely well.

:)

Zoran said...

First try, didn't work. Second try, worked like a charm. Dude, collecting some very good karma with this one :))

yesman said...

Wow! It worked! Thanks so much!

jfkelly said...

Thank you so much for this post. I can't believe it took me so long to stumble on it. I have tried every work around I could think of or was suggested. I stopped bothering with the DVDs on this machine. This solved my problem in 2 minutes. Thank you.

Matthew said...

Thanks for the tip! Simply blowing into mine worked.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!! I have been attempting to fix this problem and never would have thought of something so simple.

Anonymous said...

A billion thanks!

I tried a CD cleaner disk that didn't help at all, but your trick has revived my DVD reader in two minutes!

Sander van der Veeke said...

Wow this workt for me too! i actualy lived with the idea my drive was broken, and now i have i functional cd drive in my macbook again!
even after 3 years this is the best solution ever!

Youssef Freeman said...

I want to tell you thank you for 1000 time really your post help me

Austin said...

You saved my so much time and money! You are a hero it worked freakin awesome the first time! Thanks a bunch!

Anonymous said...

Worked like a BO$$

Anonymous said...

Worked like a charm !! Genius :)

Anonymous said...

Worked a treat. Thank you! My train from Edinburgh to London just got a little less dull

Dániel Alexander Kovács said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dániel Alexander Kovács said...

Man, You are a God!! I was about to take my iMac apart and throw that sh*t out, because it has never written DVD, but recently it refused to read any DVDs. But this little trick fixed the problem in 5 seconds. Now I can write even dual layer DVDs! :D

KHQ Local News said...

This worked perfectly! I'm glad I found your post.

Anonymous said...

I can't belive it but... IT WORKED!!!!!!
Thank you, i haven0t been using my Superdrive since one year and it couldn't read neither my SL installation DVD, but now everything works!
Thank you!!!!

ar mirza said...

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Dave said...

Sadly now joy for me. Tried a cleaning cloth, an oakley case and a glasses wipe tissue which I think covers all the bases.

Noticeably at no point did I get a load of dust out so perhaps mine is just broken

Anonymous said...

Tried this with a thin, smooth store card (no raised up numbers or anything), a pair of thin spandex shorts, with a light dab of vodka on the spandex. Worked like a charm. If I knew who you were sir, I would buy you a drink

macbook said...

Article is useful.

Apple TV WiDi said...

I hate those verrrrryyyy long thread on Apple Discussion forum, but a lot of them are very useful. Thank for the post.
-Apple TV WiDi

Nicholas Keene said...

Thanks! This worked for me. I just used a plain business card, slipped it in while my Mac was running, slid it back and forth, concentrated on the area where the lens should be -- and after that, the first DVD I put in it worked fine, whereas no disc has worked in this drive for many months.

Macintosh said...

so nice

Anonymous said...

+1

Brandon Hudson said...

Nice and very helpful information i have got from your post. Even your whole blog is full of interesting information which is the great sign of a great blogger.

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Jozsef Csiza said...

Cool. It worked for me. Nice trick :-)

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Your post really cool and interesting. Thanks very much.

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Anonymous said...

....IT WORKS!!

This is the kind of fix you hope to God you'll find - a 5 second job for a seemingly hopeless problem.

BIG THANK YOUS FROM BUDAPEST :)

I ued toilet paper and a business card.

Anonymous said...

Let me add my own personal thanks to the low tech, very effective solution posted here. Same issue as everyone else. I tried loading turbo tax, no luck or was it, then tried the business card + lint free cloth and there it was working once again. Thank YOU!

ruth wakio said...

Hi,
I would just love to say thank you for sharing, coz you really helped me a lot! :-)
Thanks again!

Guy Wangermée said...

I had been trying all kind of solutions w/o success before reading your post and ...it works.
Thanks a lot and best regards.

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Antonio said...

Amazing! It also works for me. A simple and brainy solution to this wierd puzzle. Thank you very much for sharing it.

Best regards!

Peter Cantero said...

Thank you so much! It worked!

kevin said...

You are a genius ! If you ever come to Kenya I will buy you a cold Tusker Lager!

Anonymous said...

You my friend are an absolute genius...4 years I have been struggling on and off!!!

Anonymous said...

Well, that did the trick. Thanks, genius!

Anonymous said...

Hoi, It worked wonders. Thanks a bunch. Cairo Egypt